ASN's Mission

ASN leads the fight to prevent, treat, and cure kidney diseases throughout the world by educating health professionals and scientists, advancing research and innovation, communicating new knowledge, and advocating for the highest quality care for patients.

learn more

Contact ASN

1401 H St, NW, Ste 900, Washington, DC 20005

email@asn-online.org

202-640-4660

The Latest on Twitter

Kidney Week

Abstract: PO1088

The Correlated Case of Dialysis Facility and Hospital Star Ratings

Session Information

Category: Dialysis

  • 701 Dialysis: Hemodialysis and Frequent Dialysis

Authors

  • Weinhandl, Eric D., Chronic Disease Research Group, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
  • Gilbertson, David T., Chronic Disease Research Group, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
  • Wetmore, James B., Chronic Disease Research Group, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
  • Johansen, Kirsten L., Chronic Disease Research Group, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Background

The Centers for Medicaid and Medicaid Services (CMS) periodically releases star ratings for several types of health care facilities, including acute care hospitals and outpatient dialysis facilities. Because respective rating systems utilize disparate quality measures, star ratings of dialysis facilities and nearby hospitals may be weakly correlated. However, hospital quality could influence dialysis patient outcomes. Furthermore, confounding by unmeasured economic, environmental, and social factors could induce correlation. We used public use files to assess whether star ratings of dialysis facilities and hospitals within the same region are correlated.

Methods

We ascertained dialysis facility star ratings from Dialysis Facility Compare and hospital star ratings from Hospital Compare (source: data.medicare.gov). Star ratings were based on quality measures that were accumulated in 2015-2018. We categorized each health care facility into 306 Hospital Referral Regions (HRRs), according to ZIP code. In each HRR, we estimated the mean star rating of all dialysis facilities and the mean star rating of all hospitals. Using loess regression, we estimated the correlation between these HRR-specific means.

Results

The analysis included 6667 dialysis facilities and 3565 hospitals, or approximately 22 dialysis facilities and 12 hospitals per HRR. The mean star rating in dialysis facilities was 3.7 (standard deviation, 1.0) and 3.2 (1.1) in hospitals. As displayed, HRR-specific mean star ratings of dialysis facilities and hospitals were positively and nearly linearly correlated. The correlation coefficient of these HRR-specific means was 0.4.

Conclusion

CMS star ratings of dialysis facilities and hospitals within the same region are positively correlated. Future studies should identify the sources of this correlation.