The ESRD Quality Incentive Program (QIP) is the first mandatory federal pay for performance program launched on January 1, 2012. The QIP is tied to the ESRD prospective payment system and mandated by the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008, which directed the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to expand the payment bundle for renal dialysis services and legislated that payment be tied to quality measures. The QIP links 2% of the payment that a dialysis facility receives forMedicare patients on dialysis to the facility's performance on quality of care measures. Quality measures are evaluated annually for inclusion on the basis of importance, validity, and performance gap. Other quality assessment programs overlap with the QIP; all have substantial effects on provision of care as clinicians, patients, regulators, and dialysis organizations scramble to keep up with the frequent release of wide-ranging regulations. In this review, we provide an overview of quality assessment and quality measures, focusing on the ESRD QIP, its effect on care, and its potential future directions. We conclude that a patient-centered, individualized, and parsimonious approach to quality assessment needs to be maintained to allow the nephrology community to further bridge the quality chasm in dialysis care.
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