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June 4, 2014

From JAMA’s Daily News Site

JAMA. 2014;311(21):2161. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.6044

Medicare is miscalculating the drug costs it pays to dialysis centers, making it difficult to determine whether the agency is making appropriate payments, according to a government report.

In 2011, Medicare began paying a bundled payment for dialysis services, including the use of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs). The change spurred some concerns that facilities might seek to boost profits by underusing ESAs. Although the bundled payments appeared to have decreased the use of dialysis-related drugs, the report found that the payment does not reflect cost fluctuations of individual drugs within the bundle nor the actual costs of the individual drugs.

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