ARTICLE | Politics & Policy

CMS issues ESRD bundling rules

July 27, 2010 12:49 AM UTC

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued a final rule late Monday establishing a bundled payment rate for dialysis services administered to end-stage renal disease patients. Starting Jan. 1, 2011, the base rate for services will be $229.63 per dialysis treatment, with adjustments for several patient characteristics. The rule also covers an outlier adjustment for patients consuming more than the predicted amount of services, including variation in the amount of erythropoietin stimulating agents (ESAs) used to manage dialysis-related anemia. The proposed rule released last year set the base rate at $198.64. ESRD-related oral drugs will not be included in the new bundled payments until 2014, with coverage remaining under Medicare Part D until then.

The rule would affect companies such as Genzyme Corp. (NASDAQ:GENZ), which markets phosphate binder Renvela sevelamer carbonate; and Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN), which markets Sensipar cinacalcet and ESAs Aranesp darbepoetin alfa and Epogen epoetin alfa. Sensipar is used to treat secondary hyperparathyroidism in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) on dialysis. Genzyme was up $4.86 to $67.38 on Monday. Amgen was up $0.92 to $53.67. ...