#Dialysis and the 5-star @CMS Rating

DPC logoDialysis Patient Citizens recently reported on their efforts to respond to the CMS 5-star Rating System.  Under this system, the Mayo Clinic, for example, got a 1-star rating.  Obviously this is not a good measure of patient feelings or experience.  Rather, it is a very flawed system that uses measure which result in a prestigious provider getting a poor rating with other centers with poor service may get a high, or 5-star, rating.

I wrote about this a while back when CMS announced they were doing this 5-star rating system. And, in fact, I’ve written about this a couple times.  But here’s the latest news about this issue…

Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) has taken the lead in seeking improvements to the Dialysis Facility Compare star rating system. Under the current methodology, all dialysis clinics across the U.S. are ranked against one another, with stars assigned by dividing the facilities into five tiers. Under this system, the bottom 10 percent are given one star, and those in the next twenty percent (11th percentile to 30thpercentile) given two stars.

DPC objects to this methodology for several reasons…

Read more at Dialysis Patient Citizens…


DevonTexas © 2015

Posted in CMS, Dialysis Center, Dialysis Patient Citizens, DPC, ESRD, lobbying, Medicare, ratings | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dialysis Insomnia

GoodnewsHey all! Good News!  I posted an update to my previous article about “Dialysis and Insomnia”.  I want to get this message out to everyone because a large percentage of dialysis patients also have insomnia.  (If there are some researchers out there looking for a topic, this is a good one!).

I want to apologize for not being on my blog lately.  My friends with kidney disease certainly understand the predicament of coming home after dialysis and lack energy for much more than survival.  I added a workout at the fitness center to my “off” days and so I’ve been busy in a good way.  Also, I had my home PC monitor go out and it took me a while to find a replacement I could afford.   Anyway, it’s not a problem now and I hope to be back online more often with more topics.  In fact, my recent decision to get myself back in shape will probably be another topic soon.  I’d like to tell you about it.

Finally, I am heading to Washington, DC again this year!  Thanks to Dialysis Patient Citizens and I will be posting about it and tweeting (@DevonTexas) my trip.  Follow me on Twitter and add #WKD2015 to your hashtag search.  Many of us will be using that hashtag during World Kidney Day visits to Congress.

Posted in dialysis, Dialysis Patient Citizens, DPC, ESRD, exercise, kidney, lobbying, National Kidney Foundation. NKF | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dialysis and Bones

DPC Education CenterThere’s a very good presentation from the DPC Education Center with audio and slides that describes the relationship of kidney function, calcium, the thyroid gland, and bones.  I found it very help in my understand of bone density and kidney disease.

From the DPC Education Center website:

The DPC Education Center recently developed an online classroom on bone & mineral disease for dialysis patients. One topic the classroom focuses on is Vitamin D and its many benefits. Vitamin D balances calcium and phosphorus, regulates parathyroid hormone (PTH) production, helps build strong bones, and prevents rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Receptors in the kidney turn Vitamin D into its active form, calciferol, but the kidneys of dialysis patients are unable to perform this function. This helps explain why almost all dialysis patients are Vitamin D-deficient.

You can view it by CLICKING HERE

Posted in bones, calcium, dialysis, Dialysis Patient Citizens, ESRD, kidney, patient care | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Dialysis and Kidney Talk


RSN LogoThe Renal Support Network has a great resource called, “Kidney Talk”.  From their website…

KidneyTalk is an online bi-weekly, half-hour radio talk show featuring RSN Founder & President Lori Hartwell. All shows (over 200 of them!) are available 24hrs a day and can be downloaded for free any time from the iTunes store.
Complete KidneyTalk Interview Index

I encourage you to go there if you’re in search of news and information about kidney disease.

Posted in CKD, dialysis, ESRD, kidney donation, patient care, polycystic Kidney Disease, Transplant | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dialysis and Recipes


(Updated: 12/11/14)

This is the “cooking season” and a question I often get from kidney patients is, “What can I eat?”.  We’re often told what we can’t eat but rarely what we can.  Here’s a link to the Davita Recipes which are renal (kidney) friendly. Enjoy…

Also, here’s a great site for Renal Friendly and Diabetic recipes: Re-Dial Diet. 

Re-Dial Diet also has some great ideas for this period between the holidays.  See September Re-Dial.

Posted in diabetes, dialysis, diet, ESRD, fluid control, kidney, New Patient, recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dialysis and IVoted

Voting is one of the most important events in your life whether you are interested and involved in politics or not.  It’s your duty as a citizen.  Here is some help about where to vote and when, if you are already registered.  Please get out and vote.  Your voice must be heard.

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NKF Responds to Medicare’s Proposed Changes to Payment and Quality Programs for Dialysis Facilities


Excellent letter from NKF about the CMS rating system

Originally posted on Advocacy in Action:

Back in July we shared the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid’s (CMS) proposed changes to dialysis payment and quality incentive program.  After gathering input from kidney patients and professionals we issued formal comments to CMS, which included recommendations for revising their proposals to strengthen patients’ access to high quality care.

Our concern about the proposed changes to payment is that rural facilities that already, on average, lose money treating Medicare patients would receive payment cuts.     Dialysis providers are likely to close facilities that continue to lose money, which could cause patients to face greater transportation challenges if they have to commute further for dialysis.  NKF recommended that CMS make changes to the way it pays for dialysis to ensure facilities in rural areas are able to cover the costs of providing the care that is needed to improve the health of their patients.

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Posted in AKF, CMS, dialysis, Dialysis Center, Dialysis Patient Citizens, ESRD, lobbying, Medicare, National Kidney Foundation. NKF | Leave a comment