MANKATO, Minn. ? Mayo Clinic Health System is being honored by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for its dialysis care in Mankato and New Ulm. The care involves use of an arteriovenous fistula (AVF) as a dialysis access point.
Patients diagnosed with end stage renal disease, or kidney failure, must access dialysis care in order to clean their blood of waste products and toxins. To easily and safely access this blood during regular dialysis treatments, vascular surgeons can create an artery-to-vein connection allowing increased blood flow to enlarge and strengthen the vein. This enlarged vein is called an AVF. For most patients, an AVF is the preferred access type. Overall, AVFs offer the best performance, more durability and a low infection rate compared to other access types, especially catheters.
The CMS Fistula First initiative has the goal of using an AVF as the access point in at least 66 percent of all suitable patients. In 2011, 67 percent of suitable dialysis patients receiving treatments in Mankato and 77 percent of suitable patients receiving treatments in New Ulm were using AVF access points. Mayo Clinic Health System has 12 dialysis chairs in Mankato and six dialysis chairs in New Ulm.
"Exceeding CMS' Fistula First goal demonstrates that our patients are receiving the best in world-class medicine from our integrated team of health care providers," says Fawad Qureshi, M.D., interventional nephrologist at Mayo Clinic Health System. "By creating an individualized plan of care for each of our dialysis patients, we are delivering the highest level of patient safety and service."
According to Dr. Qureshi, in the past, area dialysis patients were referred to other facilities as far away as Rochester and the Twin Cities for additional appointments, including AVF surgeries and endovascular repair. That led to a delay in necessary care. "Now, patients have access to readily available services and comprehensive care options close to home without the added stress and inconvenience of travel," says Dr. Qureshi. "We can perform all of their AVF and dialysis needs here within Mayo Clinic Health System."
"We are proud to be recognized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services," says Greg Kutcher, M.D., regional president and CEO of Mayo Clinic Health System. "This is another example of how Mayo Clinic Health System is dedicated to delivering an unparalleled health care experience to all patients, every day."