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 equivalent of a movie critic’s “thumbs down” denigrates a treatment that sets the standard for cost-effective, life-sustaining care. It is particularly disappointing that CMS’ announcement comes a day after kidney community leaders from across the country convened to begin considering alternative methodologies that would be more helpful to consumers.