12/1 DFC Becomes Care Compare

Making its debut December 1, 2020, Dialysis Facility Compare (DFC) has been expanded and combined with other Medicare quality comparison websites, and will now be called Care Compare. Find it at https://www.medicare.gov/care-compare/. Find an introduction to Care Compare at https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cms-care-compare-empowers-patients-when-making-important-health-care-decisions.

Fall 2020 Patient Newsletters

The Network 16 and Network 18 Patient Newsletters for Fall 2020 have been posted to the Network websites, in both English and Spanish. They include articles on the Medicare Open Enrollment Period (which is open through December 7, 2020), Vocational Rehabilitation, and Dialysis Facility Compare, plus short notes on heart health and fluid management, filing a grievance, and (free) subscriptions to the Network Newsletters and blog. The Network 18 Newsletter also includes a short note on volunteering to help the Network improve patient care. Find the English and Spanish versions of the latest Newsletters at https://www.nwrn.org/patients-a-family/ptedres/quarterly-patient-newsletter.html for Network 16, and https://esrdnetwork18.org/patients/newsletters/ for Network 18.

Guides for Patients to Dialysis Facility Compare

The National Forum of ESRD Networks has published introductory guides to the Dialysis Facility Compare (DFC) internet application that compares facilities on their general characteristics (such as whether they offer home dialysis or stay open after 5 pm), their quality of care (such as how they compare to other facilities on infection control), and the experience of their patients (such as whether patients found their doctors to be caring and to communicate well).

The guides describe what, why, and how a patient might use DFC.  Find them at:

Find DFC itself at https://www.medicare.gov/dialysisfacilitycompare/.

ESRD QIP and DFC Updates

CMS has completed its April refresh of the facility data in Dialysis Facility Compare (DFC).  Details about this update can be found at https://data.medicare.gov/data/dialysis-facility-compare, and the newly updated DFC database and current five-star facility ratings can be found at https://www.medicare.gov/dialysisfacilitycompare/.

CMS also recently updated its web page on Technical Specifications for ESRD QIP Measures to include the CY2018 ESRD PPS Final Rule, and links to Technical Measure Specifications through PY2021.  Find this page at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/ESRDQIP/061_TechnicalSpecifications.html.

CDC also recently updated its web page on NHSN and CMS ESRD QIP Rule and its page on the nine Core Interventions that they recommend for reducing BSI.  Find these pages at https://www.cdc.gov/nhsn/faqs/dialysis/faq-esrd-qip.html and https://www.cdc.gov/dialysis/prevention-tools/core-interventions.html.


DFC Update

The Dialysis Facility Compare January update included new data on:

  • Standardized Transfusion Ratio
  • Standardized Mortality Ratio
  • Standardized Hospitalization Ratio
  • Standardized Readmission Ratio
  • Vascular Access Type (Fistula and Catheter measures)
  • NHSN Bloodstream Infection
  • Hemoglobin Management
  • In-Center Hemodialysis CAHPS

Find DFC at https://www.medicare.gov/dialysisfacilitycompare/.