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Am J Transplant. 2012 Feb;12(2):351-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2011.03865.x. Epub 2011 Dec 7.

Disparities in provision of transplant information affect access to kidney transplantation.

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Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.


Recently Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began asking providers on Form-2728 whether they informed patients about transplantation, and if not, to select a reason. The goals of this study were to describe national transplant education practices and analyze associations between practices and access to transplantation (ATT), based on United States Renal Data System (USRDS) data from 2005 to 2007. Multinomial logistic regression was used to examine factors associated with not being informed about transplantation, and modified Poisson regression to examine associations between not being informed and ATT (all models adjusted for demographics/comorbidities). Of 236,079 incident end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients, 30.1% were not informed at time of 2728 filing, for reasons reported by providers as follows: 42.1% unassessed, 30.4% medically unfit, 16.9% unsuitable due to age, 3.1% psychologically unfit and 1.5% declined counsel. Older, obese, uninsured, Medicaid-insured and patients at for-profit centers were more likely to be unassessed. Women were more likely to be reported as unsuitable due to age, medically unfit and declined, and African Americans as psychologically unfit. Uninformed patients had a 53% lower rate of ATT, a disparity persisting in the subgroup of uninformed patients who were unassessed. Disparities in ATT may be partially explained by disparities in provision of transplant information; dialysis centers should ensure this critical intervention is offered equitably.

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