CMS delays kidney care payment model's 1st performance year

CMS is pushing back the start of the first performance year for its Kidney Care Choices payment model until Jan. 1, 2022, according to an update.

The performance year was originally slated to start April 1, 2021. The model was announced in 2019. CMS said it is extending the model's implementation period to allow participants more time "to prepare to take on financial and population health accountability starting in January 2022."

The five-year Kidney Care Choices model builds on the Comprehensive End Stage Renal Disease Care Model structure. It adds financial incentives through four payment options to encourage better care management for Medicare patients with chronic kidney disease and kidney failure, with the goal being to delay the onset of dialysis and incentivize kidney transplants. 

This is the second payment model CMS has recently quietly updated. CMS is also reviewing the Geographic Direct Contracting Model, a voluntary payment model that aims to test if a geographic-based approach to care delivery can improve health outcomes and lower costs for Medicare beneficiaries. 

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