Kidney Res Clin Pract. 2022 Sep 13. doi: 10.23876/j.krcp.22.039. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Many countries have their own hemodialysis (HD) quality assurance programs and star rating systems for HD facilities. However, the effects of HD quality assurance programs on patient mortality are not well understood. Therefore, in the present study, the effects of the Korean HD facility star rating on patient mortality in maintenance HD patients were evaluated.
METHODS: This longitudinal, observational cohort study included 35,271 patients receiving HD treatment from 741 facilities. The fivestar ratings of HD facilities were determined based on HD quality assessment data from 2015, which includes 12 quality measures in structural, procedural, and outcome domains. The patients were grouped into high (three to five stars) and low (one or two stars) groups based on HD facility star rating. Cox proportional hazards model was used to evaluate the effects of star rating on patient mortality during the mean follow-up duration of 3 years.
RESULTS: The patient ratio between high and low HD facility star rating groups was 82.0% vs. 18.0%. The patients in the low star rating group showed lower single-pool Kt/V and higher calcium and phosphorus levels compared with subjects in the high star rating group. After adjusting for sociodemographic and clinical parameters, the HD facility star rating independently increased the mortality risk (hazard ratio, 1.11; 95% confidence interval, 1.04-1.18; p = 0.002).
CONCLUSION: The HD facilities with low star rating showed higher patient mortality.