19 Oct DCI ESCOs achieve millions in shared savings during first year reporting

Nashville, Tenn. (Oct. 9, 2017) – Dialysis Clinic, Inc. (DCI) joined with groups of health care providers and suppliers in three markets to form ESCOs, End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Seamless Care Organizations, to improve care delivery specific to Medicare beneficiaries with kidney failure under the new Comprehensive End-Stage Renal Disease Care (CEC) Model. The first round of ESCOs launched in October 2015 with the expectation of improved care coordination for dialysis patients while evaluating a new payment model. The first year financial reports have been released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In DCI’s initial three ESCOs, the collective shared savings is $6,839,119.79, or a 5.3% reduction in expenditures.

The shared savings figures and percentages show:

  • Music City Kidney Care Alliance with $1,456,647.81 shared savings, which is a 3.0% savings.
  • Palmetto Kidney Care Alliance with $3,893,103.28 shared savings, which is an 11.2% savings.
  • Metropolitan Kidney Care Alliance with $1,489,368.70 shared savings, which is a 3.3% savings.

“The ESCOs have challenged providers at DCI to look beyond the accepted current method of care and embrace new ideas,” said Doug Johnson, MD, vice chairman of the board at DCI. “We’ve been able to improve care coordination across our organization. It’s wonderful to see that we can deliver a better experience for patients at a lower cost to CMS.”

The Music City Kidney Care Alliance operates in the Middle Tennessee area. In performance year one, Music City Kidney Care Alliance participants included Adel Saleh, MD; Alive Hospice, Inc.; Aspire Health Medical Partners of Middle Tennessee, PC; Nephrology Associates, PC; The Surgical Clinic, PLLC; and Dialysis Clinic, Inc. The Music City Kidney Care Alliance served a population of approximately 465 Medicare ESRD beneficiaries in the Middle Tennessee area.

The Palmetto Kidney Care Alliance served a population of approximately 350 Medicare ESRD beneficiaries in Upstate South Carolina during its first performance year. Participants included Gentiva Health Services, Spartanburg Nephrology Associates, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, and Dialysis Clinic, Inc.

Approximately 385 Medicare ESRD beneficiaries in Central New Jersey and Staten Island were served by the Metropolitan Kidney Care Alliance in its first performance year. The community providers participating in the ESCO included the Associated Renal and Hypertension Group, PC;  Highland Park Surgical Associates,  PA; Hypertension and Nephrology Specialists, LLC; Island Nephrology Services, PC.; Mehdi Naqui, MD; Montgomery Nephrology & Hypertension Associates, PC; Toros Kapoian, MD, FACP; and Dialysis Clinic, Inc.

Participants in the ESCO that are designated as owners are clinically and financially responsible for all care offered to patients in the ESCO programs, not just dialysis care or care specifically related to a patient’s kidney disease. The ESCO gives providers a unique opportunity to take ownership of both the clinical and financial outcomes of each ESRD patient.

“At DCI, we believe the ESCO model is the way of the future,” said Johnson. “We began with three ESCOs in 2015, added three more when applications re-opened in 2016, and we’d consider more if applications opened again. Collaboration with a variety of health care providers is essential to improve care for people with kidney disease.” 



People with kidney disease deserve the best care and hope for a better life. DCI is the only national healthcare provider that delivers comprehensive care along the entire continuum of kidney disease. As a non-profit provider since its inception in 1971, DCI has consistently put patients first. DCI provides the best care among national kidney care providers and invests a substantial portion of its resources to improve this care. With more than 240 outpatient dialysis clinics in 28 states, DCI is the nation’s largest non-profit dialysis provider. Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, DCI employs over 5,000 people serving approximately 15,000 patients on dialysis and over 4,500 patients with chronic kidney disease. DCI’s services include in-center hemodialysis, home therapies and partnerships with hospitals to provide in-patient care. The United States Renal Data System has found DCI to have the lowest mortality and hospitalization rates among national dialysis providers since 2002. 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 visit www.dciinc.org.