The National Quality Forum has endorsed a new clinical measure focused on improving fluid management for dialysis patients. The measure focuses on safe and adequate fluid removal, and was developed by the Kidney Care Quality Alliance (KCQA), a group founded by Kidney Care Partners (KCP).

KCP said it made fluid management a priority because it is the most common cause of hospitalizations for dialysis patients. “A critical connection between fluid management and morbidity had already been made in a 2010 study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN) involving 25,291 dialysis patients tracked 41,699 care episodes that resulted in inpatient hospitalization, observations or emergency department (ED) visits due to complications primarily from fluid overload, at a cost to the Medicare system of $6,372 per patient or $266 million, KCP said in a statement.”

KCQA’s ultrafiltration measure, now designated NQF 2701, was endorsed as part of NQF’s Renal Project, which focused on evaluating measures associated with renal conditions and making recommendations for which measures should be endorsed as national consensus standards. The federal government and many private sector entities use NQF-endorsed measures above all others because of the rigor of the evaluation and consensus process behind them.

“We believe the renal community – and KCQA specifically – is in the best position to create measures that are relevant, practical, and proven to drive better outcomes,” said KCP Chair Dr. Ed Jones, chief of the renal section at Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia and clinical professor of medicine at Temple University Hospital, “NQF endorsement of KCQA’s latest performance measure demonstrates that KCQA’s work, which is based on collaboration and a wealth of knowledge and experience, is valued.”