The DOPPS Practice Monitor for US dialysis care: trends through August 2011

Am J Kidney Dis. 2012 Jul;60(1):160-5. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2012.04.001. Epub 2012 May 3.


We have examined trends in hemodialysis practice from August 2010 to August 2011, a time frame spanning the implementation of the bundled PPS, a major ESA label change by the FDA, and announcements from CMS on the proposed and final rules for the first year of the Quality Incentive Program (QIP) plus the proposed rules for the second and third years of the QIP. Although many hemodialysis practices have remained stable during this 1-year time period, substantial changes have been seen. These include a decline in epoetin dose and hemoglobin levels, an increase in IV iron use and serum ferritin levels, and an increase in PTH levels. The rates of decline in hemoglobin and epoetin dosing levels were greatest in the 2 months after the ESA label change in June 2011. Trends in anemia care in ensuing months, with more follow-up time after the label change, will be of great interest. In view of declining hemoglobin levels, a mechanism for comprehensive monitoring of transfusion rates is warranted to understand this important aspect of care for hemodialysis patients. Regarding clinical outcomes, no trend in all-cause mortality has been evident during this 1-year time period. Additional follow-up is warranted to understand if findings reported here persist over time, and require confirmation with national data as these become available. Trends in clinical care may not necessarily affect patient outcomes, and careful evaluation is required to understand effects on patient outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anemia / prevention & control
  • Darbepoetin alfa
  • Drug Labeling
  • Erythropoietin / administration & dosage
  • Erythropoietin / analogs & derivatives
  • Hematinics / administration & dosage
  • Hemoglobins / analysis
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / economics
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Prospective Payment System
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects
  • Renal Dialysis / economics
  • Renal Dialysis / trends*
  • United States


  • Hematinics
  • Hemoglobins
  • Erythropoietin
  • Darbepoetin alfa