Changes in dialysis treatment modalities during institution of flat rate reimbursement and quality assurance programs.

TitleChanges in dialysis treatment modalities during institution of flat rate reimbursement and quality assurance programs.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsKleophas W, Karaboyas A, Li Y, Bommer J, Reichel H, Walter A, Icks A, Rump LC, Pisoni RL, Robinson BM, Port FK
JournalKidney international
Volume84
Issue3
Pagination578-84
Date Published2013 Sep
Abstract

Dialysis procedure rates in Germany were changed in 2002 from per-session to weekly flat rate payments, and quality assurance was introduced in 2009 with defined treatment targets for spKt/V, dialysis frequency, treatment time, and hemoglobin. In order to understand trends in treatment parameters before and after the introduction of these changes, we analyzed data from 407 to 618 prevalent patients each year (hemodialysis over 90 days) in 14-21 centers in cross-sections of the Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study (phases 1-4, 1998-2011). Descriptive statistics were used to report differences over time in the four quality assurance parameters along with erythropoietin-stimulating agent (ESA) and intravenous iron doses. Time trends were analyzed using linear mixed models adjusted for patient demographics and comorbidities. The proportion of patients with short treatment times (less than 4 h) and low spKt/V (below 1.2) improved throughout the study and was lowest after implementation of quality assurance. Hemoglobin levels have increased since 1998 and remained consistent since 2005, with only 8-10% of patients below 10 g/dl. About 90% of patients were prescribed ESAs, with the dose declining since peaking in 2006. Intravenous iron use was highest in 2011. Hence, trends to improve quality metrics for hemodialysis have been established in Germany even after introduction of flat rate reimbursement. Thus, analysis of facility practice patterns is needed to maintain quality of care in a cost-containment environment.

DOI10.1074/jbc.M113.506568
Alternate JournalKidney Int.