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MEDICARE COVERAGE FOR END STAGE RENAL DISEASE PATIENTS[349]

Sec1881[42 U.S.C. 1395rr] (a) The benefits provided by parts A and B of this title shall include benefits for individuals who have been determined to have end stage renal disease as provided in section 226A, and benefits for kidney donors as provided in subsection (d) of this section. Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, the type, duration, and scope of the benefit provided by parts A and B with respect to individuals who have been determined to have end stage renal disease and who are entitled to such benefits without regard to section 226A shall in no case be less than the type, duration, and scope of the benefits so provided for individuals entitled to such benefits solely by reason of that section.

(b)(1) Payments under this title with respect to services, in addition to services for which payment would otherwise be made under this title, furnished to individuals who have been determined to have end stage renal disease shall include (A) payments on behalf of such individuals to providers of services and renal dialysis facilities which meet such requirements as the Secretary shall by regulation prescribe for institutional dialysis services and supplies (including self-dialysis services in a self-care dialysis unit maintained by the provider or facility), transplantation services, self-care home dialysis support services which are furnished by the provider or facility, and routine professional services performed by a physician during a maintenance dialysis episode if payments for his other professional services furnished to an individual who has end stage renal disease are made on the basis specified in paragraph (3)(A) of this subsection, (B) payments to or on behalf of such individuals for home dialysis supplies and equipment, and (C) payments to a supplier of home dialysis supplies and equipment that is not a provider of services, a renal dialysis facility, or a physician for self-administered erythropoietin as described in section 1861(s)(2)(P) if the Secretary finds that the patient receiving such drug from such a supplier can safely and effectively administer the drug (in accordance with the applicable methods and standards established by the Secretary pursuant to such section). The requirements prescribed by the Secretary under subparagraph (A) shall include requirements for a minimum utilization rate for transplantations.

(2)(A) With respect to payments for dialysis services furnished by providers of services and renal dialysis facilities to individuals determined to have end stage renal disease for which payments may be made under part B of this title, such payments (unless otherwise provided in this section) shall be equal to 80 percent of the amounts determined in accordance with subparagraph (B); and with respect to payments for services for which payments may be made under part A of this title, the amounts of such payments (which amounts shall not exceed, in respect to costs in procuring organs attributable to payments made to an organ procurement agency or histocompatibility laboratory, the costs incurred by that agency or laboratory) shall be determined in accordance with section 1861(v) or section 1886 (if applicable). Payments shall be made to a renal dialysis facility only if it agrees to accept such payments as payment in full for covered services, except for payment by the individual of 20 percent of the estimated amounts for such services calculated on the basis established by the Secretary under subparagraph (B) and the deductible amount imposed by section 1833(b).

(B) The Secretary shall prescribe in regulations any methods and procedures to (i) determine the costs incurred by providers of services and renal dialysis facilities in furnishing covered services to individuals determined to have end stage renal disease, and (ii) determine, on a cost-related basis or other economical and equitable basis (including any basis authorized under section 1861(v)) and consistent with any regulations promulgated under paragraph (7), the amounts of payments to be made for part B services furnished by such providers and facilities to such individuals.

(C) Such regulations, in the case of services furnished by proprietary providers and facilities (other than hospital outpatient departments) may include, if the Secretary finds it feasible and appropriate, provision for recognition of a reasonable rate of return on equity capital, providing such rate of return does not exceed the rate of return stipulated in section 1861(v)(1)(B).

(D) For purposes of section 1878, a renal dialysis facility shall be treated as a provider of services.

(3) With respect to payments for physicians’ services furnished to individuals determined to have end stage renal disease, the Secretary shall pay 80 percent of the amounts calculated for such services—

(A) on a reasonable charge basis (but may, in such case, make payment on the basis of the prevailing charges of other physicians for comparable services or, for services furnished on or after January 1, 1992, on the basis described in section 1848) except that payment may not be made under this subparagraph for routine services furnished during a maintenance dialysis episode, or

(B) on a comprehensive monthly fee or other basis (which effectively encourages the efficient delivery of dialysis services and provides incentives for the increased use of home dialysis) for an aggregate of services provided over a period of time (as defined in regulations).

(4)(A) Pursuant to agreements with approved providers of services and renal dialysis facilities, the Secretary may make payments to such providers and facilities for the cost of home dialysis supplies and equipment and self-care home dialysis support services furnished to patients whose self-care home dialysis is under the direct supervision of such provider or facility, on the basis of a target reimbursement rate (as defined in paragraph (6)) or on the basis of a method established under paragraph (7).

(B) The Secretary shall make payments to a supplier of home dialysis supplies and equipment furnished to a patient whose self-care home dialysis is not under the direct supervision of an approved provider of services or renal dialysis facility only in accordance with a written agreement under which—

(i) the patient certifies that the supplier is the sole provider of such supplies and equipment to the patient,

(ii) the supplier agrees to receive payment for the cost of such supplies and equipment only on an assignment-related basis, and

(iii) the supplier certifies that it has entered into a written agreement with an approved provider of services or renal dialysis facility under which such provider or facility agrees to furnish to such patient all self-care home dialysis support services and all other necessary dialysis services and supplies, including institutional dialysis services and supplies and emergency services.

