Fresenius Medical Care Sees U.S. Plans for Kidney Disease as Positive
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Waltham, Mass. Nov. 27, 2017 – Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA), the country’s leading provider of kidney care products and services, announced today the first performance year results from its End Stage Renal Disease Seamless Care Organizations (ESCOs). The results, which cover the period from October 2015 through December 2016, show improved health outcomes for patients receiving care coordination through the ESCOs. This success was validated by an independent report from Lewin Group, which showed a nearly nine percent decrease in hospitalization rates for these patients during the same time. As a result, Fresenius Medical Care ESCOs together generated more than $43 million in gross savings, an average 5.47% reduction in expenditures per patient, with all six of its first-year ESCOs exceeding the shared savings benchmark.
FMCNA’s ESCO programs, known as Fresenius Seamless Care, were established through an agreement with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as part of CMS’ Comprehensive End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Care (CEC) Demonstration Program, the nation’s first disease-specific shared savings program. This program was designed to identify, test and evaluate new ways to improve care for Americans with ESRD. Under each ESCO, local nephrologists and dialysis providers partner to develop innovative care models based on highly coordinated, patient-centered care. Patients retain all of their Medicare benefits and the freedom to choose their providers.
The first-year report covers the period from October 2015 through December 2016 and includes results of FMCNA’s first six ESCOs, including Philadelphia, Pa.; Charlotte, N.C.; Dallas, Texas; San Diego, Calif.; Columbia, S.C. and Chicago, Ill. In January 2017, Fresenius Medical Care added 18 new ESCOs for a total of 24, giving the company the largest ESCO presence of any dialysis provider in the nation with approximately 800 physician partners. Including FMCNA, there are currently seven dialysis organizations participating in the program across 37 ESCOs.
“Since the launch of the ESCO program, we’ve enjoyed a strong working relationship with CMS and have appreciated the opportunity to help shape the future of care for this vulnerable patient population,” said William McKinney, president of FMCNA’s Integrated Care Group. “The first year results offer validation that our approach to ESRD patient care, placing the patient at the center of an intensely focused, highly collaborative care team, is key to improving patient outcomes, and we’re pleased that CMS allowed us to expand our services to cover more patients in 2017.”
The success of the Fresenius Seamless Care ESCOs can be largely attributed to the unique structure of the patient care team. It is a collaboration between local care providers and FMCNA’s Care Navigation Unit (CNU), a team of specialized dialysis nurses and service coordinators who work together closely to provide around-the-clock care management and patient support. By focusing on the unique clinical and psycho-social needs of each patient, the CNU anticipates issues before they arise and helps patients, their families and their providers respond more quickly.
“We are excited to bring a holistic and high level of care management and quality focus to these cities, states and regions,” said Frank Maddux, MD, chief medical officer and executive vice president for clinical and scientific affairs, FMCNA. “The reduction in readmissions and hospitalizations, as well as the cost savings, are only the beginning. We are looking to measure quality outcomes even more closely so we can continue to improve and innovate care models for the betterment of our patients.”
As a result of their participation in this advanced alternative payment model (Advanced APM), all of the nephrologists in FMCNA’s ESCOs achieved “qualifying provider” status and are eligible for a 5% increase in their 2019 Medicare fee schedule. Participation in the ESCO program reinforces FMCNA’s support of physicians and the healthcare system to improve care and reduce costs.
About Fresenius Medical Care North America
Fresenius Medical Care North America is the premier health care company focused on providing the highest quality care to people with renal and other chronic conditions. Through its industry-leading network of dialysis facilities, outpatient cardiac and vascular labs, and urgent care centers, as well as the country’s largest practice of hospitalist and post-acute providers, Fresenius Medical Care North America provides coordinated health care services at pivotal care points for hundreds of thousands of chronically ill customers throughout the continent. As the world’s largest fully integrated renal company, it offers specialty pharmacy and laboratory services, and manufactures and distributes the most comprehensive line of dialysis equipment, disposable products and renal pharmaceuticals. For more information, visit the FMCNA website at https://fmcna.com.
The statements contained in this document are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of CMS. The authors assume responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of the information contained in this document.