A Periodic Newsletter from The Mid-Atlantic Renal Coalition | www.esrdnet5.org
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April 28, 2016 
MARC e-lerts 
The Mid-Atlantic Renal Coalition (MARC) distributes MARC e-lerts to share important information affecting the Network 5 renal community.  We hope you find this edition's reminders, educational opportunities, tools, and resources helpful.  
NOTE: To ensure delivery to your inbox, please add marc@nw5.esrd.net to your address book. 

Message from the Director
Things are in full swing here at the Network, and this latest edition of elerts reflects the busy times! QIA projects are up and running-read the latest on the long-term catheter, healthcare-associated infections, and transplant referral projects. We also remind you of several upcoming deadlines, including the reporting deadline for the NHSN healthcare personnel flu vaccination summary data and a change in the clinical data submission deadline for CROWNWeb. ENGAGE facility self-assessments are due to the Network by April 30 so please submit yours if you haven't already! And, there are so many great resources and educational opportunities for patients and providers we almost needed a special edition just for them.

We hope you enjoy this issue.

Nancy Armistead
Executive Director, MARC

LTCLong-Term Catheter QIA Project Launches
The long-term catheter QIA project launched on March 30. Review the kickoff webinar . The Network is currently engaging in root cause analysis (RCA) activities with individual facilities; if you still need to complete an RCA, download the worksheet . Please email completed forms to Amber at apaulus@nw5.esrd.net . The next project call will be on May 17 at 2:00 p.m.; we will discuss the results of the RCA discussions and patient and family engagement in vascular access. Log-in for the event.

CROWNWebSubmissionCMS Extends April 30 Clinical Submission Closure Date to May 2
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended the CROWNWeb submission deadline for all February 2016 clinical data from April 30 to May 2 at 11:59 p.m. This extension is being granted due to a pre-scheduled system maintenance that will occur the weekend of April 29 to May 1. Please note that this date adjustment is for February 2016 clinical data only and will have no effect on previous or future due dates. Please direct questions to the QualityNet Help Desk at qnetsupport-esrd@hcqis.org or (866) 288-8912.

Save the Date: CROWNWeb Vaccination Data Validation Webinar
The Network will be presenting a vaccination data validation webinar on May 5 from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. The webinar will focus on strategies to ensure that your facility's CROWNWeb vaccination data are accurate. Please plan for a representative from each facility to attend. Facilities currently enrolled in the Network's vaccination QIA project do not need to attend.

Webinar Instructions
  1. Click or copy and paste this URL to your web browser: https://qualitynet.webex.com
  2. This should bring you to the QualityNet e-University webpage
  3. Locate the event you wish to join and click "Join" (located to the right of the event title)
  4. Enter your name and email address as prompted
  5. Enter the password: Data
  6. The automatic system set-up should start at this point. If a dialogue box appears, click run. Please note, the automatic system set-up does take a few minutes to complete.
  7. Dial in to the teleconference
    • Teleconference Number: (866)-951-1151
    • Access Code: 612-404-956
Infection Prevention
FluReportingDeadlineCMS Reporting Deadline Approaching for NHSN Dialysis Facility Healthcare Personnel Influenza Vaccination Summary Data: May 15
To meet the CMS ESRD QIP NHSN reporting requirements for Payment Year 2018, dialysis facilities must submit their 2015/2016 healthcare personnel (HCP) influenza vaccination summary data collected from October 1, 2015, through March 31, 2016, by Sunday, May 15. New or revised 2015/2016 HCP influenza vaccination data entered into NHSN after May 15 will not be sent to CMS. Therefore, please be aware that any changes or corrections to 2015/2016 HCP influenza vaccination summary data should be made prior to the reporting deadline.

NOTE: May 15 is a Sunday. Regardless, data must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. PT on May 15. Please be aware that the NHSN Helpdesk is not staffed on weekends therefore please plan data entry/review accordingly.

Please make sure at least one individual at your facility can access NHSN via SAMS and has been assigned appropriate user rights in NHSN so they may enter and view the facility's data. To ensure your data have been correctly entered into NHSN, please make sure to verify that your 2015/2016 influenza season monthly reporting plan has been added, you've entered a 2015/2016 HCP influenza vaccination summary record, and you've cleared all missing flu summary alerts from your NHSN facility homepage.

Review the training slides for information to help ensure your data are complete and accurate before the May 15 deadline. For additional guidance on ensuring your data are accurately sent to CMS for quality reporting purposes, please visit the website and navigate to the appropriate section(s) for your facility type. Contact the NHSN Helpdesk ( NHSN@cdc.gov, subject line "HPS Flu - Dialysis") with any questions.
Use Data to Monitor Facility Performance
Interpreting and understanding data is an important part of surveillance. Review your facility's bloodstream infection (BSI) and access-related bloodstream infection (ARBSI) rates in NHSN quarterly and share with frontline staff. All positive blood cultures, regardless of the suspected source, are included in the facility's BSI rate. An ARBSI is a positive blood culture with the suspected source reported as the vascular access or uncertain. 

