GAO calls for bundled payment for ESRD treatment

July 9, 2007

GAO is pushing for Medicare to pay dialysis centers a bundled rate for all end-stage renal disease (ESRD) drugs and services.

GAO is pushing for Medicare to pay dialysis centers a bundled rate for all end-stage renal disease (ESRD) drugs and services. Testifying before the House Subcommittee on Health, Committee on Ways and Means, A. Bruce Steinwald, GAO's director of health care, explained that under a bundled rate, facilities would no longer have an incentive to provide more ESRD drugs than clinically necessary. Moreover, bundled payments would afford clinicians more flexibility in decision-making because incentives to prescribe a particular drug or treatment are reduced. GAO added that any payment changes would require legislation. It called on Congress to consider establishing a bundled payment as soon as possible. To view Steinwald's testimony, check out: