Dec 22, 2011

Safer and More Effective Dialysis

Do you or a loved one get kidney disease treatments? Do you ever wonder if you’re getting quality care or what Medicare does to make sure you’re getting quality care? To make sure you’re getting the best quality care, Medicare has a new Value-Based Purchasing “Quality Incentive Program.” This program encourages facilities to provide excellent care, which is best for your health and safety.

Medicare is paying dialysis facilities for providing quality care

When Medicare pays a facility for your care, it expects that care to be of good quality. Starting this month, dialysis facilities that don’t meet treatment standards, or improve from their past results, will have their claims payments reduced. What this means is that facilities have an incentive to provide you with better quality care.

Look for a certificate in your dialysis facility

The next time you visit your dialysis facility, you should see a certificate posted showing how well the facility did in the Quality Incentive Program. Facilities are rated on measures important to your treatment, including:

  • management of your low red blood cell count (anemia) by dialysis and medications
  • effectiveness of your dialysis (how much waste, or urea, is removed from your blood)

You can view a facility’s certificate online using Dialysis Facility Compare, and also see other information including what services are offered, whether the facility has evening hours, and if they offer training. You can use this information to find a dialysis facility that meets your needs.

Learn More

The Quality Incentive Program will improve care for all patients. Talk to your dialysis care team about what these results mean for your care. Read about Medicare’s coverage for dialysis and kidney disease education [PDF, 1503 KB], and find a dialysis facility near you.