ProPublica, March 30, 2011
Federal regulators say they are moving to make once-confidential data about the performance of kidney dialysis clinics more readily available to the public. The move, disclosed in a letter to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-IA, follows a ProPublica investigation last year that revealed substandard care and weak oversight in some clinics. Officials with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told Grassley they are now providing Dialysis Facility Reports, statistical compilations on each of the nation's 5,000-plus dialysis clinics, to anyone upon request. They also said they were trying to add the reports to Medicare's Dialysis Facility Compare website. Practically speaking, patients already have access to the data, though not from the government: ProPublica obtained the reports from CMS late last year under the Freedom of Information Act and posted them in December.