25 Apr Medical Community Forms Partnership to Transform Kidney Care
Music City Kidney Care Alliance established within Middle Tennessee
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In an effort to demonstrate that the delivery of kidney care can be improved from the current patient experience and offered at a reduced cost to Medicare, Dialysis Clinic, Inc. (DCI) has joined forces with a select group of community health partners to establish the Music City Kidney Care Alliance. The newly formed six partner alliance will demonstrate an improved, continuous model of care for people with kidney disease under the new Medicare Demonstration.
These healthcare providers and suppliers are considered Participants in the End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Seamless Care Organization (ESCO), and together they are clinically and financially responsible for all care offered to patients under this new model, not just dialysis services or care specifically related to a patient’s kidney disease.
The Music City Kidney Care Alliance ESCO spans the Middle Tennessee area. Its Participant Owners, who are responsible for improving the care provided to more than 500 patients, include:
· Adel Saleh, MD
· Alive Hospice, Inc.
· Aspire Health Medical Partners of Middle Tennessee, PC
· Nephrology Associates, PC
· The Surgical Clinic, PLLC
· Dialysis Clinic, Inc.
Reducing cost is one area of potential improvement for the kidney community along with improving coordination of care. Dialysis patients have complex health needs that are typically addressed by a variety of health care providers. More often than not, the care that a patient receives is not coordinated among providers.
The ESCO is utilizing dynamic health information technology to enhance communication and care coordination. “Our path to success for the Music City ESCO is with an integrated care model,” said Robert Taylor, MD, Music City ESCO Chief Medical Officer. “RoundingWell is providing the care management platform that’s helping the Music City ESCO participant-
In addition, the ESCO represents a multispecialty group of providers working together to transform the care that dialysis patients receive. “Collaborative care is essential in providing the quality of care patients deserve, and we believe the Music City Kidney Care Alliance is a model to follow,” said Anna-Gene O’Neal, Alive Hospice President and CEO and ESCO Participant. “One of the important aspects of this partnership is offering comprehensive care that meets patients’ needs and goals when dialysis is no longer effective or desired. Alive Hospice applauds DCI for its deep concern for patients’ quality of life as they pursue curative treatments, and, when the time is right, helping them transition into specialized care for the last months of life.”
Patients participating in the ESCO will retain their full Medicare benefits and the freedom to choose their own providers. They will not experience a change in their health insurance coverage or benefit options.
Medicare patients receiving dialysis treatment in a DCI facility participating in the Music City Kidney Care Alliance ESCO have been mailed notification letters, alerting them to the new model of care. Participating DCI dialysis clinics include:
· DCI Clarksville Highway
· DCI Cumberland
· DCI Dickson
· DCI Home Training
· DCI Lebanon
· DCI Med Center
· DCI Madison
· DCI Murfreesboro
· DCI Southern Hills
· DCI Summit Medical Center
· DCI Shelbyville
· DCI Waverly
“We have implemented care coordinator positions within the ESCO to streamline care for new and high-risk dialysis patients and developed partnerships to coordinate patient needs that were once difficult to manage,” said Doug Johnson, MD, Music City ESCO Executive Director and Chairman of the Board. “We believe this innovative approach will improve the care that kidney patients receive. We look forward to evaluating the success of this Medicare demonstration model with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and sharing our results with the community.”
More information about the Music City Kidney Care Alliance ESCO can be found at:
More information about the Medicare demonstration can be found at:
The statements contained in this document are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of CMS. The authors assume responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of the information contained in this document.
Founded in 1971, Dialysis Clinic, Inc. (DCI) is the nation’s largest non-profit dialysis provider with over 230 outpatient dialysis clinics in 28 states. Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, DCI employs over 5,000 people serving approximately 15,000 dialysis patients. DCI’s services include in-center hemodialysis, in-center self-care hemodialysis, home hemodialysis, Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD), and Continuous Cycling Peritoneal Dialysis (CCPD). Acute dialysis facilities are located within hospitals around the US. The United States Renal Data System has found DCI to have the lowest patient mortality and hospitalization rates among the national dialysis providers for the last 13 years. DCI operates under the mission “We are a non-profit service organization. The care of the patient is our reason for existence.” For more information on the USRDS information, visit www.usrds.org.