(5) An agreement under paragraph (4) shall require, in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary, that the provider or facility will—

(A) assume full responsibility for directly obtaining or arranging for the provision of—

(i) such medically necessary dialysis equipment as is prescribed by the attending physician;

(ii) dialysis equipment maintenance and repair services;

(iii) the purchase and delivery of all necessary medical supplies; and

(iv) where necessary, the services of trained home dialysis aides;

(B) perform all such administrative functions and maintain such information and records as the Secretary may require to verify the transactions and arrangements described in subparagraph (A);

(C) submit such cost reports, data, and information as the Secretary may require with respect to the costs incurred for equipment, supplies, and services furnished to the facility’s home dialysis patient population; and

(D) provide for full access for the Secretary to all such records, data, and information as he may require to perform his functions under this section.

(6) The Secretary shall establish, for each calendar year, commencing with January 1, 1979, a target reimbursement rate for home dialysis which shall be adjusted for regional variations in the cost of providing home dialysis. In establishing such a rate, the Secretary shall include—

(A) the Secretary’s estimate of the cost of providing medically necessary home dialysis supplies and equipment;

(B) an allowance, in an amount determined by the Secretary, to cover the cost of providing personnel to aid in home dialysis; and

(C) an allowance, in an amount determined by the Secretary, to cover administrative costs and to provide an incentive for the efficient delivery of home dialysis;

but in no event (except as may be provided in regulations under paragraph (7)) shall such target rate exceed 75 percent of the national average payment, adjusted for regional variations, for maintenance dialysis services furnished in approved providers and facilities during the preceding fiscal year. Any such target rate so established shall be utilized, without renegotiation of the rate, throughout the calendar year for which it is established. During the last quarter of each calendar year, the Secretary shall establish a home dialysis target reimbursement rate for the next calendar year based on the most recent data available to the Secretary at the time. In establishing any rate under this paragraph, the Secretary may utilize a competitive-bid procedure, a prenegotiated rate procedure, or any other procedure (including methods established under paragraph (7)) which the Secretary determines is appropriate and feasible in order to carry out this paragraph in an effective and efficient manner.

(7) Subject to paragraph (12), the Secretary shall provide by regulation for a method (or methods) for determining prospectively the amounts of payments to be made for dialysis services furnished by providers of services and renal dialysis facilities to individuals in a facility and to such individuals at home. Such method (or methods) shall provide for the prospective determination of a rate (or rates) for each mode of care based on a single composite weighted formula (which takes into account the mix of patients who receive dialysis services at a facility or at home and the relative costs of providing such services in such settings) for hospital-based facilities and such a single composite weighted formula for other renal dialysis facilities, or based on such other method or combination of methods which differentiate between hospital-based facilities and other renal dialysis facilities and which the Secretary determines, after detailed analysis, will more effectively encourage the more efficient delivery of dialysis services and will provide greater incentives for increased use of home dialysis than through the single composite weighted formulas. The amount of a payment made under any method other than a method based on a single composite weighted formula may not exceed the amount (or, in the case of continuous cycling peritoneal dialysis, 130 percent of the amount) of the median payment that would have been made under the formula for hospital-based facilities. Subject to section 422(a)(2) of the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Benefits Improvement and Protection Act of 2000, the Secretary shall provide for such exceptions to such methods as may be warranted by unusual circumstances (including the special circumstances of sole facilities located in isolated, rural areas and of pediatric facilities). Each application for such an exception shall be deemed to be approved unless the Secretary disapproves it by not later than 60 working days after the date the application is filed. The Secretary may provide that such method will serve in lieu of any target reimbursement rate that would otherwise be established under paragraph (6). The Secretary shall reduce the amount of each composite rate payment under this paragraph for each treatment by 50 cents (subject to such adjustments as may be required to reflect modes of dialysis other than hemodialysis) and provide for payment of such amount to the organizations (designated under subsection (c)(1)(A)) for such organizations’ necessary and proper administrative costs incurred in carrying out the responsibilities described in subsection (c)(2). The Secretary shall provide that amounts paid under the previous sentence shall be distributed to the organizations described in subsection (c)(1)(A) to ensure equitable treatment of all such network organizations. The Secretary in distributing any such payments to network organizations shall take into account—

(A) the geographic size of the network area;

(B) the number of providers of end stage renal disease services in the network area;

(C) the number of individuals who are entitled to end stage renal disease services in the network area; and

(D) the proportion of the aggregate administrative funds collected in the network area.

The Secretary shall increase the amount of each composite rate payment for dialysis services furnished during 2000 by 1.2 percent above such composite rate payment amounts for such services furnished on December 31, 1999, for such services furnished on or after January 1, 2001, and before January 1, 2005, by 2.4 percent above such composite rate payment amounts for such services furnished on December 31, 2000, and for such services furnished on or after January 1, 2005, by 1.6 percent above such composite rate payment amounts for such services furnished on December 31, 2004.

(8) For purposes of this title, the term “home dialysis supplies and equipment” means medically necessary supplies and equipment (including supportive equipment) required by an individual suffering from end stage renal disease in connection with renal dialysis carried out in his home (as defined in regulations), including obtaining, installing, and maintaining such equipment.

(9) For purposes of this title, the term “self-care home dialysis support services”, to the extent permitted in regulation, means—

(A) periodic monitoring of the patient’s home adaptation, including visits by qualified provider or facility personnel (as defined in regulations), so long as this is done in accordance with a plan prepared and periodically reviewed by a professional team (as defined in regulations) including the individual’s physician;

(B) installation and maintenance of dialysis equipment;

(C) testing and appropriate treatment of the water; and

(D) such additional supportive services as the Secretary finds appropriate and desirable.

