DENVER, Jan. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- DaVita Kidney Care, a division of DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. (NYSE: DVA) and a leading provider of kidney care services, today announced that it ranked first in outcomes in two recently released reports issued by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) – the 2015 end stage renal disease (ESRD) Quality Incentive Program (QIP) and the newly created Five-Star ranking program.
"For 15 years clinical quality has always been the first order of business at DaVita," said DaVita HealthCare Partners Co-Chairman and CEO Kent Thiry. "It's gratifying to see those efforts positively reflected in the two government reports showing our national leadership in dialysis patient outcomes."
CMS Quality Incentive Program
According to the QIP results, released by CMS in mid-January, DaVita ranked first in three of four clinical measures in the ESRD program. This is the second straight year that DaVita has been a leader in QIP results.
QIP is part of Medicare's ESRD program aimed at improving the quality of care provided to Medicare patients. It was designed and passed into law in part to be the nation's first pay-for-performance quality incentive program. CMS describes QIP as a "first-of-its-kind program [that] provides the ESRD community with the opportunity to enhance the overall quality of care that ESRD patients receive as they battle this devastating disease."
"We're proud of the focus of our caregivers, which has driven excellent QIP results for the second year in a row," said Thiry. "As a result of our passion for delivering excellent care, we have enhanced the patient experience and reduced the burden on the health care system, saving taxpayer money."
The ESRD QIP reduces payments to ESRD facilities that do not meet or exceed certain performance standards. DaVita outperformed other kidney care providers with 98.5 percent of the company's centers ranking in the top clinical performance tier. DaVita's QIP penalty rate is 73 percent lower than that of the rest of the industry. Additionally, while DaVita's percentage of centers with penalties decreased, the percentage of the rest of the industry's centers with penalties increased in the last year.
In the 2014 QIP results, in addition to having 98.4 percent of its centers in the top clinical performance tier, DaVita also distinguished itself in reducing the proportion of low-performing centers in rural and low-income counties. At the release of that last report, DaVita had achieved a 21 percent reduction in rural and low income centers that missed the top clinical tier since the program's inception in 2012 – the rest of the industry saw a 24 percent increase during that same time period. This is a significant measure because rural and low-income areas present the greatest challenges to delivering top-tier clinical results. The full ESRD QIP reports can be downloaded at CMS.gov
CMS Five-Star Ranking System
The new Five–Star ranking system is a mechanism created by CMS to help consumers evaluate dialysis facilities. In the rankings, released to the public on Jan. 22, DaVita leads all providers with the highest number of centers ranked with four and five stars. Stars are awarded for each clinic's performance. DaVita represents 32 percent of all rated facilities and 53 percent of centers that received a rating of four or five stars. When combining all DaVita clinics and comparing them to other providers, DaVita clearly outperformed the rest of the industry.
CMS is using the Five-Star ranking to rank dialysis facilities on quality in order to give consumers a better picture of how their locally delivered health care compares to that of the nation. The Five-Star ranking methodology comes from the distillation of seven data points and uses the data from all facilities to rank centers on an industry-wide bell curve, which will be displayed on the Dialysis Facility Compare (DFC) website. Depending on where dialysis facilities fall on the curve will determine whether they receive a five-, four-, three-, two- or one-star ranking.
Despite DaVita's superior performance, the company shares the concerns of the rest of the kidney care community over significant flaws in the Five-Star ranking system. The Five Star system forces some high-performing clinics into lower rankings due to its use of a bell curve ranking system versus one that is purely objective.
"We are committed to clinical excellence and will continue to invest in our teammates, clinical research and other valuable areas so that our patients get the very best care," said Thiry.
Due to continuous investment in patient care, DaVita Kidney Care has improved clinical outcomes for 15 years in a row, which has driven a reduction in hospitalizations, lowered mortality rates and improved the overall patient experience.
About DaVita HealthCare Partners
DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc., a Fortune 500® company, is the parent company of DaVita Kidney Care and HealthCare Partners. DaVita Kidney Care is a leading provider of kidney care in the United States, delivering dialysis services to patients with chronic kidney failure and end stage renal disease. As of Sept. 30, 2014, DaVita Kidney Care operated or provided administrative services at 2,152 outpatient dialysis centers located in the United States serving approximately 170,000 patients. The company also operated 87 outpatient dialysis centers located in 10 countries outside the United States. HealthCare Partners manages and operates medical groups and affiliated physician networks in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Florida in its pursuit to deliver excellent-quality health care in a dignified and compassionate manner. As of Sept. 30, 2014, HealthCare Partners provided integrated care management for approximately 836,000 patients. For more information, please visit DaVitaHealthCarePartners.com.
SOURCE DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc.