CMS will now wait until Jan. 1, 2022 to start its Kidney Care Choices model, meant to shift the way the U.S. treats chronic kidney disease.
The new payment model was supposed to start on Jan. 1 of this year, but health providers are still grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new model could have a major effect on dialysis treatment providers including DaVita Healthcare (NYSE:DVA) and Fresenius Medical Care (NYSE:FMS; ETR:FRE). Baxter (NYSE:BAX) meanwhile announced in 2019 that it was investing in technologies to support the effort.
The new model’s roots go back to former President Donald Trump’s 2019 executive order to emphasize transplants and home hemodialysis over in-clinic treatment. End-stage renal disease is one of the few conditions in the United States where there is already a single-payer system, thanks to a law signed by President Richard Nixon in 1972.
The Kidney Care Choices (KCC) model would provide strong financial incentives for healthcare providers’ accountable care organizations to better manage the care for Medicare beneficiaries with chronic kidney disease (CKD) stages 4 and 5 and end-stage renal disease — delaying the onset of dialysis and incentivizing kidney transplantation.