Dialysis Patient Citizens’ Statement of Principles to Guide Formulation of Star Ratings

2020-03-21T20:45:43+00:00April 21st, 2015|Categories: 5-Star Ratings, Article|

Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) endorses the following six principles to guide formulation of star ratings for Dialysis Facility Compare: Star ratings must use metrics that represent aspects of care that are important to patients. Star ratings should not simply rely upon any information that happens to be available; patient priorities should be ascertained and reflected in the ratings. Star ratings must drive improvement. Facilities should be held to absolute standards. They must be able to improve their scores through improved quality regardless of how competing facilities perform. Competition among facilities should be realistic, e.g., facilities in regions with generally poor health [...]

DPC Board Members to Serve on Three Technical Expert Panels

2020-03-21T20:45:43+00:00April 7th, 2015|Categories: 5-Star Ratings, Access to Transplant, Treatment Options|

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regularly schedules technical expert panels (TEPs) to advise the agency on quality measures. In the words of CMS, a TEP is “a group of stakeholders and experts who provide technical input…on the development, selection, and maintenance of measures for which CMS contractors are responsible.” CMS is contracting with the University of Michigan Kidney Epidemiology and Cost Center (UM-KECC) to host a TEP on the Dialysis Facility Compare star rating system. While the complete roster of participants is not public yet, we are pleased to announce that DPC Interim President Jack Reynolds was selected [...]

What are Dialysis Patients’ Priorities for Quality Information? Insights from DPC Patient Survey

2020-03-21T20:45:43+00:00March 11th, 2015|Categories: 5-Star Ratings, Article, Quality Incentive Program|

After the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its plans to release the Dialysis Facility Compare star rating system, DPC began to discuss with its membership what would make such a rating system successful. The two areas that DPC’s Board Members, Patient Ambassadors and membership all rated highest were 1) staff respect/listening and 2) patient education. Staff Respect/Listening: This topic compresses two questions from the annual Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) questionnaire that Medicare requires dialysis patients to complete. It was even more apparent during our focus group discussions of our survey responses how upset [...]

DPC Elevates Patient Priorities with Medicare Regarding Dialysis Facility Compare Star Ratings

2020-03-21T20:45:43+00:00February 18th, 2015|Categories: 5-Star Ratings, Comment Letter, Quality Incentive Program|

Elena Balovlenkov, R.N. Technical Lead for Dialysis Facility Compare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 7500 Security Boulevard Mail Stop S3-02-01 Baltimore, MD 21224 Dear Elena: To meet your timeline for raising issues to be brought before the DFC Star Rating TEP, DPC recently conducted a survey of our active patient volunteers asking them to identify priority items for quality measures to be included in both DFC star ratings and the QIP. Per the advice of the Kidney Care Quality Alliance (KCQA) consultant on quality measures, we developed a lengthy list of subjects for measures, and asked patients to choose [...]

Dialysis Facility Compare Star Ratings Draw First Challenge to CMS Quality Measures Under Data Quality Act

2020-03-21T20:45:44+00:00December 16th, 2014|Categories: 5-Star Ratings, Press Release|

Skewed geographic distribution of star ratings demonstrates program’s flaws, says Dialysis Patient Citizens WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 16, 2014) — Dialysis Patient Citizens has filed the first challenge to a CMS quality program under the Data Quality Act, contending that the agency’s Dialysis Facility Compare (DFC) star ratings methodology fails to satisfy federal requirements for objectivity and utility in presenting information to the public. The day after being served with the complaint, CMS conceded it should have conducted cognitive testing of this system on consumers, reversing a position the agency had defended for nearly four months. “We felt this challenge was necessary in light of CMS’ continued refusal to [...]

DPC’s Request for Correction complaint to CMS Regarding DFC Star Ratings

2020-11-20T03:15:10+00:00December 2nd, 2014|Categories: 5-Star Ratings, Comment Letter|

Attached is CCSQ’s courtesy copy of the Request for Correction we filed today under the Data Quality Act challenging the methodology to be used in the DFC Star Ratings. The Data Quality Act and the HHS Information Quality Guidelines promulgated pursuant to the Act have been in existence for approximately as long as CMS has collected and reported quality measures. Over the past decade, no stakeholder has ever filed a Request for Correction with CMS pertaining to quality measurements. We take no joy in being the first, but we feel that the circumstances surrounding the formulation of this program—the lack of [...]

CMS Responses to Questions and Comments about the Dialysis Facility Compare Star Rating System

2020-11-20T03:20:07+00:00October 1st, 2014|Categories: 5-Star Ratings, Comment Letter|

CMS thanks the community for their comments and questions about the DFC Star Rating System. All comments have been given serious consideration. This document provides responses to the questions and issues raised by the ESRD community. CMS believes that the Star Rating System will empower consumers with additional quality information. It will also encourage providers to continuously achieve higher quality care. With future releases and enhancements to the DFC website, we will continue fostering an open dialogue to facilitate providing better care for all patients receiving chronic dialysis. We look forward to working with the ESRD community over the coming months [...]

Statement of Dialysis Patient Citizens on CMS Announcement of Delay in Implementing Star Ratings for Dialysis Facility Compare Website

2020-12-09T18:04:10+00:00September 10th, 2014|Categories: 5-Star Ratings, Article|

Today, Dialysis Patient Citizens received a notice from CMS announcing a three-month delay in implementing its Star Ratings Program for the Dialysis Facility Compare website. Contrary to CMS’ announcement, a delay alone is not responsive to the concerns expressed by stakeholders and certainly not to those expressed by DPC.  While CMS said it was “partnering with the ESRD community,” it has instead declined to consider input on how to design patient-friendly ratings, and ignored DPC’s requests to see consumer testing materials and the geographic distribution of star assignments. We believe that CMS’ methodology which gives thirty percent of dialysis facilities the [...]

Medicare Agency Under Fire For “Star” Ratings of Health Care Providers

2020-03-21T20:46:11+00:00September 3rd, 2014|Categories: 5-Star Ratings, Article, Comment Letter, Quality Incentive Program|

Can Dialysis Facilities Be Rated Like Movies and Restaurants? Earlier this year, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced plans to expand its movie critic-style “star” rating system, currently in place for nursing homes and Medicare HMOs, to include dialysis facilities and other health care providers. The controversy began earlier this summer when CMS disclosed the system it had devised to assign star ratings for dialysis facilities. DPC was among the first to speak out and express concern, emphasizing four items in particular: Stars were to be assigned on a “bell curve” grading system, in which thirty percent of [...]

Kidney Patients Join Industry In Opposing CMS’ Dialysis Star Rating System

2020-11-20T03:09:24+00:00August 8th, 2014|Categories: 5-Star Ratings, Press|

Kidney patients have joined the fight against the Medicare star-rating program for dialysis facilities, and they’re making the same arguments as industry. Patient advocates say that the bell curve nature of the program will confuse patients, especially those in poor areas; the program is inconsistent with the existing dialysis Quality Incentive Program; and CMS should have sought feedback from patients and providers before forcing the program on them

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