Volume 50 | Number 3 | June 2015

Abstract List

Shailender Swaminathan Ph.D., Vincent Mor Ph.D., Rajnish Mehrotra M.D., Amal N. Trivedi M.D., M.P.H.


In 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services () replaced fee‐for‐service reimbursement for erythropoiesis stimulating agents () with a fixed‐sum bundled payment for all dialysis‐related care and pay‐for‐performance incentives to discourage maintaining patients' hematocrits above 36 percent. We examined the impact of the new payment policy on the use of s.

Data Sources

CMS's Renal Information Management System.

Study Design

Regression discontinuity design assessing the use of s by hematocrit level before and after the implementation of the payment policy change.

Data Extraction

Secondary data from 424,163 patients receiving hemodialysis treatment between January 2009 and June 2011.

Principal Findings

The introduction of bundled payments with pay‐for‐performance initiatives was associated with an immediate and substantial decline in the use of s among patients with hematocrit >36 percent and little change in the use of among patients with hematocrit ≤36 percent. In the first two quarters of 2011, the use of s during dialysis fell by about 7–9 percentage points among patients with hematocrit levels >36 percent. No statistically significant differences in use were observed at the thresholds of 30 or 33 percent.


's payment reform for dialysis care reduced the use of s in patients who may not benefit from these agents.