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Dialysis Center Five-Star Rating System FAQs

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) launched its Five-Star Quality Rating System for dialysis centers. DaVita outperforms the rest of the dialysis industry with more centers rated with four or five stars. DaVita and the entire kidney care community are committed to working with CMS to take measures that are more meaningful for patients. Improving patients' quality of life is and always will be our focus.

The FAQs below should shed light on the Five-Star Rating System. We hope this transparency empowers patients to make the best decisions for their health.

What is the Five-Star Quality Rating System?
What is DaVita's position on the Five-Star Quality Rating System?
What does the Five-Star rating mean?
How is Five-Star calculated?
My center has received a one- or two-star rating. Does this mean my care team and center isn't meeting certain standards?
Why is my center not rated?
What does it mean to not be rated?
Will my center ever be rated?
If my center isn't rated, does this system apply to me?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Five-Star Quality Rating System?

The Five-Star Quality Rating System is a mechanism created by CMS to help consumers navigate information and make a decision about where they may decide to receive health care.

What is DaVita's position on the Five-Star Quality Rating System?

We are proud to outperform other dialysis providers in having more four- and five-star centers in the country.

We are the industry leader in clinical outcomes, yet we are always looking to improve our centers and will continue to do so. We have not wavered from this goal for 16 years and we will keep working hard to help our patients have the best quality of life.

What does the Five-Star rating mean?

CMS is using a Five-Star rating in an attempt to measure patient outcomes at dialysis facilities in order to give consumers a better picture of how the center is performing. The following seven individual quality measures will be considered and rolled up to establish the rating:

  1. Standardized mortality ratio (SMR)
  2. Standardized hospitalization ratio (SHR)
  3. Standardized transfusion ratio (STrR)
  4. Kt/V - The percentage of total diaysis eligible for the measure who had enough wastes removed from their blood
  5. The percentage of adult dialysis patients who had hypercalcemia
  6. The percentage of adult patients with an arteriovenous (AV) fistula
  7. The percentage of patients dialyzing with a catheter for more than 90 days

Notably absent from a Five-Star Quality Rating System, however, is a patient satisfaction scoring measure. This was considered an important aspect that patient groups, such as Dialysis Patient Citizens, have advocated for in order to enrich the ranking system.

How is Five-Star calculated?

The Five-Star rating methodology comes from the weighing of seven measures and uses a baseline year as a performance starting point to determine performance cutoffs for each star rating from one to five. Based on calculations, the threshold limit is:

  • Five-star center: 0.61
  • Four-star center: greater than or equal to 0.30 and less than 0.61
  • Three-star center: greater than or equal to -0.23 and less than 0.30
  • Two-star center: greater than or equal to -0.67 and less than -0.23
  • One-star center: less than -0.67

My center has received a one- or two-star rating. Does this mean my care team and center isn't meeting certain standards?

No. DaVita and your clinical team have improved patient outcomes for 16 years straight. In the two quality assessment programs through the government, DaVita is the undisputed clinical leader. Through Five-Star, DaVita has the highest number of centers rated with four and five stars. DaVita was also recognized as the undisputed clinical leader through the Quality Incentive Program results. Those results indicated that DaVita outperformed other kidney care providers in every category, with over 98 percent of the company's centers rated in the top clinical performance tier.

Why is my center not rated?

If you are receiving care at a hospital or with a stand-alone, at-home treatment provider, the Five-Star Quality Rating System will not apply to you at this time.

What does it mean to not be rated?

Not receiving a rating simply means that you may not be visiting a center that is required to participate in the Five-Star Quality Rating System at this time.

Will my center ever be rated?

Should CMS decide to include hospitals and home-care providers in the future, you may find that reflected in the ratings.

If my center isn't rated, does this system apply to me?

The system applies to any consumer who may need to receive dialysis treatment. Although your center may not be rated, you may choose to change providers and find yourself utilizing DFC.

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Patients whose dialysis is impacted by Hurricane Harvey or Hurricane Irma should call 1-800-400-8331.

DaVita dialysis centers and hospital locations in impacted areas continue to receive and treat patients. Find an open center here: blogs.davita.com/emergency-management