October 3, 2016
Important Updates
The Network is Now Hiring

The IPRO ESRD Network of New England is currently hiring for the following two positions:

  • RN State License Required
  • Professional Certification in Nephrology preferred 

Administrative Assistant/ Program Support

  • Associates Degree preferred
  • Minimum of 1 year related work experience

Interested candidates can submit a resume to careers1@ipro.org.

Last Chance to Complete the 2016 ESRD Network Needs Assessment
"Plan, Do, Study, Act".  Please help us study the work that we have done, and take the time to complete our 15 question Needs Assessment for 2016. Your feedback will help us in developing future activities and materials. We need your candid feedback to help us improve.
Complete the 2016 ESRD Network of New England Needs Assessment.
There's Still Time to Register - 2016 ESRD New England Fall Meeting

Participant registration is now open. Click here.
Registration fee participant is currently $93.00*
*Please Note the registration fee will increase to $103.00 on October 4, 2016
Registration will close on Thursday, October 20, 2016

For more information, visit the Network website.
Quality Improvement
The ESRD Choice Act of 2016 Passes the House
On September 21, 2016, the House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 5659, the Expanding Seniors Receiving Dialysis Choice Act or ESRD Choice Act.  The 423-0 vote included 242 Republicans and 181 Democrats.

Starting in 2020, this bill will give individuals with kidney failure access to Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. It will also require education for individuals with end stage renal disease (ESRD) to aid them in making informed decisions about MA coverage.  Since the MA program was created in 2003, ESRD patients are the only group specifically denied the option to enroll in these plans (currently Medicare beneficiaries who have Chronic Kidney Disease can enroll in MA and can remain in their MA plan after they progress to ESRD). Removing government restrictions that prevent ESRD patients from enrolling in MA plans will allow ESRD beneficiaries the same freedom of choice in coverage as other Medicare enrollees. Allowing ESRD patients to select these plans may help some patients minimize their out-of-pocket expenses and access additional benefits that some MA plans provide like transportation and dental.

Next steps: While the House has passed this bill, it still needs to be considered in the Senate.  At this time, there is no Senate companion bill to H.R. 5659 but given the overwhelming support in the House, it is likely that there will be movement on this issue later this Congress.

Making Dialysis Safer for Patients Coalition

Dialysis Organizations Team Up with CDC to Protect Patients

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is teaming up with a broad coalition of kidney and dialysis organizations to reduce the number of bloodstream infections in dialysis patients. Each year, about 37,000 people get potentially deadly bloodstream infections related to their dialysis treatment.
Bloodstream infections in dialysis patients could be cut in half if dialysis facilities implement CDC recommendations. For several years, facilities that have followed CDC recommendations have been successful in reducing bloodstream infections in dialysis patients. The new initiative, known as the Making Dialysis Safer for Patients Coalition , aims to significantly expand the use of CDC recommendations and tools to improve dialysis patient safety nationwide.  CDC together with CDC Foundation will host the coalition's first stakeholder meeting this month.
"Making evidence-based safety steps a routine part of patient care is a proven strategy to keep dialysis patients safe from bloodstream infections," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. "We appreciate the new coalition of kidney and dialysis organizations stepping forward to protect the health of dialysis patients."
The coalition aims to decrease bloodstream infections among dialysis patients by promoting the use of CDC's Core Interventions for Dialysis Bloodstream Infection Prevention . CDC is providing facilities with a package of resources  that includes checklists, audit tools, how-to videos, continuing education training, and patient resources.
Coalition partners have committed to educating their membership and staff, raising awareness among patients and healthcare providers about the importance of infection prevention, helping to implement CDC recommendations in dialysis facilities, and sharing best practices. The coalition is also working with dialysis delivery organizations to accelerate the implementation of CDC recommendations.
NHSN Re-Baseline Webinar
National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) Re-baseline Webinar, Session 1
Wednesday, October 5, 2016, 2:00 - 3:30 pm EDT
Summary: The goal of this activity is to inform Infection Preventionists and public health partners on the new national baseline for healthcare associated infections reported to NHSN. Our desired outcome would be that participants understand the purpose and approach for re-baselining and that they Understand factors used in the updated calculations for the standardized infection ratio (SIR). Subject matter experts will also provide an overview of how the new SIRs are shared with CMS for various CMS programs. There will also be an opportunity to ask subject matter experts questions during the live chat portion of the webinar.