(10) For purposes of this title, the term “self-care dialysis unit” means a renal dialysis facility or a distinct part of such facility or of a provider of services, which has been approved by the Secretary to make self-dialysis services, as defined by the Secretary in regulations, available to individuals who have been trained for self-dialysis. A self-care dialysis unit must, at a minimum, furnish the services, equipment and supplies needed for self-care dialysis, have patient-staff ratios which are appropriate to self-dialysis (allowing for such appropriate lesser degree of ongoing medical supervision and assistance of ancillary personnel than is required for full care maintenance dialysis), and meet such other requirements as the Secretary may prescribe with respect to the quality and cost-effectiveness of services.

(11)(A) Hepatitis B vaccine and its administration, when provided to a patient determined to have end stage renal disease, shall not be included as dialysis services for purposes of payment under any prospective payment amount or comprehensive fee established under this section. Payment for such vaccine and its administration shall be made separately in accordance with section 1833.

(B) Erythropoietin, when provided to a patient determined to have end stage renal disease, shall not be included as a dialysis service for purposes of payment under any prospective payment amount or comprehensive fee established under this section, and subject to paragraphs (12) and (13) payment for such item shall be made separately—

(i) in the case of erythropoietin provided by a physician, in accordance with section 1833; and

(ii) in the case of erythropoietin provided by a provider of services, renal dialysis facility, or other supplier of home dialysis supplies and equipment—

(I) for erythropoietin provided during 1994, in an amount equal to $10 per thousand units (rounded to the nearest 100 units), and

(II) for erythropoietin provided during a subsequent year, in an amount determined to be appropriate by the Secretary, except that such amount may not exceed the amount determined under this clause for the previous year increased by the percentage increase (if any) in the implicit price deflator for gross national product (as published by the Department of Commerce) for the second quarter of the preceding year over the implicit price deflator for the second quarter of the second preceding year.

(C) The amount payable to a supplier of home dialysis supplies and equipment that is not a provider of services, a renal dialysis facility, or a physician for erythropoietin shall be determined in the same manner as the amount payable to a renal dialysis facility for such item.

(12)(A) Subject to paragraph (14), in lieu of payment under paragraph (7) beginning with services furnished on January 1, 2005, the Secretary shall establish a basic case-mix adjusted prospective payment system for dialysis services furnished by providers of services and renal dialysis facilities in a year to individuals in a facility and to such individuals at home. The case-mix under such system shall be for a limited number of patient characteristics. Under such system, the payment rate for dialysis services furnished on or after January 1, 2009, by providers of services shall be the same as the payment rate (computed without regard to this sentence) for such services furnished by renal dialysis facilities, and in applying the geographic index under subparagraph (D) to providers of services, the labor share shall be based on the labor share otherwise applied for renal dialysis facilities.

(B) The system described in subparagraph (A) shall include—

(i) the services comprising the composite rate established under paragraph (7); and

(ii) the difference between payment amounts under this title for separately billed drugs and biologicals (including erythropoietin) and acquisition costs of such drugs and biologicals, as determined by the Inspector General reports to the Secretary as required by section 623(c) of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003[350]

(I) beginning with 2005, for such drugs and biologicals for which a billing code exists prior to January 1, 2004; and

(II) beginning with 2007, for such drugs and biologicals for which a billing code does not exist prior to January 1, 2004,

adjusted to 2005, or 2007, respectively, as determined to be appropriate by the Secretary.

(C)(i) In applying subparagraph (B)(ii) for 2005, such payment amounts under this title shall be determined using the methodology specified in paragraph (13)(A)(i).

(ii) For 2006, the Secretary shall provide for an adjustment to the payments under clause (i) to reflect the difference between the payment amounts using the methodology under paragraph (13)(A)(i) and the payment amount determined using the methodology applied by the Secretary under paragraph (13)(A)(iii) of such paragraph, as estimated by the Secretary.

(D) The Secretary shall adjust the payment rates under such system by a geographic index as the Secretary determines to be appropriate. If the Secretary applies a geographic index under this paragraph that differs from the index applied under paragraph (7) the Secretary shall phase-in the application of the index under this paragraph over a multiyear period.

(E)(i) Such system shall be designed to result in the same aggregate amount of expenditures for such services, as estimated by the Secretary, as would have been made for 2005 if this paragraph did not apply.

(ii) The adjustment made under subparagraph (B)(ii)(II) shall be done in a manner to result in the same aggregate amount of expenditures after such adjustment as would otherwise have been made for such services for 2006 or 2007, respectively, as estimated by the Secretary, if this paragraph did not apply.

(F) Beginning with 2006, the Secretary shall annually increase the basic case-mix adjusted payment amounts established under this paragraph, by an amount determined by—

(i) applying the estimated growth in expenditures for drugs and biologicals (including erythropoietin) that are separately billable to the component of the basic case-mix adjusted system described in subparagraph (B)(ii); and

(ii) converting the amount determined in clause (i) to an increase applicable to the basic case-mix adjusted payment amounts established under subparagraph (B).

Except as provided in subparagraph (G), nothing in this paragraph or paragraph (14) shall be construed as providing for an update to the composite rate component of the basic case-mix adjusted system under subparagraph (B) or under the system under paragraph (14).

(G) The Secretary shall increase the amount of the composite rate component of the basic case-mix adjusted system under subparagraph (B) for dialysis services—

(i) furnished on or after January 1, 2006, and before April 1, 2007, by 1.6 percent above the amount of such composite rate component for such services furnished on December 31, 2005;

(ii) furnished on or after April 1, 2007, and before January 1, 2009, by 1.6 percent above the amount of such composite rate component for such services furnished on March 31, 2007;

(iii) furnished on or after January 1, 2009, and before January 1, 2010, by 1.0 percent above the amount of such composite rate component for such services furnished on December 31, 2008; and

(iv) furnished on or after January 1, 2010, by 1.0 percent above the amount of such composite rate component for such services furnished on December 31, 2009.

