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Medicare plans to extend financial structures tested through the Comprehensive End-Stage Renal Disease Care (CEC) Initiative-an alternative payment model for maintenance dialysis providers-to promote high-value care for beneficiaries with kidney failure. The End-Stage Renal Disease Seamless Care Organizations (ESCOs) that formed under the CEC Initiative varied greatly in their ability to generate cost savings and improve patient health outcomes. This study examined whether organizational or community characteristics were associated with ESCOs' performance. We used a retrospective pooled cross-sectional analysis of all 37 ESCOs participating in the CEC Initiative during 2015-2018 (n=87 ESCO-years). Key exposures included ESCO characteristics: number of dialysis facilities, number and types of physicians, and years of CEC Initiative experience. Outcomes of interest included were above versus below median gross financial savings (2.4%) and standardized mortality ratio (0.93). We analyzed unadjusted differences between high- and low-performing ESCOs and then used multivariable logistic regression to construct average marginal effect estimates for parameters of interest. Above-median gross savings were obtained by 23 (52%) ESCOs with no program experience, 14 (32%) organizations with 1 year of experience, and seven (16%) organizations with 2 years of experience. The adjusted likelihoods of achieving above-median gross savings were 23 (95% confidence interval, 8 to 37) and 48 (95% confidence interval, 24 to 68) percentage points higher for ESCOs with 1 or 2 years of program experience, respectively (versus none). The adjusted likelihood of achieving above-median gross savings was 1.7 (95% confidence interval, -3 to -1) percentage points lower with each additional affiliated dialysis facility. Adjusted mortality rates were lower for ESCOs located in areas with higher socioeconomic status. Smaller ESCOs, organizations with more experience in the CEC Initiative, and those located in more affluent areas performed better under the CEC Initiative. Copyright © 2021 by the American Society of Nephrology.


Kelsey M Drewry, Amal N Trivedi, Adam S Wilk. Organizational Characteristics Associated with High Performance in Medicare's Comprehensive End-Stage Renal Disease Care Initiative. Clinical journal of the American Society of Nephrology : CJASN. 2021 Oct;16(10):1522-1530

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PMID: 34620648

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