Analysis of Specialty Nephrology Care Among Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease and High Risk of Disease Progression.
JAMA network open
2022; 5 (8): e2225797
Importance: Identification of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) with high risk of progression to kidney failure can help ensure they receive appropriate and effective nephrology care.Objective: To examine whether patients with CKD at various levels of kidney failure risk receive nephrology care within 1 year of established risk.Design, Setting, and Participants: This population-based, retrospective cohort study collected nationwide administrative health claims data from 156 733 adult patients who met the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes initiative CKD diagnostic criteria between January 1, 2012, and December 31, 2019, and had an available urine albumin to creatinine ratio within 90 days of a serum creatinine laboratory test. Patients with a history of dialysis or kidney transplant, a prior visit with a nephrologist in the past year, or palliative care billing codes or those who died or disenrolled within 1 year of the albumin to creatinine ratio measurement were excluded. Data analysis was performed from September 10, 2022, to February 14, 2022.Exposures: Kidney failure risk computed with the 5-year Kidney Failure Risk Equation.Main Outcomes and Measures: The main outcome was nephrology care rates across tiers of kidney failure risk, estimated as the proportion of individuals having a nephrologist visit within 1 year after index time.Results: The study population consisted of 156 733 patients with CKD (mean [SD] age, 74.6 [8.4] years; 91 906 [58.6%] female; 86 457 [55.2%] White). A total of 106 004 patients (67.6%) had a low (≤1%) 5-year risk of kidney failure. Nephrology visit rates increased with higher kidney failure risk. Among the 137 highest-risk patients, 79 (57.7%; 95% CI, 48.4%-64.7%) had a nephrology visit. Among 7730 patients with risk above a 10% threshold, 3208 (41.5%; 95% CI, 40.3%-42.4%) had a nephrology visit.Conclusions and Relevance: This study's findings suggest that nearly half of patients with CKD at high risk of progressing to kidney failure do not have a nephrologist visit within 1 year of established risk. These findings have implications in the design of risk-based guidelines for referral and in the practice of delivering nephrology care to patients with CKD.
View details for DOI 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.25797
View details for PubMedID 35984661