Q. How do I run and interpret the NHSN rate tables?
A. Follow the instructions to run the rate table - bloodstream infection data report and the rate table - access related bloodstream infection report.

Q. How is this useful for my facility's infection prevention efforts?
A. A quarterly review of NHSN data can be used to detect problems in your facility, provide feedback to your staff, and encourage staff to be engaged in quality improvement. Each rate table includes aggregate data from all of NHSN. Use the aggregate data to compare your facility to the rest of the facilities reporting to NHSN. The p-value and percentile are provided to assist with rate comparison. Typically, a p-value <0.05 is considered a statistically significant difference between rates. The lower the percentile, the better the facility is performing relative to the others in NHSN.

HAIWipeoutUpdate on Project WipeOut
Facilities enrolled in the Network's 2016 healthcare-associated infections (HAI) project received a data feedback report Monday, April 11. If your clinic did not receive a feedback report, contact Amber at apaulus@nw5.esrd.net to update your project lead contact information. Cycle 2 audit data were due to NHSN April 13; if your facility missed the deadline, please enter the data as soon as possible. Enrolled facilities should have implemented four of the CDC Core Interventions and should be working on their Cycle 3 interventions for the month of April. Remember interventions are continuous-by June, all eight interventions should be operational in your clinic. The next deadline for April data submission is May 11. If you missed it live, click here for the mid-way check-in webinar. Contact Amber at apaulus@nw5.esrd.net if you have any questions. 

TransplantReferralUpdate on Transplant Referral QIA
The transplant referral QIA project kicked off March 31. Click here to review the kickoff webinar. The next project call will be May 25, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. Dr. Rachel Patzer will present on variation of dialysis facility referral for kidney transplantation among patients with ESRD and best practices to improve the referral process.

Call Instructions:

Please join the event 15 minutes prior to the start time to ensure the automatic system set-up has been properly established.



  1. Click or copy and paste this URL to your web browser: https://qualitynet.webex.com
  2. This should bring you to the QualityNet e-University webpage
  3. Locate the event you wish to join and click "Join" (located to the right of the event title)
  4. Enter your name and email address as prompted
  5. Enter the password: KIDNEY (case sensitive, no spaces)
  6. The automatic system set-up should start at this point. If a dialogue box appears, click run. Please note, the automatic system set-up does take a few minutes to complete.
  7. Dial in to the teleconference
    • Teleconference number: (866) 951-1151
    • Access code: 697-670-619
CMS Updates Organ Acquisition and Donation Payment Policy
The MLN Matters Special Edition released April 1, offers information and resources to clarify Medicare's organ acquisition and donation payment policy for organ procurement, transplant, and histocompatibility laboratory services provided to Medicare beneficiaries.

ICH-CAHPS Encourages All Facilities to Verify Facility Name with Patients
The name of each in-center dialysis facility included on the sample file provided by the ICH CAHPS Coordination Team is the name specified on the CROWNWeb file as the facility's "Doing Business As" (DBA) name. ICH-CAHPS provides the DBA name instead of the legal name as these can differ significantly. Some sample patients might not recognize a facility's legal name. In most cases, sample patients should recognize the DBA name that is provided on the sample file. However, all facilities are strongly encouraged to check with patients to determine the facility name that is known and recognized. If that facility name is different from your DBA name, you should include it in your cover letters, mail questionnaires, and telephone scripts. Please contact the ICH CAHPS Coordination Team at (866) 245-8083 or via e-mail at ichcahps@rti.org if you have any questions.

2016 Spring Survey Begins This Month
Data collection for the 2016 Spring Survey began with distribution of the pre-notification letter on April 22, 2016. Contact the Coordination Team via e-mail at ichcahps@rti.org or (866) 245-8083 for more information about the 2016 ICH CAHPS Spring Survey.

Patient Services
ENGAGEAssessmentsWhat's New: ENGAGE Certification Program
Forty-one facilities have enrolled in the ENGAGE Certification Program and will be competing for the coveted
Facility of the Year Award. More than half of the enrollees are new to the program. A kickoff meeting was held March 24 to review the program and its requirements. ENGAGE members who were not present for this live session should review the recording and submit the attestation form.

Monthly PELAN sessions will be held by webinar on the 1st Thursday of each month at 1:00 p.m. May - August.

May 5 Patient Engagement: What It Is & What It Isn't
June 2 Patient Engagement: Involving Patients in Meaningful Use of Data
July 7 Patient Engagement: Patients as Committee & Governing Body Members
August 4 Patient Engagement: Creating & Sustaining the Culture

ENGAGE members and SMEs will receive reminders with login information each month. These webinars are open to all who are interested. CEs will only be available for ENGAGE members.

