Patients who initiate hemodialysis (HD) within the Department of Veterans Affairs/Department of Defense (DVA/DoD) system are more likely to start treatment with an arteriovenous fistula (AVF) than patients with other types of insurance coverage, including Medicare, a study found.

The study, by Frank P. Hurst, MD, of Walter Reed Army Medical center in Washington, D.C., and colleagues, found that 27.2% of patients in the DVA/DoD system started HD with an AVF compared with 18.5% of patients with employer group insurance, 15.6% of Medicare beneficiaries, 13% of Medicaid patients, 8.2% of individuals without insurance, and 16.7% of patients with “other” insurance, according to an online report in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.