The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' contractor that is developing quality measures for the renal ACO demonstration has extended the comment period on a draft proposal from March 14 to March 31.

IMPAQ Inc. assembled a techncial expert panel to develop the measures for the Comprehensive ESRD Care Initiative, a five-year demonstration proposed by CMS's Innovation Center to test whether a shared savings payment policy can improve the quality of care and reduce costs for Medicare beneficiaries with kidney disease.

The idemonstration was supposed to launch in January but has been delayed numerous times due to a lack of applications and over debates about whether smaller providers can compete in the project. CMS also had not developed the quality measures that would be used, alongside the already established Quality Incentive Program measures, to evaluate the success of the project.

Participants in the demonstration, similar to other accountable care organization models, will share in Medicare savings and loss amounts based in part on the organization's performance on the final quality measures.

The TEP had to develop and recommend measures that met the following priorities, according to IMPAQ:

  • Appropriate to the health issues of dialysis patients
  • Effective for quality of care monitoring and program oversight
  • Inclusive of process and outcome measures that will enable a robust evaluation of patient, provider and delivery system outcomes
  • Conducive to use across clinical methods, modalities, and care settings
  • Effective for incentivizing better care, better health, and lower costs across Medicare Part A, Part B, Part D and Medicaid programs

The complete list, along with other measures discussed and under consideration by IMPAQ, can be downloaded at www.nephrologynews.com/ext/resources/files/documents/CEC-Measures-Public-Comment-Overview_021814Final.pdf