December 26, 2016

Network Hosted Webinar Event!
IPRO ESRD Network of New England will be hosting a webinar event on Thursday, January 12, 2017, 2:00-3:00 PM ET. The webinar will provide an overview of the Network's 2017 activities and detail the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) expectations for the 2016-2020 ESRD Statement of Work.
Participation from each dialysis facility in New England (designated Network Council representatives) is requested.
To register click here, and for more information contact the Network at (203) 387-9332.
Quality Improvement
December 31, 2016 - Reporting Deadline for NHSN Dialysis Event Surveillance
To meet the CMS ESRD Quality Incentive Program (QIP) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) reporting requirements for Payment Year 2018, outpatient hemodialysis facilities must submit their third quarter 2016 Dialysis Event (DE) (collected from July 1, 2016 through September 30, 2016) by Saturday, December 31, 2016. New or revised third quarter data entered into NHSN after December 31 will not be submitted to CMS. Please be aware that any changes or corrections to third quarter 2016 data should be made prior to the reporting deadline.

The Network recommends the following resources to assist you in reviewing facility-level data before the deadline.  These resources and others can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Dialysis Event homepage:
Contact the NHSN Helpdesk (, subject line 'Dialysis') with any questions.
New Tools for States to Fight Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs)
Health Department HAI Communication Tools. The Association for State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and the CDC  have launched the Healthcare-Associated Infections and Antibiotic Resistance Communication Toolkit for Health Departments.

This suite of materials was designed to engage and enhance communication and coordination among various healthcare audiences, including dialysis facility staff , about HAI prevention and stopping the spread of antibiotic resistance.
What's included in the toolkit?
  • Key Messages and Talking Points
  • Tips for Working with the Media
  • How to Sustain the Conversation Around HAIs
  • Social Media Guide and Sample Content
  • Calendar of HAI-Related Events
Other resources include an infographic, infocard series, and a video. Download these tools, personalize the print materials by adding your organization's logo, and adapt them to meet the needs of your staff and patients.
Visit the ASTHO website to find more information and materials available for download.
Patient Services
Updated Dialysis Facility Compare Website
On October 19, CMS launched the updated Dialysis Facility Compare. Designed to help ESRD patients access and understand information about quality dialysis facilities more easily, Dialysis Facility Compare allows patients and care partners to search for and compare centers. For patients already on dialysis, the website is a resource to help understand the quality of care provided by their dialysis center.
CMS has calculated a star rating for every Medicare-certified dialysis center, with five stars as the highest rating. The star rating combines nine clinical quality measures related to how well dialysis centers care for their patients and how often each center uses best practices to care for its patients and keep them healthy. For the first time, Dialysis Facility Compare is also reporting information from a nationally conducted survey about patients' experiences with dialysis facilities. The results, which range from topics such as staff communication to overall cleanliness, are not in dialysis facilities' star ratings at this time.
The Network Needs Patient Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) - Nominate Now!
IPRO ESRD Network of New England is seeking committed and informed patients to advise us in promoting quality of care to patients across the New England states. These SMEs will assist the Network in developing patient-centered projects in alignment with CMS mandates.
Social Workers : Please discuss this opportunity with your patients, and encourage them to volunteer to be SMEs. Please talk to your Patient Advisory Committee (PAC) Representatives, and ask them to consider becoming Patient SMEs in addition to their PAC duties. Patients who served as SMEs in 2016 have already been sent an email about renewing participation for 2017.
The role of a Patient SME:
  • Participate on conference calls, as needed.
  • Review and develop educational materials.
  • Discuss planning for educational events (webinars, face-to-face meetings, and conference calls).
  • Evaluate project interventions.
  • Share ideas/concerns/thoughts to enhance learning for all.
For more information please visit the ESRD Network Program website. If you have a patient that is interested in becoming an SME, please complete this form and fax to (203) 389-9902 by Friday , January 6, 2017.
If you have any questions, please contact Merari Rosario, Community Outreach Coordinator here or by calling (203) 285-1223.
A Healthy Diet Can Lower Mortality Rate in Kidney Patients 
A diet that emphasizes healthy foods rather than individual nutrients may help patients with chronic kidney disease live longer, according to a study published in the Journal of the American  Society of Nephrology (CJASN).

