Predictors of provider-patient visit frequency during Hemodialysis

Yelena Slinin, Haifeng Guo, Suying Li, Jiannong Liu, Benjamin Morgan, Kristine Ensrud, David T. Gilbertson, Allan J. Collins, Areef Ishani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background/Aims: In 2004, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services tied reimbursement for outpatient hemodialysis services to the number of times per month providers see their dialysis patients, resulting in increased provider-patient visit frequency. Greater provider-patient visit frequency is associated with lower hospitalization risk for hemodialysis patients, and determinants of visit frequency are uncertain. We aimed to identify patient, provider, and dialysis facility characteristics associated with provider visit frequency. Methods: This retrospective cohort study used United States Renal Data System (USRDS) data for point-prevalent patients receiving in-center hemodialysis on January 1, 2006 (n = 144,860). Patient characteristics were defined from January 1 to June 30, 2006, and provider-patient visit frequency (<4 vs. ≥4 visits/month) from July 1 to December 31, 2006. Patient characteristics were obtained from the USRDS. Provider data were obtained from the American Medical Association Physician Master File. We determined longitudinal associations between patient, provider, and facility characteristics and provider-patient visit frequency using logistic regression. Results: Patient characteristics independently associated with greater provider-patient visit frequency included older age, African-American race, longer dialysis duration, higher comorbidity score, Medicaid eligibility, urban residence, better compliance with dialysis, and more hospital days during run-in. Provider characteristics associated with greater provider-patient visit frequency included more years in practice, graduation from a foreign medical school, shorter distance between provider office and dialysis unit, and caring for more dialysis patients; facility characteristics included free-standing, independent status. Conclusion: After the Medicare reimbursement policy change, several patient, provider, and facility characteristics were independently associated with greater dialysis provider-patient visit frequency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-98
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Nephrology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • Hemodialysis
  • Medicare
  • Nephrology


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