ARTICLE | Politics & Policy

CMS's ESA questions focus on transplant graft survival

November 30, 2010 12:13 AM UTC

CMS posted questions ahead of a Jan. 19 meeting to discuss the use of erythropoiesis stimulating agents (ESAs) in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). According to the questions, the Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee will only discuss the specific impact of ESAs on renal transplant graft survival. CMS's ongoing national coverage analysis (NCA) is evaluating ESAs to treat anemia in CKD patients. The committee will be asked to rate its confidence that there is adequate evidence to determine whether current panel reactive antibody assays predict renal transplant graft survival; whether blood transfusions decrease transplant survival; and whether ESA use for anemia/blood loss management improves transplant survival.

CMS began the analysis in June after receiving requests to create a national coverage determination (NCD) to establish coverage limitations for ESA use in both pre-dialysis and dialysis renal disease patient populations. ...