(H) There shall be no administrative or judicial review under section 1869, section 1878, or otherwise, of the case-mix system, relative weights, payment amounts, the geographic adjustment factor, or the update for the system established under this paragraph, or the determination of the difference between medicare payment amounts and acquisition costs for separately billed drugs and biologicals including erythropoietin) under this paragraph and paragraph (13).

(13)(A) Subject to paragraph (14), the payment amounts under this title for separately billed drugs and biologicals furnished in a year, beginning with 2004, are as follows:

(i) For such drugs and biologicals (other than erythropoietin) furnished in 2004, the amount determined under section 1842(o)(1)(A)(v) for the drug or biological.

(ii) For such drugs and biologicals (including erythropoietin) furnished in 2005, the acquisition cost of the drug or biological, as determined by the Inspector General reports to the Secretary as required by section 623(c) of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003[351]. Insofar as the Inspector General has not determined the acquisition cost with respect to a drug or biological, the Secretary shall determine the payment amount for such drug or biological.

(iii) For such drugs and biologicals (including erythropoietin) furnished in 2006 and subsequent years, such acquisition cost or the amount determined under section 1847A for the drug or biological, as the Secretary may specify.

(B)(i) Drugs and biologicals (including erythropoietin) which were separately billed under this subsection on the day before the date of the enactment of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003[352] shall continue to be separately billed on and after such date, subject to paragraph (14).

(ii) [ Repealed.]

(14)(A)(i) Subject to subparagraph (E), for services furnished on or after January 1, 2011, the Secretary shall implement a payment system under which a single payment is made under this title to a provider of services or a renal dialysis facility for renal dialysis services (as defined in subparagraph (B)) in lieu of any other payment (including a payment adjustment under paragraph (12)(B)(ii)) and for such services and items furnished pursuant to paragraph (4).

(ii) In implementing the system under this paragraph the Secretary shall ensure that the estimated total amount of payments under this title for 2011 for renal dialysis services shall equal 98 percent of the estimated total amount of payments for renal dialysis services, including payments under paragraph (12)(B)(ii), that would have been made under this title with respect to services furnished in 2011 if such system had not been implemented. In making the estimation under subclause (I), the Secretary shall use per patient utilization data from 2007, 2008, or 2009, whichever has the lowest per patient utilization.

(B) For purposes of this paragraph, the term “renal dialysis services” includes—

(i) items and services included in the composite rate for renal dialysis services as of December 31, 2010;

(ii) erythropoiesis stimulating agents and any oral form of such agents that are furnished to individuals for the treatment of end stage renal disease;

(iii) other drugs and biologicals that are furnished to individuals for the treatment of end stage renal disease and for which payment was (before the application of this paragraph) made separately under this title, and any oral equivalent form of such drug or biological; and

(iv) diagnostic laboratory tests and other items and services not described in clause (i) that are furnished to individuals for the treatment of end stage renal disease.

Such term does not include vaccines.

(C) The system under this paragraph may provide for payment on the basis of services furnished during a week or month or such other appropriate unit of payment as the Secretary specifies.

(D) Such system—

(i) shall include a payment adjustment based on case mix that may take into account patient weight, body mass index, comorbidities, length of time on dialysis, age, race, ethnicity, and other appropriate factors;

(ii) shall include a payment adjustment for high cost outliers due to unusual variations in the type or amount of medically necessary care, including variations in the amount of erythropoiesis stimulating agents necessary for anemia management;

(iii) shall include a payment adjustment that reflects the extent to which costs incurred by low-volume facilities (as defined by the Secretary) in furnishing renal dialysis services exceed the costs incurred by other facilities in furnishing such services, and for payment for renal dialysis services furnished on or after January 1, 2011, and before January 1, 2014, such payment adjustment shall not be less than 10 percent; and

(iv) may include such other payment adjustments as the Secretary determines appropriate, such as a payment adjustment—

(I) for pediatric providers of services and renal dialysis facilities;

(II) by a geographic index, such as the index referred to in paragraph (12)(D), as the Secretary determines to be appropriate; and

(III) for providers of services or renal dialysis facilities located in rural areas.

The Secretary shall take into consideration the unique treatment needs of children and young adults in establishing such system.

(E)(i) The Secretary shall provide for a four-year phase-in (in equal increments) of the payment amount under the payment system under this paragraph, with such payment amount being fully implemented for renal dialysis services furnished on or after January 1, 2014.

(ii) A provider of services or renal dialysis facility may make a one-time election to be excluded from the phase-in under clause (i) and be paid entirely based on the payment amount under the payment system under this paragraph. Such an election shall be made prior to January 1, 2011, in a form and manner specified by the Secretary, and is final and may not be rescinded.

(iii) The Secretary shall make an adjustment to the payments under this paragraph for years during which the phase-in under clause (i) is applicable so that the estimated total amount of payments under this paragraph, including payments under this subparagraph, shall equal the estimated total amount of payments that would otherwise occur under this paragraph without such phase-in.

(F)(i)(I) Subject to subclause (II) and clause (ii), beginning in 2012, the Secretary shall annually increase payment amounts established under this paragraph by an ESRD market basket percentage increase for a bundled payment system for renal dialysis services that reflects changes over time in the prices of an appropriate mix of goods and services included in renal dialysis services.

