CMS updates Dialysis Facility Compare star ratings page to include disclaimer

January 29, 2015

Published by Nephrology News & Issues
Rebecca Zumoff
Jan. 29, 2015

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has updated its Dialysis Facility Compare star ratings information pageto include disclaimer language about low ratings.

After CMS launched the program Jan. 22, Dialysis Patient Citizens expressed disappointment that the agency did not follow through on its promise to include language that better explains a one-star rating. CMS responded to the patient group and said the disclaimer had been “lost during editing,” Dialysis Patient Citizens told NN&I. CMS added the language to the web page Jan. 29, and included 2-star ratings to the disclaimer.  

“A 1- or 2- star rating does not mean that you will receive poor care from a facility. It only indicates that measured outcomes were below average compared to those for other facilities,” the Dialysis Facility Compare star ratings information page now says.

Renal community response to star ratings
Dialysis providers and patient groups have been critical of the star rating system since it was first announced in July 2014.

Since the launch of the program this week, Kidney Care Partners has reiterated its concern over the program. “We wanted the system to be reliable and meaningful to patients and to reflect the quality of care being delivered,” said Chairman Dr. Edward Jones, a practicing nephrologist .“The program as developed and now launched by CMS simply does not accomplish that goal.”

CMS will hold an open door forum about the star ratings Feb. 4. “The purpose of the open door forum is to discuss the star ratings and the importance of working together with the dialysis facility physicians, staff, and patients in understanding how to utilize the star ratings as one of the many tools available to them, when making health care decisions,” the agency said in a release.

See the original article on the Nephrology News website.