A bill has been introduced in the Senate that would give dialysis clinics the option to seek certification from an approved third party. Senators Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, Mark Warner,D-Va, Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Todd Young, R-Ind., introduced S. 1729, the Dialysis Access Improvement Act, on Aug. 3.

“This bipartisan legislation will streamline the Medicare accreditation process to allow dialysis clinics to more easily serve the patients that depend on them for life-saving care,” said Warner. “It will allow dialysis care facilities to utilize the same accreditation processes available to other Medicare providers to avoid unnecessary delays while still guaranteeing quality care.”

The Senate bill is the companion bill to H.R. 3166, which was originally introduced by U.S. Representatives Lynn Jenkins, R-Kansas) and John Lewis, D-Ga,in the House. The accreditation provisions were also included in H.R. 3178, which passed the House unanimously on July 13.

CMS has struggled to keep up with requests for initial certifications and approving expansions on dialysis units and other health care facilities for years.  Most other health care providers are able to seek approval from independent third party accreditors.