AHIP Cheers Ruling in Dialysis Payment Case, but Congress Could Step In

Recently, health insurance trade group AHIP highlighted an under-the-radar Supreme Court ruling that centered on who should pay the bulk of the costs associated with treating some of the sickest patients: those with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). However, industry experts tell AIS Health, a division of MMIT, that what seems to be a victory for employer-based plans may be short-lived if Congress weighs in on the issue.

The case, Marietta Memorial Hospital Employee Health Benefit Plan v. DaVita Inc., concerned whether an employer-based health plan violated the Medicare Secondary Payer Statute (MSPS) by offering limited outpatient dialysis benefits to its enrollees. Specifically, the health plan in question had no in-network dialysis providers, capped reimbursement at 87.5% of the Medicare rate, and “imposed utilization management restrictions, such as claims audits and reviews,” health law attorney and Georgetown University research professor Katie Keith noted in a June article for Health Affairs.

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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