Image of Steven M. Brunelli, M.D., MSCE

Adults with end-stage kidney disease appear to have lower rates of hospitalization and mortality when they enroll in Medicare’s Chronic Condition Special Needs Plans (C-SNPs), according to a new study by researchers affiliated with dialysis provider Davita Inc.

Investigators matched more than 2,500 dialysis center C-SNP enrollees to patients at the same facility who were not enrolled in C-SNPs. They also matched almost 2,000 C-SNP enrollees at the county level to patients not enrolled in a C-SNP. They found that plan enrollees were significantly less likely to be hospitalized or die than matched patients who were not enrolled in a C-SNP.

When compared with standard care for end-stage kidney disease with dialysis, additional services and benefits gained by kidney patients enrolled in C-SNPs may improve outcomes, wrote Steven M. Brunelli, M.D., MSCE, of DaVita Clinical Research, Minneapolis.

“[A]spects of the care model, including access to the integrated care team, regular interactions between this team and the interdisciplinary dialysis team — for example, the patient’s nephrologist — and possibly access to the additional services and benefits provided via C-SNPs, may improve patient outcomes beyond the standard of care for this high-risk, high-need population,” Brunelli and colleagues wrote.

There have been studies of the effect of C-SNPs on other chronic conditions, but this is the first one to evaluate the association of C-SNPs with outcomes among patients with end-stage kidney disease, the authors noted.

The study was published in JAMA Network Open.