Improving vascular access outcomes: a systems approach to eliminating structural barriers

Blood Purification
J J Sands, Michael A Perry


Maximizing AV fistula creation, regular access monitoring, prompt outpatient interventions and minimizing catheter use are well-accepted approaches for vascular access management. Systemic barriers impede the application of these strategies. A misaligned reimbursement system coupled with educational deficits and a lack of accountability has contributed to the institutionalization of substandard vascular access care. The hallmark of performance management is to create systems in which incentives are aligned to produce desired behaviors. Realigning reimbursement through a combination of pre-ESRD funding, enhancements to the composite rate to reward outcomes and cover vascular access monitoring and updated reimbursement for outpatient vascular access procedures would improve care and decrease unnecessary hospitalizations. This should be coupled with clearly defined outcome standards and accountability incorporated into hospital accreditation and credentialing. Capitation may provide alternative solutions. A two-phased approach including reimbursement reform while exploring capitation represents a prudent course with the best likelihood of success.


Aug 28, 2007·American Journal of Kidney Diseases : the Official Journal of the National Kidney Foundation·Eduardo LacsonRaymond M Hakim
Oct 13, 2005·Hemodialysis International·Andrew S O'ConnorAshwini R Sehgal

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