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Education program, bundled payments to improve care for kidney patients

Chicago Tribune, November 19, 2009

For the first time, a program to educate the public about treatment options for dialysis patients will be paid for by the federal Medicare health insurance program for the elderly and disabled come Jan. 1. In the U.S., reimbursement for dialysis is complicated by the fact that fees are paid separately for drugs and doctors office visits, and that leads to more fragmented and less effective service, Medicare officials said. By receiving bundled payments, Medicare officials hope centers and medical care providers will arrange their services in a way that they can operate more efficiently and improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of care, the Chicago Tribune reports.