Where You Get Your Care Matters

A study published December 9, 2010 in the journal Health Services Research, titled “The Effect of Dialysis Chains on Mortality among Patients Receiving Hemodialysis” (Zhang, Cotter, Thamer 2010) brought to light that it matters whether you receive care in a for-profit or nonprofit facility. Results of the study show:


  • Overall, patients were 13 percent more likely to die if they attended for-profit rather than non-profit facilities.
  • The risk of death over an 18-month to 30-month period was 19 percent and 24 percent higher for patients of the two largest chains – both of which were for-profit — than for patients at DCI. At the time that the study was conducted, the largest for-profit chain was Fresenius and the second largest for-profit chain was DaVita.Basically this means the mortality (proportion of deaths related to a given population) for patients at the two largest for-profit chains were 19% higher and 24% higher than the mortality for patients treated by DCI.Founder and Chairman of the Board for DCI, Dr. H. Keith Johnson, stated, “For nearly 40 years DCI has operated as a non-profit organization with the philosophy that offering high quality care to the patient is our reason for existence. We believe that our non-profit status allows us to devote a larger proportion of our resources to improving the care we offer to our patients.”Link to abstract for the study entitled “The Effect of Dialysis Chains on Mortality among Patients Receiving Hemodialysis”: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1475-6773.2010.01219.x/abstract Link to Robin Fields article for ProPublica “New Study Shows Higher Mortality Risk at For-Profit Dialysis Chains”: http://www.propublica.org/article/new-study-shows-higher-mortality-risk-at-in-for-profit-dialysis-chains
    Link to Newswise article “Dialysis Center Choice Makes Difference in Death Risk”http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/571596