Our Mission

To provide leadership and assistance to renal dialysis and transplant facilities in a manner
that supports continuous improvement in patient care, outcomes, safety and satisfaction.

Fistula First Project Description

Arteriovenous Fistula First Logo

Fistula First Breakthrough Initiative

Fistula First is a national Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)-driven quality improvement project started in 2003 in conjunction with the Institute of Health Improvement (IHI). The initial goals of the project was to reach the National Kidney Foundation Dialysis Outcomes Quality Initiative (NKF-KDOQI) Guidelines targets for vascular access- 40% AVF utilization rate for prevalent hemodialysis patient population, and 50% AVF placement rate for incident patients.

In the 2006-2009 Statement of Work (SOW), CMS increased the AVF goal to 66 % AVF utilization in prevalent hemodialysis patients. In addition, CMS set yearly goals for each End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Network for each contract year, based on their performance. The ultimate goal of this initiative is to increase the likelihood that all eligible hemodialysis patients will be using native AV Fistula as a primary source of vascular access.

NEW - CMS Announcement (April 14, 2004)
Fistula First CMS Press Release

Fistula First Initiative - Fact Sheet (March 17, 2005)
AVF Fact Sheet

Network 18 AVF Trend: 2009-2011 (download chart)

AVF Trend

Network 18 Vascular Access Charts

Visit the Vascular Access page at www.fistulafirst.org for more information.


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