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CMS dialysis center ratings to include 9 quality measures

November 10, 2014
by Lois A. Bowers, Senior Editor
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Nine quality measures will be part of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Dialysis Facility Compare (DFC) star rating program for dialysis providers participating in Medicare, CMS has announced. The agency expects to post ratings beginning in January, a delay from the October deadline originally announced, which enabled CMS to address stakeholder concerns.

Of 11 publicly reported quality measures, the rating system will be based on the following nine:

  1. Standardized mortality ratio (NQF #0369);
  2. Standardized hospitalization ratio (NQF #1463);
  3. Standardized transfusion ratio;
  4. Percentage of adult hemodialysis (HD) patients who had enough wastes removed from their blood during dialysis (NQF #0249);
  5. Percentage of pediatric HD patients who had enough wastes removed from their blood during dialysis (NQF #1423);
  6. Percentage of adult peritoneal dialysis patients who had enough wastes removed from their blood during dialysis (NQF #0318);
  7. Percentage of adult dialysis patients who had hypercalcemia (NQF #1454);
  8. Percentage of adult dialysis patients who received treatment through arteriovenous fistula (NQF #0257); and
  9. Percentage of adult patients who had a catheter left in vein longer than 90 days for their regular hemodialysis treatment (NQF #0256)

CMS will provide all Medicare-participating dialysis facilities a 15-day preview period to review their data and star rating before they are posted on Dialysis Facility Compare in January. Facilities will have the opportunity to submit questions about their ratings if they believe their ratings are inaccurate. In addition to the star ratings, updated data on individual DFC measures will be posted simultaneously in January as part of the ongoing quarterly refresh schedule. 

To provide feedback on the DFC star rating system, send an email at the link in this sentence.

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