HEALTH / WELL-BEING

Dialysis Provider and Outcomes among United States Veterans Who Transition to Dialysis

Article

An article which seeks to evaluate the association between dialysis provider and mortality and hospitalization among United States veterans initiating dialysis.

Abstract

Veterans with ESKD initiate dialysis under the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), an integrated health system, or are outsourced to non-VHA providers. It is unknown whether outcomes differ according to their dialysis provider at initiation. We sought to evaluate the association between dialysis provider and mortality and hospitalization among United States veterans initiating dialysis. Among 68,727 United States veterans who initiated dialysis in 2007–2014, we examined the association of dialysis provider (VHA versus non-VHA) at initiation with mortality and hospitalization rates in the first 12 months post-initiation. Associations were examined across adjusted models, accounting for demographics and comorbidities. Results Patients were 72±11 years, 5% were women, 24% were black, and 10% (n=7584) initiated at VHA dialysis centers. VHA dialysis center patients were younger, more likely to be black, had fewer cardiovascular comorbidities, and lower eGFR at dialysis initiation. VHA provider patients were more likely to be hospitalized in the first 12 months (adjusted incidence rate ratio, 1.10; 95% confidence interval, 1.07 to 1.14), but had lower all-cause mortality risk (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.87; 95% confidence interval, 0.83 to 0.93) in fully adjusted models. Veteran patients initiating dialysis with a VHA dialysis provider appear to have a lower mortality risk but higher hospitalization rates than veterans initiating dialysis at non-VHA dialysis units.

Full Reference

Streja, E., Kovesdy, C. P., Soohoo, M., Obi, Y., Rhee, C., Park, C., ; Chen, J., Nakata, T., Nguyen, D. V., ; Amin, A. N. (2018). Dialysis Provider and Outcomes among United States Veterans Who Transition to Dialysis, Clinical journal of the American Society of Nephrology, Vol: 13 (7), p. 1055-1062.