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The independent dialysis provider has a place in the End-Stage Renal Disease Program, and Medicare wants to see a healthy competition among companies that offer treatment. But in order to compete and build on its market share in an industry dominated by two large providers, small- and medium-sized dialysis organizations need to be innovative and work collaboratively if they want to have a presence.
That was the clear message at the National Renal Administrators Association annual conference held this past week in Savannah, Ga..
Collaboration among kidney care providers
That collaboration can extend to the community at large in certain key areas. For example, the NRAA conducts a monthly call with providers DaVita Inc. and Fresenius Medical Care to discuss state Medicaid issues and the development of the mandated health insurance exchanges (for more information on the progress of these exchanges, see NN&I's October issue.) Medicaid funding for dialysis care will become more complex if health care reform remains in place after the November elections and states decide whether to expand their programs.
The NRAA is taking other steps to provide members with the tools they need to be competitive. A restructuring of how it manages its group purchasing organization, Renal Purchasing Group, will help members benefit from the GPO's offerings. The NRAA has several projects underway, including the creation of Clinical Council that would offer education programs, and the NRAA Renal Academy, which would be an information source.