Posts Tagged ‘Medicare Cuts’

Medicare payment cuts is a victory for Dialysis Patients

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 | By Scott | No Comments

This is a victory for dialysis patients. Medicare pays for healthcare and it appears to be squeezing the buffalo off the nickel. If Davita holds true to their statement of pulling away from the inner cities and rural areas. That should be a blessing, the patients will go back to their individual Nephrologist, where big non-profit companies don’t want to buy them, and dialysis patient healthcare can only improve.  Nephrologists will be accountable for the patient care and keep factual statistics, a Nephrologist will remain the doctor, not become a sales agent. Patients will not be without dialysis, Nephrologist cannot dump or blacklist his patients legally. Plus these Nephrologist will be accountable for their units, and not have big non-profits protecting them. 

Arlene Mullin-Tinker
Dialysis Advocates LLC
 

View letters sent to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services/Department of Health & Human Services, House Ways & Means Committee, and the Senate Finance Committee.  Dialysis Advocates and other patient rights organization were a big part of influencing the ruling.

CMS Letter

House Ways & Means Committee Letter 11-22-13

Senate Finance Committee Letter

As expected, and in response to a congressional directive from the American Taxpayer Relief Act, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Department of Health & Human Services (CMS) made a 3.3% cut in payments for dialysis facilities for 2014 to account for reduced drug utilization.  Rather than implementing the full 12% reduction as proposed by the agency this summer, CMS instead chose to phase in the cuts over time.  The 2014 reduction is 27% of the total amount to be cut over the next 3-4 years.

According to federal law, dialysis facilities are entitled to inflationary updates and other fee increases each year to account for, among other items, the increases in the costs for operating a facility and providing the services.  For 2014, CMS calculated this to be 2.8%  When combined with other existing components of the payment formula, the net result is a slight decrease in payments to facilities.  CMS also noted in the rule that it expected the 2015 cut to the drug component would be largely offset by these adjustments  again, resulting in another flat payment.  CMS intends to complete the full 12% cut by 2016 or 2017.

Therefore, the impact of the CMS rule is that rather than getting payment increases each year, dialysis centers will receive flat funding at least for the next two years; this is a reduction in Medicare spending.  Da Vita has already publicly expressed its concerns with the CMS rule and has pledged to fight these reductions in Congress and with the agency in the weeks and months ahead. Also, by increasing payments for home dialysis training, CMS likely provided longer term incentives to shift care to the home and away from these dialysis centers.

Download the entire Patient Rights Watch Ruling.

CMS ESRD 2014 Payment Final Rule

Letter: Don’t cut Medicare funds for dialysis – Wausau Daily Herald

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 | By Scott | No Comments

This is and excerpt from a letter written by an assistant facility administrator operated by DaVita in Wausau, WI.

…Medicare plays a central role in the kidney care community, and even more cuts could be devastating. Under the newly proposed rule, Medicare reimbursements would decrease from $246.57 per three- to four-hour dialysis session to only $216 for the same treatment.

A $30 reduction may not seem like much, but these proposed cuts would decrease reimbursements well below the cost of care. Considering that those on dialysis require multiple treatments per week, $30 less per session is a substantial cut that could force facilities to consolidate services, reduce staff, trim operating hours, or in some cases close.

…Medicare’s End Stage Renal Disease program has served as a model for excellent care and we hope readers will contact Sens. Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson to ask for their support as well.

ON THE OTHER HAND

DaVita profits were $478,000,000 in 2012, up 17.8% over 2011.

Additionally, DaVita HealthCare has had to fork over more than $350 million over the past year to settle various fraud cases. Nevertheless, CEO Kent Thiry made the top 25 highest-paid list in 2012 with more than $26 million in total compensation.

Our government continues to pay a company who is guilty of fraud with our tax dollars.

Is anyone else out there scratching their heads?

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial: Cleansing dialysis center of government waste

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 | By Scott | No Comments

Please read this entire article, you’ll be shocked!

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
September 09, 2013 6:00 am • By the Editorial Board

Within 20 miles of downtown St. Louis, there are 25 centers operated by the two dominant companies in the industry, DaVita Healthcare Partners of Denver and Fresenius, based in Germany.  Those companies are complaining that they are under attack by Congress, which has ordered the Obama administration to eliminate more than $500 million a year in excessive drug payments to clinics across the country.

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DaVita warns of closing clinics due to federal cuts

Monday, August 12, 2013 | By Scott | No Comments

Ed Sealover
Reporter-
Denver Business Journal
Kent Thiry, chairman and CEO of DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc., warned the kidney-care provider could have to close a number of clinics if the federal government cuts reimbursements next year.

Kent Thiry, chairman and CEO of DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc., warned the kidney-care provider could have to close a number of clinics if the federal government cuts reimbursements next year.

Following a “weak quarter” in part of its business, Kent Thiry, chairman and CEO of DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. (NYSE: DVA), said Tuesday that the kidney-care provider would have to start closing inner-city and rural clinics if the federal government goes through with its proposed 9.4 percent reimbursement cut to dialysis providers of Medicare patients in 2014.

Thiry didn’t say how many clinics the Denver-based company would have to close. But company officials confirmed they would be those that don’t have enough private payers to subsidize the large number of Medicare and Medicaid patients the company treats, as both programs reimburse at such a low level that they’re money losers for DaVita.

“If they can’t reimburse, there will be changes to patient access to care. There’s no two ways about it,” Thiry said during DaVita’s second-quarter earnings call. “Inevitably, some centers will close, and they will tend to be those centers that serve the most vulnerable populations.”

DaVita reported net income of $254.4 million

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