Janet L. Welch, Julie Meek, Rebecca J. Bartlett Ellis, Roberta Ambuehl, Brian S. Decker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Background: Patterns of healthcare encounters by patients in each stage of chronic kidney disease (CKD) have not been fully described. Objective: This study describes patterns of healthcare resource use by patients with CKD. Design: A retrospective descriptive design was used. Participants: Patients with Stages 1–5 CKD were identified in five existing de-identified healthcare insurance claims databases in the United States using codes from the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9-CM). Measurements: The databases contained more than 23,660,000 claims records from over 11 million subscribers who were continuously enrolled in a single 2014 health plan. All CKD patients’ 2014 claims were extracted, yielding 1,987 unique people with 110,594 healthcare encounters. Results: Healthcare resources are used to manage the causes of CKD and its multiple effects on health, and thus the number of healthcare encounters among people with more advanced disease was, as expected, relatively higher. There were more hospitalisations, emergency department visits and specialist encounters in this group. Surprisingly, however, even people in earlier stages of kidney disease experienced a median of 14–17 healthcare encounters during a single calendar year. Conclusions: Understanding patterns of healthcare encounters provides important information about the transition experiences of patients with CKD. Exploring ways to reduce the risks associated with transitions in care may prevent problems with home medication management, frequent emergency department visits and potentially avoidable hospitalisations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-218
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Renal Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Healthcare utilisation
  • Self-management/self-care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing

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