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Am J Nephrol. 2019;50(1):63-71. doi: 10.1159/000500943. Epub 2019 Jun 14.

Contemporary Trends in Clinical Outcomes among Dialysis Patients with Medicare Coverage.

Author information

1
NxStage Medical, Medical Affairs, Lawrence, Massachusetts, USA, eweinhandl@nxstage.com.
2
Department of Pharmaceutical Care and Health Systems, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, eweinhandl@nxstage.com.
3
NxStage Medical, Medical Affairs, Lawrence, Massachusetts, USA.
4
Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The dialysis patient population in the United States continues to grow. Trends in rates of death and hospitalization among dialysis patients have important consequences for outpatient dialysis capacity and Medicare spending.

OBJECTIVES:

To estimate contemporary trends in rates of death and hospitalization among dialysis patients in the United States, overall and within subgroups.

METHODS:

We used Medicare Limited Data Sets (100% sample) in 2014-2017 to estimate trends in rates of death and hospitalization among dialysis patients with Medicare Parts A and B enrollment. We used seasonal autoregressive integrated moving average models to identify secular trends in the incidence of outcomes.

RESULTS:

There were 631,075 unique patients; 222,924 deaths; and 1,876,779 hospital admissions. Weekly risks of both death and hospitalization exhibited strong seasonality. However, overall weekly risks of death were 34.9, 35.4, 35.2, and 35.7 deaths per 10,000 patients in 2014-2017, respectively (p = 0.47, from a likelihood ratio test of secular trend). The overall weekly risk of hospitalization was 3.08, 3.05, 3.11, and 3.11% in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017, respectively (p = 0.30). There were significant secular trends in risk of death in subgroups defined by black race and residency in South Atlantic states (p < 0.05). There were also secular trends in risk of hospitalization in subgroups defined by age 20-44 years, concurrent enrollment in Medicaid, and residency in South Central states.

CONCLUSION:

For the first time since the beginning of this century, rates of both death and hospitalization among dialysis patients with Medicare fee-for-service coverage have stagnated. The reasons for this change are unknown and require detailed assessment. Persistent lack of change in clinical outcomes may alter the future expectations about dialysis patient population growth.

KEYWORDS:

Death; Hemodialysis; Hospitalization; Medicare; Peritoneal dialysis

PMID:
31203279
DOI:
10.1159/000500943

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