CMS Updates Dialysis Facility Compare Website

Added on Nov 17, 2016

CMS Updates Dialysis Facility Compare Website
Industry Edge November 2016

Visitors to the Dialysis Facility Compare website on will now be able to see how patients rate their experiences with dialysis facilities, including the cleanliness of the facility and how well the staff cares for them. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated the website, which provides information about thousands of Medicare-certified dialysis facilities across the United States, to reflect feedback it received from patients and their caregivers about what is most important to them in selecting their dialysis facility.

CMS collects patient experience data through the In-Center Hemodialysis Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (ICH-CAHPS) Survey, which measures patients’ perspectives on the care they received at dialysis facilities. A total of six ratings on patients’ experiences with care will be reported, including three that cover specific aspects of patient experience and three overall patient ratings of the kidney doctors, the facility staff and the dialysis facilities. For each dialysis center on Dialysis Facility Compare, the site will include this patient experience information, the quality star rating and detailed clinical quality information.

CMS is also adding two quality measures to Dialysis Facility Compare.
  • The standardized infection ratio (SIR) is a ratio of the number of bloodstream infections that are observed at a facility versus the number of bloodstream infections that are predicted for that facility, based on national baseline data.
  • The pediatric peritoneal dialysis Kt/V measure equals the percent of eligible pediatric peritoneal dialysis patients at the facility who had enough waste removed from their blood during dialysis.

Other major changes to the site include modifications to the methodology for calculating dialysis facility star ratings based on recommendations from a 2015 Technical Expert Panel. According to CMS, the updated methodology for calculating star ratings achieves the following.

  • It establishes a baseline to show improvement by taking into account year-to-year changes in facility performance on the quality measures compared to performance standards set in a baseline year. Star ratings will reflect whether a facility improves or declines in performance over time.
  • It limits the impact of a few very low scores by applying truncated z-scores to percentage measures. This ensures that star ratings are not determined by extreme outlier performance on a single measure.
  • It ensures accuracy of ratings by keeping the continuity of the measures.

A final change to the website relates to ratio measures. The Standardized Mortality Ratio, Standardized Hospitalization Ratio, Standardized Transfusion Ratio and Standardized Readmission Ratio will now be reflected as rates to display them more clearly.

More information is available on the Dialysis Facility Compare fact sheet.