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Welcome to the August 11 issue of the Quality Insights Renal Network 4 e-newsletter. In this issue, we bring you information about a kidney policy advocacy success, ANNA awards and scholarships, ICH CAHPS Fall Survey schedule, CMS updates, continuing education opportunities, patient education features, ESRD events, resources and much more. We encourage you to  contact us with any questions, concerns or suggestions.  
FeedbackPlease provide us with your feedback on last month's Facility-LED PATIENT EDUCATION
Please take this short survey to let us know what you thought about last month's facility-led patient education topics
We will be providing a Network 4 Patient Education Sheet each month in 2017. These documents are also located on our website. Please provide all of your patients with this education sheet this month.   Also, we ask that you please encourage your facility's Patient  Representatives to pass out this educational information as well. 



  • Quiz: What Vaccines Do You Need? (English / Spanish)
  • CDC Fast Facts: Pneumococcal Disease
    • Pneumococcal Pneumonia
      • Pneumococcal pneumonia is the most common form of pneumococcal disease in adults.
      • It is estimated that about 900,000 Americans get pneumococcal pneumonia each year and about 5-7% die from it.
      • As many as 400,000 hospitalizations from pneumococcal pneumonia are estimated to occur annually in the United States.
    • Invasive Pneumococcal Disease
      • In the United States, about 90% of invasive pneumococcal disease cases are in adults.
      • There were an estimated 3,700 deaths in the United States from pneumococcal meningitis and bacteremia in 2013.
VictoryVictory for Kidney disease patients in pennsylvania
Due to the efforts of the entire renal community in Pennsylvania, the state legislature restored nearly all of the funding Governor Wolf proposed to cut from the Chronic Renal Disease Program (CRDP). Instead of the more than 80% reduction, or $6.6 million, cut proposed by the Governor, the state legislature would cut CRDP by 12%, or $1 million.

CRDP is a program that provides reimbursement for transportation to dialysis and prescription drug coverage - including post-transplant immunosuppressant drug coverage - and medical coverage as a payor of last resort.

Renal advocates submitted more than 1,750 letters, tweets, and calls to state legislators and the Governor. The renal community showed the impact that the proposed cuts would have to Pennsylvanians with kidney failure and made a difference for these patients. 

Learn more about this victory on the National Kidney Foundation's website.  
SavetheDateSave the Date: Partners in research - Developing A Patient-Centered Research Agenda for CKD
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) are serious and costly diseases. CKD affects more than 20 million adults and is seen most often in individuals over 60
years of age. Diabetes and hypertension are the most frequent causes of CKD in the United States. 
Partners in Research is coordinating the Developing a Patient-Centered Research Agenda for CKD conference that is part of a two-year project to engage  stakeholders in addressing the impact and burden of CKD and ESRD in Delaware.  Patients and their supporters, providers, payers, researchers, and policy makers  are all encouraged to attend this event. The conference takes place on F riday, September 15 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the John H. Ammon Medical Education Center at Christiana Hospital. Registration opens at 7:30 a.m. Registration details will be coming soon. For more information, visit the Partners in Research website

ANNAAwardsANNA Now accepting nominations for nursing excellence awards and scholarships
Now is the time to nominate a colleague for an American Nephrology Nurses Association (ANNA) award or to apply for a personal scholarship or grant.  ANNA has over $100,000 in nursing excellence awards, scholarships, and grants available but the submission deadline is quickly approaching. Do you know a great co-worker and fellow nephrology professional who has gone "above and beyond"? There is no greater satisfaction than seeing someone recognized who truly deserves it. T ake a brief moment to complete the application or nomination process - for yourself or for someone else.  Choose from over 35 awards, scholarships, and grants. View a full list of available awards The application deadline for all awards and scholarships is October 15th. 

NOTE: Both the nominator AND nominee must be members of ANNA.

ichcahpstentative data collection schedule for the 2017 ich cahps fall survey now available
The tentative data collection schedule and the dates for some key activities related to the 2017 In-Center Hemodialysis CAHPS (ICH CAHPS) Fall Survey are shown below. Please note that these dates are subject to change. Should a schedule change occur, an announcement will be posted.
  • Submit New Facility-Specific Questions to CMS - 8/11/2017
  • Deadline for Authorizing a Vendor for 2017 Fall Survey - 8/31/2017
  • Sample Files Uploaded on ICH CAHPS Website - 9/29/2017
  • Vendors Attest to Receipt of Sample File - 10/3/2017
  • Mail Prenotification Letter - 10/20/2017
  • Mail 1st Questionnaire (mail only and mixed mode)/Begin Telephone data collection (phone only mode) - 11/3/2017
  • Mail 2nd Questionnaire (mail only)/Begin phone follow-up (mixed mode) - 12/1/2017
  • Data Collection Ends - 1/12/2018
  • Vendors Clean/Process Final Data and Construct XML File - 1/13/2018 to 1/30/2018
  • Deadline for Submitting XML Data File to ICH Data Center - 1/31/2018
Please contact the Coordination Team via e-mail at or call 1-866-245-8083 if you have any questions or need more information about the 2017 ICH CAHPS Fall Survey.

