DaVita® Medical Insights


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Quality Incentive Program Results: Continuous Improvement in the Dialysis Industry

The dialysis industry continues to improve quality outcomes year after year, as evidenced by the newly released End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Quality Incentive Program (QIP) scores. As part of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ ESRD program aimed at improving the quality of care for Medicare patients, the ESRD QIP was initially implemented in calendar year 2010 / payment year 2012 as the nation’s first pay-for-performance QIP.

This year, all dialysis providers improved key clinical outcome metrics. Results included a/an:1

  • 18 percent reduction in central venous catheters
  • 14 percent decrease in Infection rates
  • 5 percent improvement in dialysis adequacy

In addition to improving outcomes as measured by the QIP, many members of the dialysis community are also working with Congress to improve patient care through The Dialysis Patient Access to Integrated-care, Empowerment, Nephrologists, and Treatment Services (PATIENTS) Demonstration Act, which, if enacted, would give more dialysis patients receiving access to high-quality, integrated care. The bi-partisan proposal would establish an integrated care program in which interdisciplinary teams, led by a nephrologist, provide holistic management for all of a patient’s health care needs.

As we continue to improve patient care, we have the ability to make a real, lasting difference for our patients and for the entire health care system.

1 2018 CMS Quality Incentive Program Results.


Allen R. Nissenson, MD, FACP, FASN, FNKF

Allen R. Nissenson, MD, FACP, FASN, FNKF

Prolific author and renowned authority on kidney disease, Allen R. Nissenson, MD, is chief medical officer for DaVita Kidney Care and emeritus professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, where he has served as director of the dialysis program and associate dean. Dr. Nissenson is also co-chair of the Kidney Care Partners Quality Initiative. Dr. Nissenson served as a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow of the Institute of Medicine from 1994–1995 and worked in the office of the late Senator Paul Wellstone. He is a former president of the Renal Physicians Association (RPA), served on the RPA Board of Directors as a special advisor to the president and is a former president of the Southern California End-Stage Renal Disease Network. He is the author of more than 700 scientific papers and the editor of two dialysis textbooks, one in its fourth edition and the other just released in its 5th edition. Dr. Nissenson earned his medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School and is the recipient of various awards, including the AAKP Medal of Excellence award, the Lifetime Achievement Award in Hemodialysis and the National Kidney Foundation “Man of the Year” award. Twitter: @DrNissenson