PatientResourcesPatient Resources
Vocational Rehabilitation
Effective Strategies for Improving Employment Outcomes for People with Chronic Kidney Disease - This manual was developed a few years ago by renal and rehab professionals and patients. With patients' permission, invite vocational rehabilitation (VR) counselors to come to your dialysis clinic to observe what dialysis is like and to talk with patients who may be interested. Educate VR counselors about why your patients need their help and how their help can change a life.

Employment Networks in Social Security's Ticket to Work Program - VR can help patients evaluate the feasibility of their work goals and help them get payment for education or training. Patients who have SSDI or SSI may also benefit from working with private employment networks that may be able to help with placement.

Work Incentives - This page of the Social Security website highlights several of the work incentives that are available. Refer to the Red Book for additional information and definitions. If patients fear a health setback after losing SSDI, clear up that misconception. Those who were on SSDI can get an SSDI check any month they earn less than the substantial gainful activity level during the first three years after their trial work period ends under "extended period of eligibility." All they have to do is report this to SSA; no application required.

April is National Minority Health Month
National Minority Health Month seeks to raise awareness of the health disparities that continue to affect racial, ethnic and geographic minorities across the country. The following are links to related articles:
Health Equity Q&A with Madeline Shea
Office of Minority Health Aims to Close Disparities Gap with Equity Plan
Patient Story: The Right Place at the Right Time

Supportive Care
Coalition for Supportive Care of Kidney Patients - Visit the website for news and resources and make sure to sign up to receive newsletters.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have partnered with ReachMD to broadcast a new podcast series for healthcare professionals based on the 2015 Institute of Medicine report Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life. The series can be found on the ReachMD website and also on iHeartRadio, Tunein, Stitcher, and iTunes.

Top Six Tips to Start "The Talk": These six tips aim to help patients and providers initiate the conversation and reach decisions with which all parties are comfortable.

Conservative Management Reasonable for Older Patients with ESRD - Dialysis does not significantly improve survival for elderly patients with ESRD, according to research published online March 17 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

The Effect of Depression and Anxiety on the Performance Status of End-Stage Renal Disease Patients Undergoing Hemodialysis - This cross-sectional study was conducted to identify the relationship between patients who undergo hemodialysis (HD) and their performance status, and how it is influenced by the presence of the level of depression and anxiety.

CMS has released a new educational tool, Medicare Costs at a Glance: 2016, to help inform you and your patients about Medicare A, B, C, and D.

Patient Provides Facebook Forum for Kidney Stories
Kidney Stories is a community page on Facebook which was developed by dialysis patient Jim Myers. The page is a place for patients to tell their kidney story, whether they are in search of a donor, on dialysis, or trying to avoid renal failure. Mr. Myers was featured recently on AAKP's HealthLines program, Mastering Social Media as a Patient Advocate.

AKF Hosts Monthly Webinars for Patients/Caregivers
The American Kidney Fund has launched a monthly series of free, live, 1-hour webinars for kidney patients and caregivers. Each month, experts share practical knowledge and advice on a range of topics. Advance registration is required to participate. Register and watch previous webinars at www.KidneyFund.org/training/webinars.
  • Tuesday, May 17, at 1:00 p.m. ET -"Living with Chronic Kidney Disease: The Ups, Downs and All Arounds." Led by Dr. Tiffany Washington from the University of Georgia's School of Social Work, this webinar will help patients manage the emotional and social aspects of living with CKD. Dr. Washington will discuss resources to help patients stay healthy psychologically.

PKD National Convention 2016
The Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) National Convention will occur at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, June 24-26, 2016. General registration is open through May 5. Learn more about registration and special financial aid opportunities.

AAKP Hosts National Patient Meeting
AAKP will hold its 2016 National Patient Meeting in Nashville, TN, September 23-25, 2016! AAKP is looking forward to returning to Tennessee to build on the excitement, success, and education of last year's meeting. Registration opens in early spring!

ASPN/PAS Annual Meeting
American Society of Pediatric Nephrology/Pediatric Academic Societies is hosting a convention April 30 - May 3, at the Baltimore Convention Center. Visit www.pas-meeting.org for more information and to register.

NRAA Presents 2016 Spring Meeting and Day on the Hill 
Join others in the renal community for the National Renal Administrators Association's (NRAA) Spring Meetings and Day on the Hill, which combines education, networking, and advocacy in our Nation's capital. Encourage your patients to attend. Bringing a patient with you will add a unique perspective to your meetings and will drive home the importance of adequate reimbursement and the impact on patient care in your facility. Learn more about NRAA's patient funding.

MyCME Online Courses Offer FREE Educational Credits
Register to receive alerts regarding new offerings. Current activities of interest include:

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