U.S. Senate Chronic Care Workgroup Invites Feedback on Policy Ideas

Monday, December 21, 2015

On Friday, December 18, leaders of the Senate Committee on Finance’s Chronic Care Working Group released a series of policy ideas that they hope will improve care for Medicare beneficiaries with chronic disease (click here to download policy options).  While the policy initiatives outlined in the report are the result of a seven-month review, Committee leaders invited further public input. 

Several of the initiatives outlined in the 30-page report impact individuals with chronic kidney disease and the providers who serve them. These include proposals to: (1) expand access to home hemodialysis therapy; (2) allow Medicare beneficiaries with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) to enroll in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans; (3) extend permanently or on a long-term basis the MA Special Needs Plan program for individuals with chronic illness; and (4) expand access under Medicare Part B for evidence-based lifestyle interventions that help people with prediabetes reduce their risk of developing the condition.

As a result, the National Renal Administrators Association (NRAA) plans to submit formal comments to the Committee and Working Group leaders by the January 26, 2016 deadline.  Our newly-hired government affairs firm Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas is working with the NRAA Board of Directors to analyze the Chronic Care Working Group’s proposals in detail and prepare a formal response on behalf of the association.