Many of the nation's dialysis facilities fail to meet minimum clinical expectations for a substantial portion of their patients, a General Accounting Office study concluded. Tapping national databases and obtaining new data from 10 states, the GAO found that 512 facilities provided inadequate dialysis treatment to at least 20% of their patients in 2000. Nearly 1,700 facilities provided inadequate care for anemia. The CMS, meanwhile, has inconsistently monitored the facilities, many of which go years between inspections, the GAO said. End-state renal disease facilities have little incentive to meet Medicare's minimum quality standards, and problems that get corrected do not always stay corrected, the report said. The GAO recommended that the CMS impose sanctions, such as a monetary penalties, on dialysis facilities with quality problems in consecutive surveys. Read the report. -- by Jeff Tieman
Many dialysis centers fail clinical standards: GAO
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