(II) For 2012 and each subsequent year, after determining the increase factor described in subclause (I), the Secretary shall reduce such increase factor by the productivity adjustment described in section 1886(b)(3)(B)(xi)(II). The application of the preceding sentence may result in such increase factor being less than 0.0 for a year, and may result in payment rates under the payment system under this paragraph for a year being less than such payment rates for the preceding year.

(ii) For years during which a phase-in of the payment system pursuant to subparagraph (E) is applicable, the following rules shall apply to the portion of the payment under the system that is based on the payment of the composite rate that would otherwise apply if the system under this paragraph had not been enacted:

(I) The update under clause (i) shall not apply.

(II) Subject to (i)(II), the Secretary shall annually increase such composite rate by the ESRD market basket percentage increase factor described in clause (i)(I) .

(G) There shall be no administrative or judicial review under section 1869, section 1878, or otherwise of the determination of payment amounts under subparagraph (A), the establishment of an appropriate unit of payment under subparagraph (C), the identification of renal dialysis services included in the bundled payment, the adjustments under subparagraph (D), the application of the phase-in under subparagraph (E), and the establishment of the market basket percentage increase factors under subparagraph (F).

(H) Erythropoiesis stimulating agents and other drugs and biologicals shall be treated as prescribed and dispensed or administered and available only under part B if they are—

(i) furnished to an individual for the treatment of end stage renal disease; and

(ii) included in subparagraph (B) for purposes of payment under this paragraph.

(I) [353] For services furnished on or after January 1, 2014, the Secretary shall, by comparing per patient utilization data from 2007 with such data from 2012, make reductions to the single payment that would otherwise apply under this paragraph for renal dialysis services to reflect the Secretary’s estimate of the change in the utilization of drugs and biologicals described in clauses (ii), (iii), and (iv) of subparagraph (B) (other than oral-only ESRDrelated drugs, as such term is used in the final rule promulgated by the Secretary in the Federal Register on August 12, 2010 (75 Fed. Reg. 49030)). In making reductions under the preceding sentence, the Secretary shall take into account the most recently available data on average sales prices and changes in prices for drugs and biological reflected in the ESRD market basket percentage increase factor under subparagraph (F).

(c)(1)(A)(i) For the purpose of assuring effective and efficient administration of the benefits provided under this section, the Secretary shall, in accordance with such criteria as he finds necessary to assure the performance of the responsibilities and functions specified in paragraph (2)—

(I) establish at least 17 end stage renal disease network areas, and

(II) for each such area, designate a network administrative organization which, in accordance with regulations of the Secretary, shall establish (aa) a network council of renal dialysis and transplant facilities located in the area and (bb) a medical review board, which has a membership including at least one patient representative and physicians, nurses, and social workers engaged in treatment relating to end stage renal disease.

The Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register a description of the geographic area that he determines, after consultation with appropriate professional and patient organizations, constitutes each network area and the criteria on the basis of which such determination is made.

(ii)(I) In order to determine whether the Secretary should enter into, continue, or terminate an agreement with a network administrative organization designated for an area established under clause (i), the Secretary shall develop and publish in the Federal Register standards, criteria, and procedures to evaluate an applicant organization’s capabilities to perform (and, in the case of an organization with which such an agreement is in effect, actual performance of) the responsibilities described in paragraph (2). The Secretary shall evaluate each applicant based on quality and scope of services and may not accord more than 20 percent of the weight of the evaluation to the element of price.

(II) An agreement with a network administrative organization may be terminated by the Secretary only if he finds, after applying such standards and criteria, that the organization has failed to perform its prescribed responsibilities effectively and efficiently. If such an agreement is to be terminated, the Secretary shall select a successor to the agreement on the basis of competitive bidding and in a manner that provides an orderly transition.

(B) At least one patient representative shall serve as a member of each network council and each medical review board.

(C) The Secretary shall, in regulations, prescribe requirements with respect to membership in network organizations by individuals (and the relatives of such individuals) (i) who have an ownership or control interest in a facility or provider which furnishes services referred to in section 1861(s)(2)(F), or (ii) who have received remuneration from any such facility or provider in excess of such amounts as constitute reasonable compensation for services (including time and effort relative to the provision of professional medical services) or goods supplied to such facility or provider; and such requirements shall provide for the definition, disclosure, and, to the maximum extent consistent with effective administration, prevention of potential or actual financial or professional conflicts of interest with respect to decisions concerning the appropriateness, nature, or site of patient care.

(2) The network organizations of each network shall be responsible, in addition to such other duties and functions as may be prescribed by the Secretary, for—

(A) encouraging, consistent with sound medical practice, the use of those treatment settings most compatible with the successful rehabilitation of the patient and the participation of patients, providers of services, and renal disease facilities in vocational rehabilitation programs;

(B) developing criteria and standards relating to the quality and appropriateness of patient care and with respect to working with patients, facilities, and providers in encouraging participation in vocational rehabilitation programs; and network goals with respect to the placement of patients in self-care settings and undergoing or preparing for transplantation;

(C) evaluating the procedure by which facilities and providers in the network assess the appropriateness of patients for proposed treatment modalities;

(D) implementing a procedure for evaluating and resolving patient grievances;

(E) conducting on-site reviews of facilities and providers as necessary (as determined by a medical review board or the Secretary), utilizing standards of care established by the network organization to assure proper medical care;

(F) collecting, validating, and analyzing such data as are necessary to prepare the reports required by subparagraph (H) and to assure the maintenance of the registry established under paragraph (7);

(G) identifying facilities and providers that are not cooperating toward meeting network goals and assisting such facilities and providers in developing appropriate plans for correction and reporting to the Secretary on facilities and providers that are not providing appropriate medical care; and

(H) submitting an annual report to the Secretary on July 1 of each year which shall include a full statement of the network’s goals, data on the network’s performance in meeting its goals (including data on the comparative performance of facilities and providers with respect to the identification and placement of suitable candidates in self-care settings and transplantation and encouraging participation in vocational rehabilitation programs), identification of those facilities that have consistently failed to cooperate with network goals, and recommendations with respect to the need for additional or alternative services or facilities in the network in order to meet the network goals, including self-dialysis training, transplantation, and organ procurement facilities.

