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1 in 3 Dialysis Centers Subject to Medicare Penalties

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, December 16, 2011

According to CMS data, the facilities with the poorest scores, which will garner a 2% penalty, include:

  • Kidney Center of Sherman Oaks, CA
  • New Smyrna Beach Dialysis and Lake Dialysis, Leesburg, FL
  • FMC Chicago Dialysis Center and FMC Southside Dialysis Center, Chicago, IL
  • FMC Shelbyville, IN
  • DCI Corbin Dialysis Clinic, Turfway Dialysis and DCI Danville in Kentucky;
  • Davita Slidell Kidney Care in LA
  • IDF Garrett Dialysis Center in Oakland, MD.

On Nov. 1, CMS announced that for the FY 2013, the following year, it is dropping the measure that assesses patients with hemoglobin level below 10 g/dL, "because medical evidence does not show that targeting a hemoglobin level of at least 10 g/dL, is the most appropriate treatment for many dialysis patients."

However, for FY 2014, it is adding several other measures such as the center's type of vascular access, which encourages the use of arteriovenous fistulae and discourages the use of catheters because of the high rate of infections and complications associated with catheter use.

Three additional reporting measures will reveal whether the center

  1. Reports dialysis infection events to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Healthcare Safety Network
  2. Surveys patients to learn about their experience of care; and
  3. Monitors patients for abnormalities in phosphorus and calcium levels.

CMS encourages Medicare patients to discuss these results with their dialysis care team and hopes that this information will help these patients to make informed decisions about their care.

CMS said in a statement that it encourages Medicare patients to discuss these results with their dialysis care team and hopes that this information will help these patients to make informed decisions about their care.


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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