Changes in Medicare Reimbursement and Patient-Nephrologist Visits, Quality of Care, and Health-Related Quality of Life

By | December 30, 2005

Last year Medicare encouraged kidney doctors to see patients receiving hemodialysis treatments more frequently. The average number of doctor-patient visits immediately doubled in the seven months after the policy change. However, little improvement was seen in several routine measures of quality of care. This study is part of an important dialogue between Medicare, who pays for most dialysis care, and doctors, who care for patients face-to-face. Medicare provides policies based on theory and past information, and we provide information on what happens afterward. It lets us know that targeting doctors` time toward certain goals may be more useful than more frequent visits,” said author Evelyn Mentari, MD. The study appeared in the October issue of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, the official journal of the National Kidney Foundation. (posted 12/2005)American Journal of Kidney Diseases,