(3) Where the Secretary determines, on the basis of the data contained in the network’s annual report and such other relevant data as may be available to him, that a facility or provider has consistently failed to cooperate with network plans and goals or to follow the recommendations of the medical review board, he may terminate or withhold certification of such facility or provider (for purposes of payment for services furnished to individuals with end stage renal disease) until he determines that such provider or facility is making reasonable and appropriate efforts to cooperate with the network’s plans and goals. If the Secretary determines that the facility’s or provider’s failure to cooperate with network plans and goals does not jeopardize patient health or safety or justify termination of certification, he may instead, after reasonable notice to the provider or facility and to the public, impose such other sanctions as he determines to be appropriate, which sanctions may include denial of reimbursement with respect to some or all patients admitted to the facility after the date of notice to the facility or provider, and graduated reduction in reimbursement for all patients.

(4) The Secretary shall, in determining whether to certify additional facilities or expansion of existing facilities within a network, take into account the network’s goals and performance as reflected in the network’s annual report.

(5) The Secretary, after consultation with appropriate professional and planning organizations, shall provide such guidelines with respect to the planning and delivery of renal disease services as are necessary to assist network organizations in their development of their respective networks’ goals to promote the optimum use of self-dialysis and transplantation by suitable candidates for such modalities.

(6) It is the intent of the Congress that the maximum practical number of patients who are medically, socially, and psychologically suitable candidates for home dialysis or transplantation should be so treated and that the maximum practical number of patients who are suitable candidates for vocational rehabilitation services be given access to such services and encouraged to return to gainful employment. The Secretary shall consult with appropriate professional and network organizations and consider available evidence relating to developments in research, treatment methods, and technology for home dialysis and transplantation.

(7) The Secretary shall establish a national end stage renal disease registry the purpose of which shall be to assemble and analyze the data reported by network organizations, transplant centers, and other sources on all end stage renal disease patients in a manner that will permit—

(A) the preparation of the annual report to the Congress required under subsection (g);

(B) an identification of the economic impact, cost-effectiveness, and medical efficacy of alternative modalities of treatment;

(C) an evaluation with respect to the most appropriate allocation of resources for the treatment and research into the cause of end stage renal disease;

(D) the determination of patient mortality and morbidity rates, and trends in such rates, and other indices of quality of care; and

(E) such other analyses relating to the treatment and management of end stage renal disease as will assist the Congress in evaluating the end stage renal disease program under this section.

The Secretary shall provide for such coordination of data collection activities, and such consolidation of existing end stage renal disease data systems, as is necessary to achieve the purpose of such registry, shall determine the appropriate location of the registry, and shall provide for the appointment of a professional advisory group to assist the Secretary in the formulation of policies and procedures relevant to the management of such registry.

(8) The provisions of sections 1157 and 1160 shall apply with respect to network administrative organizations (including such organizations as medical review boards) with which the Secretary has entered into agreements under this subsection.

(d) Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in section 226 any individual who donates a kidney for transplant surgery shall be entitled to benefits under parts A and B of this title with respect to such donation. Reimbursement for the reasonable expenses incurred by such an individual with respect to a kidney donation shall be made (without regard to the deductible, premium, and coinsurance provisions of this title), in such manner as may be prescribed by the Secretary in regulations, for all reasonable preparatory, operation, and postoperation recovery expenses associated with such donation, including but not limited to the expenses for which payment could be made if he were an eligible individual for purposes of parts A and B of this title without regard to this subsection. Payments for postoperation recovery expenses shall be limited to the actual period of recovery.

(e)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, the Secretary may, pursuant to agreements with approved providers of services, renal dialysis facilities, and nonprofit entities which the Secretary finds can furnish equipment economically and efficiently, reimburse such providers, facilities, and nonprofit entities (without regard to the deductible and coinsurance provisions of this title) for the reasonable cost of the purchase, installation, maintenance and reconditioning for subsequent use of artificial kidney and automated dialysis peritoneal machines (including supportive equipment) which are to be used exclusively by entitled individuals dialyzing at home.

(2) An agreement under this subsection shall require that the provider, facility, or other entity will—

(A) make the equipment available for use only by entitled individuals dialyzing at home;

(B) recondition the equipment, as needed, for reuse by such individuals throughout the useful life of the equipment, including modification of the equipment consistent with advances in research and technology;

(C) provide for full access for the Secretary to all records and information relating to the purchase, maintenance, and use of the equipment; and

(D) submit such reports, data, and information as the Secretary may require with respect to the cost, management, and use of the equipment.

(3) For purposes of this section, the term “supportive equipment” includes blood pumps, heparin pumps, bubble detectors, other alarm systems, and such other items as the Secretary may determine are medically necessary.

