Background: Patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) have special health needs; little is known about their care experiences.
Study design: Secondary analysis of 2009-2010 Medicare Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) data, using representative random samples of Medicare beneficiaries. Description of Medicare beneficiaries with ESRD and investigation of differences in patient experiences by sociodemographic characteristics and coverage type.
Setting & participants: Data were collected from 823,564 Medicare beneficiaries (3,794 with ESRD) as part of the Medicare CAHPS survey, administered by mail with telephone follow-up of nonrespondents.
Predictor: ESRD status, age, education, self-reported general and mental health status, race/ethnicity, sex, Medicare coverage type, state of residence, and other demographic measures.
Outcomes: 6 composite measures of patient experience in 4 care domains (access to care, physician communication, customer service, and access to prescription drugs and drug information) and 4 ratings (overall care, personal physician, specialist physician, and prescription drug plan).
Results: Patients with ESRD reported better care experiences than non-ESRD beneficiaries for 7 of 10 measures (P < 0.05) after adjustment for patient characteristics, geography, and coverage type, although to only a small extent (adjusted mean difference, <3 points [scale, 0-100]). Black patients with ESRD and less educated patients were more likely than other patients with ESRD to report poor experiences.
Limitations: Inability to distinguish patient experiences of care for different treatment modalities.
Conclusions: On average, beneficiaries with ESRD report patient experiences that are at least as positive as non-ESRD beneficiaries. However, black and less educated patients with ESRD reported worse experiences than other ESRD patients. Stratified reporting of patient experience by race/ethnicity or education in patients with ESRD can be used to monitor this disparity. Physician choice and confidence and trust in physicians may be particularly important for patients with ESRD.
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