CMS Announces Changes to Dialysis Facility Compare and Star Ratings

On October 28, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) added patient experience survey results and two new clinical quality measures as well as updated the way CMS calculates star ratings on its Dialysis Facility Compare website. The star ratings were originally included on the Dialysis Facility Compare website on January 22, 2015, and were previously updated in October 2015. Currently, there are star ratings on Dialysis Facility Compare, Nursing Home Compare, Physician Compare, Home Health Compare and Hospital Compare. 

CMS is adding patient experience of care survey information from the In-Center Hemodialysis Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (ICH-CAHPS) to the Dialysis Facility Compare website. The ICH-CAHPS Survey contains 44 questions that assess aspects of the dialysis experience. Results from the patient experience survey are not part of the star ratings.

Dialysis Facility Compare is reporting two new clinical quality measures: National Healthcare Safety Network Standardized Bloodstream Infection Ratio and Pediatric Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) Kt/V.

Following discussions with the community and a Technical Expert Panel held in 2015, changes were implemented to the star rating methodology. The original methodology scored all facilities on a relative scale with the cut-offs for assigning star ratings to facilities as follows: 10% receive 5-stars, 20% receive 4-stars, 40% receive 3-stars, 20% receive 2-stars, and 10% receive 1-star. The updated methodology uses the original 2015 distribution as a baseline year to establish scoring prospectively, allowing facilities that improve their performance to earn additional stars. Facilities are no longer strictly held to the set distribution.

Dialysis Patient Citizens
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