(f)(1) The Secretary shall initiate and carry out, at selected locations in the United States, pilot projects under which financial assistance in the purchase of new or used durable medical equipment for renal dialysis is provided to individuals suffering from end stage renal disease at the time home dialysis is begun, with provision for a trial period to assure successful adaptation to home dialysis before the actual purchase of such equipment.

(2) The Secretary shall conduct experiments to evaluate methods for reducing the costs of the end stage renal disease program. Such experiments shall include (without being limited to) reimbursement for nurses and dialysis technicians to assist with home dialysis, and reimbursement to family members assisting with home dialysis.

(3) The Secretary shall conduct experiments to evaluate methods of dietary control for reducing the costs of the end stage renal disease program, including (without being limited to) the use of protein-controlled products to delay the necessity for, or reduce the frequency of, dialysis in the treatment of end stage renal disease.

(4) The Secretary shall conduct a comprehensive study of methods for increasing public participation in kidney donation and other organ donation programs.

(5) The Secretary shall conduct a full and complete study of the reimbursement of physicians for services furnished to patients with end stage renal disease under this title, giving particular attention to the range of payments to physicians for such services, the average amounts of such payments, and the number of hours devoted to furnishing such services to patients at home, in renal disease facilities, in hospitals, and elsewhere.

(6) The Secretary shall conduct a study of the number of patients with end stage renal disease who are not eligible for benefits with respect to such disease under this title (by reason of this section or otherwise), and of the economic impact of such noneligibility of such individuals. Such study shall include consideration of mechanisms whereby governmental and other health plans might be instituted or modified to permit the purchase of actuarially sound coverage for the costs of end stage renal disease.

(7)(A) The Secretary shall establish protocols on standards and conditions for the reuse of dialyzer filters for those facilities and providers which voluntarily elect to reuse such filters.

(B) With respect to dialysis services furnished on or after January 1, 1988 (or July 1, 1988, with respect to protocols that relate to the reuse of bloodlines), no dialysis facility may reuse dialysis supplies (other than dialyzer filters) unless the Secretary has established a protocol with respect to the reuse of such supplies and the facility follows the protocol so established.

(C) The Secretary shall incorporate protocols established under this paragraph, and the requirement of subparagraph (B), into the requirements for facilities prescribed under subsection (b)(1)(A) and failure to follow such a protocol or requirement subjects such a facility to denial of participation in the program established under this section and to denial of payment for dialysis treatment not furnished in compliance with such a protocol or in violation of such requirement.

(8) The Secretary shall submit to the Congress no later than October 1, 1979, a full report on the experiments conducted under paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (7), and the studies under paragraphs (4), (5), (6), and (7). Such report shall include any recommendations for legislative changes which the Secretary finds necessary or desirable as a result of such experiments and studies.

(g)(1) In any case where the Secretary—

(A) finds that a renal dialysis facility is not in substantial compliance with requirements for such facilities prescribed under subsection (b)(1)(A),

(B) finds that the facility’s deficiencies do not immediately jeopardize the health and safety of patients, and

(C) has given the facility a reasonable opportunity to correct its deficiencies,

the Secretary may, in lieu of terminating approval of the facility, determine that payment under this title shall be made to the facility only for services furnished to individuals who were patients of the facility before the effective date of the notice.

(2) The Secretary’s decision to restrict payments under this subsection shall be made effective only after such notice to the public and to the facility as may be prescribed in regulations, and shall remain in effect until (A) the Secretary finds that the facility is in substantial compliance with the requirements under subsection (b)(1)(A), or (B) the Secretary terminates the agreement under this title with the facility.

(3) A facility dissatisfied with a determination by the Secretary under paragraph (1) shall be entitled to a hearing thereon by the Secretary (after reasonable notice) to the same extent as is provided in section 205(b), and to judicial review of the Secretary’s final decision after such hearing as is provided in section 205(g), except that, in so applying such sections and in applying section 205(l) thereto, any reference therein to the Commissioner of Social Security or the Social Security Administration shall be considered a reference to the Secretary or the Department of Health and Human Services, respectively.

(h) Quality Incentives in the End-Stage Renal Disease Program.—

(1) Quality incentives.—

(A) In general.—With respect to renal dialysis services (as defined in subsection (b)(14)(B)) furnished on or after January 1, 2012, in the case of a provider of services or a renal dialysis facility that does not meet the requirement described in subparagraph (B) with respect to the year, payments otherwise made to such provider or facility under the system under subsection (b)(14) for such services shall be reduced by up to 2.0 percent, as determined appropriate by the Secretary.

(B) Requirement.—The requirement described in this subparagraph is that the provider or facility meets (or exceeds) the total performance score under paragraph (3) with respect to performance standards established by the Secretary with respect to measures specified in paragraph (2).

(C) No effect in subsequent years.—The reduction under subparagraph (A) shall apply only with respect to the year involved, and the Secretary shall not take into account such reduction in computing the single payment amount under the system under paragraph (14) in a subsequent year.

(2) Measures.—

(A) In general.—The measures specified under this paragraph with respect to the year involved shall include—

(i) measures on anemia management that reflect the labeling approved by the Food and Drug Administration for such management and measures on dialysis adequacy;

(ii) to the extent feasible, such measure (or measures) of patient satisfaction as the Secretary shall specify; and

(iii) such other measures as the Secretary specifies, including, to the extent feasible, measures on—

(I) iron management;

(II) bone mineral metabolism; and

(III) vascular access, including for maximizing the placement of arterial venous fistula.

