Weaving integrated care into the ESRD model

MARK E. NEUMANN | FEBRUARY 7, 2017 —

William McKinney, president of FMCNA’s Integrated Care Group discusses ESCOs and why the company expanded its presence in the demonstration

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced last month it was approving new applicants for its Comprehensive ESRD Care Model demonstration for end-stage renal disease patients. The program began Oct.1, 2015 with 13 approved End-Stage Renal Disease Seamless Care Organizations. The addition of the new applicants nearly triples that number, totaling 37 ESCOs in the demonstration.

Twenty-four of those ESCOs are being managed by Fresenius Medical Care North America. We asked William McKinney, president of the company’s Integrated Care Group, about ESCOs and why FMCNA expanded its presence in the demonstration.

NN&I: What makes up the Integrated Care Group at Fresenius Medical Care?

William McKinney: The Integrated Care Group manages the various assets supporting our dialysis clinics and drives the strategy for our value-based initiatives. Today that includes our health plans, Fresenius Health Partners, our specialty pharmacy, FreseniusRx, and our 40 MedSpring Urgent Care centers.

NN&I: Can you tell us how you define integrated care and how that works within the FMC approach?

McKinney:  If I simplify the idea of integrated care down to its most basic form, it’s really all about becoming the focal point for all medical care being provided to our patients and helping ensure they can access the care they need, when they need it—kidney related or otherwise. But it’s also about creating the incentive and funding to allow that coordination to happen.

It’s always interesting to ask a group of nephrologists what we could do to lower the cost and improve the outcomes for the patients we serve. They all have ideas – many proven – for enhanced patient care.  Many times, the biggest constraint to this improved care is funding the needed investments in time, systems, and staff.

The great thing about the integrated care programs is that when we can improve outcomes and lower the cost to the system, we can share in that savings which gives us the ability to make continued investment in our patients.

Finally, integrated care also means assembling the best provider capabilities to serve patients, whether provided by Fresenius Medical Care or our preferred partners. Vascular services. Pharmacy. Home health. Over time we see integrated care becoming more and more about how we find the best partners to support the clinical needs of our patients.

Read the full story at Nephrology News.