Reviews of Dialysis clinics

Hi. I have two questions about dialysis clinics. My husband is close to starting PD. We have just started the process of getting ready for this. My husband’s nephrologist told him to call a nurse at one of the clinics (which I think he is associated with). But there are other centers that are closer to us. I have tried to find reviews of dialysis clinics in my area (in Maryland), but am unable to find reviews. Any suggestions where I could get this information ? Secondly, our plan is to use PD as long as possible while waiting for a transplant and if need be go onto home nocturnal HD. But there is only 1 center within 25 miles of us that offers home nocturnal HD. Should we start off at the clinic that offers nocturnal HD, although we will be doing PD for the foreseeable future (once my husband starts on it)? Thx

The Medicare website allows you to search for dialysis clinics.

The Dialysis Facility Compare database lists clinics within a certain distance from your zip code (defaults to 25 but modifiable). Distance from a clinic may not be as burdensome if your husband is doing PD or home HD. After training, visits to the clinic are typically at most 1-2 a month. The database shows 1-5 stars indicating its “quality rating” and “patient survey rating.” The site lets you “filter” the clinics by treatment options (under services), including in-center hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, home dialysis training (means home hemodialysis training) and shifts starting after 5 p.m. for in-center dialysis. You would have to call the clinic to find out if it offers nocturnal home HD.

Your husband might want to ask his nephrologist if he follows patients on PD or nocturnal home HD at any other clinics besides the two mentioned. If the nephrologist doesn’t go to other clinics and your husband likes and trusts his nephrologist, is he open to changing nephrologists? Some patients are and others aren’t. You and your husband might want to call or visit (if allowed with COVID) clinics to interview the home training nurse. Ask questions about the program, the home training nurse’s experience teaching PD and/or home HD, average waiting time to start training, how long the training usually takes, etc. During the interview pay attention to how well the home training nurse listens and communicates. It’s best if a training nurse has been training patients for a long time, works at just one clinic so s/he is available when needed and appears to be someone you and your husband can get along with. Patients often develop a close working relationship with their home training nurse. This could help you know whether to go to the close clinic that offers PD or one that’s more distant that offers both PD and nocturnal home HD.

Thank you, Beth. Very helpful information.