Learning Objectives
  • Discuss the history and approach of developing a new national baseline for measuring healthcare-associated infections (HAIs)
  • Explain the structure and elements of the new HAI risk model
  • Review the use of the SIRs in relation to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) programs
Patient Services
Register Now for the Annual Patient Advisory Committee (PAC) Summit
IPRO ESRD Network of New England invites one patient representative from each dialysis facility to attend the annual Patient Advisory Committee (PAC) face-to-face summit. This summit is a fun opportunity to meet and collaborate in person with peers. A kidney-friendly brunch will be provided.
When: Sunday, October 16, 2016 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
Where: Southbridge Hotel and Conference Center, 14 Mechanic Street, Southbridge, MA 01550
Registration: Click here
For more information click here or visit the Network website.
KCER Emergency Awareness Campaign

The Kidney Community Emergency Response (KCER) Coalition is holding a "What If...Emergency Awareness Campaign," encouraging dialysis patients to assess their level of preparedness, improve    their ability to remain safe in an emergency, and engage with their care team to learn more about disaster preparedness in the facility.  Participating is easy, and facilities can select the best way to share Campaign resources and provide education to patients.


The Campaign will consider situations where there is no transportation, no phones, no power, and no dialysis facility. Find information here.
Register your facility in the Campaign now.
Data Management
CMS to Host National Provider Call on 2016 Dialysis Facility Compare
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) invites you to attend a webinar to understand Dialysis Facility Compare measures, star ratings, and quality outcomes. 
  • What: 2016 Dialysis Facility Compare - Understanding Measures, Star Ratings, and Quality Outcomes
  • Date: Wednesday, October 5, 2016
  • Time: 1:30 - 2:30 p.m. ET
  • Register: To attend the webinar, visit the registration webpage.
After you register, you will receive a dial-in number and unique webinar link. Please do not share the link; it is unique to you. If you do not receive an e-mail confirmation, please check your spam filter.
Details: CMS has updated Dialysis Facility Compare and the methodologies used to calculate the Dialysis Facility Compare star ratings. During this webinar, CMS will focus on the recent changes to the Dialysis Facility Compare website based on public feedback and consumer testing. CMS will also discuss measure and specification changes, elaborate on the measure implementation process, and provide answers to clarifying questions.
CMS will reserve time at the end of the call to address questions. During the question-and-answer period, attendees will be able submit questions in various ways, including:
  • Phone - Enter your audio PIN and use the hand-raising icon to enable CMS to unmute your line.
  • Computer microphone and speakers - Enable your microphone and use the hand-raising icon to enable CMS to unmute your line.
  • Chat - Type your question into the "Questions" box.
A CMS representative will respond in the order questions are received.
For any questions about registration, please e-mail CMSQualityTeam@ketchum.com.
CMS-2728 Forms
Does your facility have saved CMS-2728 Forms in CROWNWeb? CMS-2728 Forms should be submitted in CROWNWeb within 10 business days from the Date Regular Chronic Dialysis Began.

For more information see Page 33 of the CROWNWeb Data Management Guidelines for details.

If you have additional questions please contact the Network data department at 203-285-1225.

Utilize 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
Wednesday, October 5, 2016 - NKF Fall 2016 CRNNE Conference, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA.
Saturday, October 8, 2016- Donate Life CT is the official charity of the 2016 Eversource Hartford Marathon
Thursday, October 27, 2016 - 4th Annual ESRD New England Fall Meeting at the Mohegan Sun Conference Center, Uncasville, CT.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016 - Donate Life Connecticut 8th Annual Toast to Life, Yale Peabody Museum, New Haven, CT.

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.