Dialysis Facility Star Ratings Go Live Despite Pleas For A Delay

January 22, 2015

Published by Inside Health Policy
John Wilkerson
Jan. 22, 2015

Despite pleas from patients and industry for a delay, CMS on Thursday (Jan. 22) added star ratings to the Dialysis Facility Compare website. CMS said the ratings will help consumers choose high quality dialysis facilities by summarizing performance data, but patients and industry say the ratings program confuses patients and disadvantages facilities that treat sicker, often poor, patients.

“Of particular concern is the statement that ‘The star ratings show whether your dialysis facility is providing quality care,’” a Kidney Care Partners release states, referring to CMS’ press release on the program. “Yet, as KCP has consistently noted, the calculation of the scores is based on a forced bell curve, which distorts the actual facility performance.”

Likewise, Dialysis Patient Citizens said an initial review of the website reinforces the patient group’s concerns about the star ratings program.

Dialysis patients are challenging CMS’ dialysis star ratings program, using a law called the Data Quality Act.