As reported by Network 11, incidence reflects the number of persons who were newly diagnosed as having end stage renal disease during a calendar year.
The data in this section show the number of newly diagnosed ESRD patients who initiated ESRD therapy (dialysis or transplant) in a given year. It is important to note that:
- The home dialysis data do not reflect patients who transferred to home from in-center dialysis.
- The transplant incidence data reflect only those patients transplanted in Network 11 in a given year without preceding dialysis.
New patients are reported according to the patient's geographic residence to determine the ratio of new cases in an area (incidence) to that area's total population. That comparison results in an incidence rate, which is expressed as the number of new ESRD cases per million population.
Importance of Incidence Rates
Incidence rates (which have been standardized on the same unit of population) are useful for future population projections, long-range health care planning, and for comparing incidence among regions. Use caution when interpreting incidence rates in areas that have a small population base. In such areas, a difference of only a small number of patients can make rates in different years appear to vary considerably. Incidence rates become increasingly consistent as the population base increases in size.
All newly diagnosed patients who begin a course of treatment for ESRD (in-center dialysis, home dialysis, or transplantation) at Network 11 ESRD facilities are included in the geographic origin and primary diagnosis tables. Almost all Medicare and non-Medicare patients are included for Network 11 even though the national ESRD Medical Information System collects data on Medicare patients only. (Nationally, approximately 5%-7% of ESRD patients are unentitled.)
Patients are not included in incidence figures if they are returning to dialysis following rejection of a kidney transplant or if they are an existing ESRD patient transferring into the Network 11 area. Also, these data may not include:
- Individuals who are never referred for treatment, or
- A very small number of Network 11 residents who may be treated at facilities in adjacent states.