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Is ownership of dialysis facilities associated with access to kidney transplants?

September 10, 2019

Bottom Line: An analysis that included data for nearly 1.5 million patients with end-stage kidney disease looked at whether ownership of dialysis facilities was associated with patients' access to kidney transplants. This observational study included patients treated at 6,511 dialysis facilities in the United States from 2000-2016. The authors report that receiving dialysis at for-profit compared with nonprofit facilities was associated with lower likelihood of being placed on the deceased donor kidney waiting list, receiving a deceased donor kidney transplant, and receiving a living donor kidney transplant. More research is needed to understand the reasons behind this association. Limitations of the study include an inability to determine differences regarding staffing resources, education policies and transplant referral practices, which may be associated with increased access to kidney transplantation. The study also couldn't identify patients truly eligible for transplantation.

Authors: Rachel E. Patzer, Ph.D., M.P.H., Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, and coauthors

(doi:10.1001/jama.2019.12803)

Editor's Note: The article includes conflict of interest and funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
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Media advisory: To contact corresponding author Rachel E. Patzer, Ph.D., M.P.H., email Janet Christenbury at jmchris@emory.edu. The full study and editorial are linked to this news release.

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