(B) Use of endorsed measures.—

(i) In general.—Subject to clause (ii), any measure specified by the Secretary under subparagraph (A)(iii) must have been endorsed by the entity with a contract under section 1890(a).

(ii) Exception.—In the case of a specified area or medical topic determined appropriate by the Secretary for which a feasible and practical measure has not been endorsed by the entity with a contract under section 1890(a), the Secretary may specify a measure that is not so endorsed as long as due consideration is given to measures that have been endorsed or adopted by a consensus organization identified by the Secretary.

(C) Updating measures.—The Secretary shall establish a process for updating the measures specified under subparagraph (A) in consultation with interested parties.

(D) Consideration.—In specifying measures under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall consider the availability of measures that address the unique treatment needs of children and young adults with kidney failure.

(3) Performance scores.—

(A) Total performance score.—

(i) In general.—Subject to clause (ii), the Secretary shall develop a methodology for assessing the total performance of each provider of services and renal dialysis facility based on performance standards with respect to the measures selected under paragraph (2) for a performance period established under paragraph (4)(D) (in this subsection referred to as the “total performance score”).

(ii) Application.—For providers of services and renal dialysis facilities that do not meet (or exceed) the total performance score established by the Secretary, the Secretary shall ensure that the application of the methodology developed under clause (i) results in an appropriate distribution of reductions in payment under paragraph (1) among providers and facilities achieving different levels of total performance scores, with providers and facilities achieving the lowest total performance scores receiving the largest reduction in payment under paragraph (1)(A).

(iii) Weighting of measures.—In calculating the total performance score, the Secretary shall weight the scores with respect to individual measures calculated under subparagraph (B) to reflect priorities for quality improvement, such as weighting scores to ensure that providers of services and renal dialysis facilities have strong incentives to meet or exceed anemia management and dialysis adequacy performance standards, as determined appropriate by the Secretary.

(4) Performance standards.—

(A) Establishment.—Subject to subparagraph (E), the Secretary shall establish performance standards with respect to measures selected under paragraph (2) for a performance period with respect to a year (as established under subparagraph (D)).

(B) Achievement and improvement.—The performance standards established under subparagraph (A) shall include levels of achievement and improvement, as determined appropriate by the Secretary.

(C) Timing.—The Secretary shall establish the performance standards under subparagraph (A) prior to the beginning of the performance period for the year involved.

(D) Performance period.—The Secretary shall establish the performance period with respect to a year. Such performance period shall occur prior to the beginning of such year.

(E) Special rule.—The Secretary shall initially use as the performance standard for the measures specified under paragraph (2)(A)(i) for a provider of services or a renal dialysis facility the lesser of—

(i) the performance of such provider or facility for such measures in the year selected by the Secretary under the second sentence of subsection (b)(14)(A)(ii); or

(ii) a performance standard based on the national performance rates for such measures in a period determined by the Secretary.

(5) Limitation on review.—There shall be no administrative or judicial review under section 1869, section 1878, or otherwise of the following:

(A) The determination of the amount of the payment reduction under paragraph (1).

(B) The establishment of the performance standards and the performance period under paragraph (4).

(C) The specification of measures under paragraph (2).

(D) The methodology developed under paragraph (3) that is used to calculate total performance scores and performance scores for individual measures.

(6) Public reporting.—

(A) In general.—The Secretary shall establish procedures for making information regarding performance under this subsection available to the public, including

(i) the total performance score achieved by the provider of services or renal dialysis facility under paragraph (3) and appropriate comparisons of providers of services and renal dialysis facilities to the national average with respect to such scores; and

(ii) the performance score achieved by the provider or facility with respect to individual measures.

(B) Opportunity to review.—The procedures established under subparagraph (A) shall ensure that a provider of services and a renal dialysis facility has the opportunity to review the information that is to be made public with respect to the provider or facility prior to such data being made public.

(C) Certificates.—

(i) In general.—The Secretary shall provide certificates to providers of services and renal dialysis facilities who furnish renal dialysis services under this section to display in patient areas. The certificate shall indicate the total performance score achieved by the provider or facility under paragraph (3).

(ii) Display.—Each facility or provider receiving a certificate under clause (i) shall prominently display the certificate at the provider or facility.

(D) Web-based list.—The Secretary shall establish a list of providers of services and renal dialysis facilities who furnish renal dialysis services under this section that indicates the total performance score and the performance score for individual measures achieved by the provider and facility under paragraph (3). Such information shall be posted on the Internet website of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in an easily understandable format.


[349]  See Vol. II, P.L. 106-554, §1(a)(6)[422(a)(2)], with respect to prohibition on exceptions under §1881(b)(7); [422(b)], with respect to development of ESRO market, and [422(c)], with respect to inclusion of additional services in composite rate.

See Vol. II, P.L. 108-173, §623(c), with respect to Inspector General studies on ESRD drugs and §623(e), with respect to a demonstration of bundled case-mix adjusted payment system for ESRD services.

[350]  See Vol. II, P.L. 108-173, §623(c).

[351]  See Vol. II, P.L. 108-173, §623(c).

[352]  December 8, 2003 [P.L. 108-173; 117 Stat. 2066].

[353]  P.L. 112-240, §632(a), added this new subparagraph (I), effective January 2, 2013. See Vol. II, P.L. 112-240, §632(b), with respect to Two-Year Delay of Implementation of Oral-Only ESRD-Related Drugs in the ESRD Propspective Payment System; Monitoring; and §632(c) with respect to Analysis of Case Mix Payment Adjustments, and §632(d) with respect to an Updated GAO Report.