As the Medicare benefit continues to evolve for ESRD beneficiaries and people with earlier stages of chronic kidney disease, and as policymakers examine ways to improve quality and lower costs, access to coverage options, supporting patient choice in treatment options, and improving care quality and patient education must be at the center.
To ensure access to high quality, patient-centered care for Medicare beneficiaries with kidney disease, AKF supports policies that would:
- Include coverage of kidney disease screening in the Medicare wellness visit.
- Expand access to the Medicare Kidney Disease Education benefit, which provides education to patients on how to take the best possible care of their kidneys and the information they need to make informed decisions about their care.
- Ensure Medicare ESRD beneficiaries who may want to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan are not discriminated against through inadequate provider networks for people on dialysis.
- Implement certain telehealth flexibilities for Medicare beneficiaries, such as amending geographic and originating site requirements, while also ensuring telehealth is used as a clinically appropriate supplement to accessing in-person care.
- Ensure mandatory payment models such as the ESRD Treatment Choices (ETC) Model and voluntary Kidney Care Choices payment models preserve or enhance the quality of care and the patient experience and supports a patient in choosing a modality that is clinically appropriate for their health needs.
Ensure quality measurement that has the patient perspective in mind, and that furthers the goals of improving patient care, experience and outcomes.