The Medicare End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Program, a national health insurance program for people with end stage renal disease, was established in 1972 with the passage of Section 299I of Public Law 92-603. The formation of ESRD Network Organizations was authorized in 1978 by Public Law 95-292 which amended Title XVIII of the Social Security Act by adding section 1881. Thirty-two ESRD Network areas were initially established. H.R. 8423 was designed to encourage self-care dialysis and kidney transplantation and clarify reimbursement procedures in order to achieve more effective control of the costs of the renal disease program. In 1986, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-509) amended section 1881c of the Social Security Act to establish at least 17 ESRD Network areas and to revise the Network Organizations responsibilities.
Today, eighteen (18) ESRD Network Organizations exist under contract to CMS and serve as liaisons between the federal government and the providers of ESRD services. The number and concentration of ESRD beneficiaries in each area define the Network Organizations geographically. Some Networks represent one state, and others represent multiple states. The ESRD Network Organizations' responsibilities include: the quality oversight of the care ESRD patients receive, the collection of data to administer the national Medicare ESRD program, and the provision of technical assistance to ESRD providers and patients in areas related to ESRD.
The ESRD Network Coordinating Center (NCC) was established in September 2002 and is now contracted under Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) with the ESRD Network of NY. The NCC supports activities of the ESRD Networks as required by Section 1881 of the Social Security Act; the CMS Quality Improvement Program (HCQIP) and other directives related to monitoring, improving and maintaining the quality of care received by ESRD patients. The NCC represents an innovative approach to initiate projects of interest to the Medicare ESRD Program.
The NCC provides centralized coordination and support for the ESRD Network Program as described in the Statement of Work (SOW). The NCC's primary responsibilities include collection, maintenance and distribution of ESRD information; coordination of national activities including training initiatives; facilitation of special projects, and administrative support services such as meeting planning and summary reports for the ESRD Networks.