Preventing hospitalizations in older hemodialysis (HD) patients: the role of primary care access

This research aims to provide preliminary evidence on the need for increased primary care access for hemodialysis patients. The average HD patient is hospitalized nearly twice a year; which is almost double the hospitalization rate compared to other Medicare beneficiaries. In older non-HD populations, access to primary care is associated with deceased hospitalizations rates for certain conditions such as diabetes, asthma, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Such conditions are considered “ambulatory sensitive” and are likely preventable with increased visits to primary care. Increased access to primary care may be a potential intervention to reduce the overall number of hospitalizations in older HD patients.