Kidney Care Partners is planning to release a blueprint on quality this summer, with an eye toward influencing performance measures used in Medicare's End-Stage Renal Disease Quality Incentive Program.

Kidney Care Partners organized a "quality summit" March 28 with 35 leaders from patient, physician, dialysis provider, caregiver and research groups to begin work on a national blueprint for advancing kidney care quality. The blueprint will aid in developing recommendations for the QIP and priorities for internal quality improvement, research, innovation and public policy, Kidney Care Partners said.

Kidney Care Partners said that once final, the blueprint would be made publicly available as a report this summer.

"The kidney care community has made significant strides in quality,” said KCP chairman Ron Kuerbitz. “Development of a quality blueprint will be important as we work on the evolution of the QIP and as we continue to make progress on our internal quality improvement efforts.”

The focus on blueprint development follows results from KCP’s Performance Excellence and Accountability in Kidney Care (PEAK) initiative , which was designed to improve survival rates among first-year dialysis patients. To date, that initiative has reduced first-year mortality by 12%. An update, based on data gathered through December 2012, is expected this summer.