Dialysis facilities;ESRD Networks;kidney transplantation
Variability in transplant rates between different dialysis units has been noted, yet little is known about facility-level factors associated with low standardized transplant ratios (STRs) across the United States End-stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Network regions. We analyzed Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Dialysis Facility Report data from 2007 to 2010 to examine facility-level factors associated with low STRs using multivariable mixed models. Among 4098 dialysis facilities treating 305 698 patients, there was wide variability in facility-level STRs across the 18 ESRD Networks. Four-year average STRs ranged from 0.69 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.64–0.73) in Network 6 (Southeastern Kidney Council) to 1.61 (95% CI: 1.47–1.76) in Network 1 (New England). Factors significantly associated with a lower STR (p < 0.0001) included for-profit status, facilities with higher percentage black patients, patients with no health insurance and patients with diabetes. A greater number of facility staff, more transplant centers per 10 000 ESRD patients and a higher percentage of patients who were employed or utilized peritoneal dialysis were associated with higher STRs. The lowest performing dialysis facilities were in the Southeastern United States. Understanding the modifiable facility-level factors associated with low transplant rates may inform interventions to improve access to transplantation.