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New Quality Measures Taken for Dialysis Facilities

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  • In CMS
  • December 2, 2008
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has added two new quality measures to the Dialysis Facility Compare consumer Web site to show the percentage of patients at any given dialysis facility whose hemoglobin levels are reportedly unsafe.
Previously, the Web site only showed the percentage of patients in a facility whose hematocrit levels were at 33 percent or more (or hemoglobin levels of 11 g/dL or more).
Recent evidence about increased risk of certain adverse events associated with the use of erythropoiesis stimulating agents (ESAs) used to treat anemia—a condition that affects many dialysis patients—has raised concerns about patients with hemoglobin levels that are too high (above 12 g/dL) or too low (below 10 g/dL).
In response, CMS updated the Web site to allow consumers to compare facilities by these two new anemia measures.
CMS has also updated the statistical method used to rate facilities’ survival rates as “Better than expected,” “As expected,” and “Worse than expected” to improve accuracy.
The Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) responded as well by requiring manufacturers to develop a Medication Guide for providers to distribute to patients.
For more information, please read the CMS Nov. 20 press release.

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