Home Dialysis Utilization Among Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the United States at the National, Regional, and State Level

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Peritoneal dialysis international : journal of the International Society for Peritoneal Dialysis








Peritoneal dialysis; home hemodialysis; racial disparities


BACKGROUND: United States Renal Data System (USRDS) data from 2014 show that African Americans (AA) are underrepresented in the home dialysis population, with 6.4% versus 9.2% utilization in the general populace. This racial disparity may be inaccurately ascribed to the nation as a whole if regional and inter-state variability exists. This investigation sought to examine home dialysis utilization by minority Medicare beneficiary populations across the US nationally, regionally, and by individual state. ♦ METHODS: The 2012 Medicare 100% Outpatient Standard Analytic File was used to identify all Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) patients, with state of residence and race, receiving an outpatient dialysis facility bill type. Peritoneal dialysis (PD) and home hemodialysis (HHD) patients were identified using revenue and condition codes and were defined by having at least one claim during the year that met criteria for the category. Beneficiaries were counted once for each modality used that year. A home dialysis utilization ratio (UR) was calculated as the ratio of the proportion of a minority on PD or HHD within a geographic division to the proportion of Caucasians on PD or HHD within the same geographic division. A UR less than 1.00 indicated under-representation while a UR over 1.00 indicated over-representation. Utilization ratios were compared using a Poisson regression model. ♦ RESULTS: A total of 369,164 Medicare FFS dialysis patients were identified. Within the total cohort, AA were the most underrepresented minority on PD (UR 0.586; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.585 - 0.586; p < 0.0001), followed by Hispanics (UR 0.744; 95% CI 0.743 - 0.744; p < 0.0001). The underutilization of PD by AA and Hispanics could not be ascribed to any region of the US, as all regions of the US had UR < 1.00. Only Massachusetts had a UR > 1.00 for AA on PD. Peritoneal dialysis UR values for Asians and those self-identified as Other were 0.954; 95% CI 0.953 - 0.954 and 0.932; 95% CI 0.931 - 0.932, respectively. Nationally, all minorities utilized HHD less than Caucasians. However, more variability existed, with Asians utilizing more HHD than Caucasians in the Midwest. ♦ CONCLUSIONS: Although regional and interstate variability exists, there is near universal under-representation of AA and Hispanics in the home dialysis population, while Asians and Other demonstrate more interregional and interstate variability.