Patients with chronic kidney disease are advised to follow dietary recommendations that restrict individual nutrients such as phosphorus, potassium, protein, and sodium. But empirical evidence suggests that these restrictions-which can be difficult to abide by-have limited effects on reducing patients' risk of premature death.

Click here to read the full article in Nephrology News & Issues.

Data Management
ACTION NEEDED - Performance Score Reports for Payment Year 2017 
Payment year 2017 Performance Score Certificates (PSC) are available for download as of December 15, 2016. Facilities will be able to access their PY 2017 PSCs until the start of the PY 2018 Preview Period next summer. CMS encourages facilities to retain the Portable Document Format (PDF) file containing their PSCs so that they may generate a replacement paper copy as needed throughout 2017. The PSC is a document that facilities must post in a prominent area for patient viewing throughout 2017.
The Final Performance Score Reports (PSRs) will be available for download after the first of January. While we know that final Total Performance Scores (TPS) are correct, we have identified a few formatting issues that we intend to correct before releasing. CMS will communicate to facilities once the date has been confirmed in which the final PSR's will be available.

Accessing PSCs:

  1. Go to
  2. Log in End Stage Renal Disease Quality Incentive Program QIMS/ CROWNWeb user credentials  
  3. Enter passcode received via email
  4. Once logged in, change the organization type to facility QIP by going to the user profile tab (at the top right side of the screen) then clicking the user preferences drop down tab
  5. Go to "My Reports" and then "Run Reports"
  6. Click on "Run Reports" again and the click on "View Reports"
  7. Select "Performance Score Certificate"
  8. Provide required parameters and click submit
  9. Go to "Search Reports" and "Select the Report"
  10. Click on Download
If you need further information or assistance, please contact Krystle Gonzalez at Please note: Due to a large number of emails and phone calls received by the Network, emails will be answered in the order they are received. We request your patience as we respond to emails during this holiday season. 

Have Your Key Facility Personnel Been Updated in CROWNWeb?
CROWNWeb Data Management Guidelines require that key facility personnel are added within five business days of staff changes. The guidelines also indicate that facility staff should review personnel information at least quarterly.
As an efficient and cost effective way to communicate with our community, the Network relies on email to send important information. The Network started a new contract year on December 1, 2016, and new quality improvement activities will soon be initiated. As you know, CROWNWeb is the Network's source for facility personnel contact information.
To ensure that the appropriate individuals at your facility receive critical information from the Network on an ongoing basis, CROWNWeb must reflect current and up-to-date information for key personnel at your facility.
Please verify facility/personnel contact information in CROWNWeb for accuracy.   Anyone with access to CROWNWeb can update facility personnel information. It is very important that personnel contact information (including name, job description, JOBCODE, job title, email, and phone number) for key staff members at your facility is kept up to date in CROWNWeb.
Transplant centers that do not have access to CROWNWeb can fax the information to the Network at 203-389-9902.
The key staff members include only those personnel with job descriptions and job codes listed below.

Key staff members are:

Job Description
Facility Head Nurse/Nurse Supervisor
Facility Social Worker
Facility Dietitian
Facility Medical Director
Facility Administrator
Facility Nephrologist
Facility Data Contact

The facility personnel screen in CROWNWeb is divided into three sections:
  • Key personnel info - complete all the information
  • Positions - create as many positions as required. If any staff member's position changes, e.g., Medical Director, remove the position. Do not delete or deactivate the staff member. One can add and remove as many positions as needed.
  • Personnel contact info - Email is required.
Use the Network Data Knowledge Base and Customer Portal
With the increase in data that must be submitted, as well as systems through which the data is collected, there are multiple ways in which you can reach the Network Data Support Team for help. 
*Please remember that you should NEVER include any patient-specific information such as Name, Date of Birth, Social Security Number, Medicare Claim Number, etc. The only patient identifier that can safely be communicated is the Unique Patient Identifier (UPI) from CROWNWeb.*
Upcoming Meeting & Events
Thursday, January 12, 2017 - 2017 Network Activities and CMS Expectations webinar hosted by IPRO ESRD Network of New England

IPRO End-Stage Renal Disease Network of New England, the ESRD Organization for Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, prepared this material under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents presented do not necessarily reflect CMS policy. CMS Contract Number: HHSM-500-2016-00019C.