Quality

Our patients deserve the best possible care. That’s why we make the quality of our dialysis centers a top priority. Here we summarize our quality as assessed by the federal government, as well as our own patients.

How we compare to the nation

Every year, Medicare examines the quality of each dialysis facility in the country. Below is a summary of the collective performance of our dialysis facilities, factoring in patients’ age and complicating conditions, based on 2015 federal quality data from Medicare.

 

Report highlights

 

✓ Consistently beating the nation, but with room to improve

Survival, hospitalization, transplantation, vascular access and immunization rates of our patients continue to be better than the nation’s average. We need to work on lowering our hospital readmissions and hemodialysis-related infections.

 

✓ More lives saved

Our patient mortality is 11% better than the nation. We’re at 15.5% compared to the U.S. average of 17.4%.

 

✓ New patients do much better

Our mortality rate for first-year dialysis patients, who are often very vulnerable, is 19.2% compared to the national rate of 22.8%. Our rate is 16% better than the national average.

 

✓ More transplants

Our kidney transplant rate is 70% higher than the national average.

 

✓ Fewer hospitalizations and trips to the ER

Our patients have 16% fewer hospital admissions and 5% fewer emergency room visits than the national average. Our patients are readmitted 7 percent less often than the national rate for dialysis patients.

 

✓ Effective, safe blood access

The gold standard for hemodialysis blood access is a fistula. The alternative is a hemodialysis catheter, a more dangerous means of blood access due to an increased chance of infection. In 2015, 5% of our patients had a long-term catheter, compared to 10% nationwide.

 

✓ Good preparation for dialysis

High quality kidney care means more than just dialysis. That’s why in 2006 we launched our chronic kidney disease outreach, a program that teaches people with kidney disease about treatment options, preparing for dialysis, nutrition and transplant.

The program also encourages people with kidney disease to see a nephrologist, a kidney expert, as soon as possible. Early nephrology care helps people learn better ways to manage the disease, slow its progress and prepare for dialysis before they need it. Currently, 64% of our new patients have been under a nephrologist’s care for six months or longer, compared to fewer than 50% nationally.

 

✓ Good protection from the flu, working to lower infections

During the last flu season, 85% of our patients and 96% of our staff members were vaccinated for the flu. We’ve increased our infection prevention efforts in order to limit potential infections in our facilities.

Medicare Star Ratings

Each year, Medicare assesses dialysis facilities across the country.
Our stars shine bright.


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2016 star ratings

Northwest Kidney Centers averages the individual ratings awarded to each of its 15 dialysis clinics to reach a systemwide average of 4.3 stars.

All but one of our facilities rated 4 or 5 stars.

Compliance program, privacy practices

Northwest Kidney Centers’ compliance program and code of conduct promotes ethical, legal and professional behavior by employees and others acting on behalf of the organization. Call the Compliance Hotline at 1-800-371-2174, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to speak to the compliance officer. You may remain anonymous if you wish. Our privacy practices notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information.

Read our joint notice of privacy practices

Austin Ross, compliance officer and vice president of planning.