CMSUpdatesCMS Updates 

Reminder to Participate in the ESRD QIP PY2018 Preview Period 
The Payment Year (PY) 2018 Preview Period is nearing its halfway point, currently scheduled to end on August 18, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. PT. The Preview Period provides each facility the opportunity to review and ask questions about its ESRD QIP scores and any potential payment reductions. 

During the Preview Period, facility points of contact (POC) may use the ESRD QIP system to ask clarification questions and systemic clarification questions, as well as submit a single formal inquiry in the event that the facility believes its scores were not calculated correctly. CMS encourages facilities to submit their questions by August 1, 2017. This will allow facilities enough time to submit a formal inquiry based on the CMS response, if necessary, prior to the August 18 deadline. Please note that only the Preview Patient List Reports (PLR) can be run during the Preview Period. The Final PLRs will be populated once scores have been finalized. 

If you have questions or concerns regarding the use of the ESRD QIP system, please contact the QualityNet Help Desk at or (866) 288-8912 (7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. CT from Monday through Friday). If you have any questions or concerns regarding the program, please contact the ESRD QIP team at

CMS Announces New Reporting Deadlines
The Calendar Year (CY) 2017 End-Stage Renal Disease Prospective Payment System (ESRD PPS) Final Rule requires facilities to report data in CROWNWeb before the clinical month closure. Moving forward, all CROWNWeb reporting and attestations for the ESRD QIP will be due at the end of the last clinical month of the reporting period. 

The first reporting period of the ESRD QIP Payment Year (PY) 2019 Pain Assessment and Follow-Up reporting measure closes on August 31, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. ET.  For upcoming deadline information, please see the monthly editions of the CROWNWeb Newsletter or the ESRD QIP page on  

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the ESRD QIP team at .

freeCEUsFree CEU OPportunities 

Advanced Renal Education
This educational site provides CEU credits for anyone who completes a course. Register to gain access and complete a course.

American Kidney Fund
The American Kidney Fund is offering a new online continuing education (CE) course titled Managing Hyperphosphatemia. The course is free and offers 1.00 CDR CE credit and 1.20 NANT CE credits. The goals of the course are to identify and understand challenges dietitians and other allied health professionals face in managing hyperphosphatemia in their patients and identify effective tools and strategies they can employ in their own practice. Learn more.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The CDC has new free continuing education opportunities available:
  • Risk Recognition in Healthcare Settings
  • Environmental Services and Infection Prevention
  • Recognizing Infection Risks in Medical Equipment

Additionally, three others are planned for upcoming months:


  • Infection Transmission Risks Associated with Nonsterile Glove Use
  • Infection Prevention: A Hierarchy of Controls Approach
  • Injection Safety: A Systems Approach

Learn more and register.


Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) and Medscape

CDC's MMWR presents a FREE continuing education activity on opioid prescribing in partnership with Medscape. Continuing Medical Education (CME), American Board of Internal Medicine Maintenance of Certification (ABIM MOC), and Continuing Education (CE) credits are all available for this activity - CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain - United States, 2016. This activity is intended for primary care clinicians, nurses, and other clinicians prescribing opioids for chronic pain outside of active cancer treatment, palliative care, and end-of-life care.


ESRDResourcesESRD resources 

Delaware Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) Newsletter Now Available
You may be familiar with the terms patient-centered research and patient-centered outcomes, but what do they really mean? Learn about these terms and more in the Delaware Patient-Centered Outcomes Research(PCOR) Newsletter

Thinking about receiving a kidney transplant or know someone who is?  
Network 4 recently created a brochure about things to consider if a patient is thinking about receiving a kidney transplant. Check out our Patient to Patient brochure.  

Looking for a Patient Support Group?
Sometimes it's helpful to talk about your journey to kidney health with peers that understand what you're going through. Check out our website periodically for information about local support groups near you, including upcoming meeting dates as they become available. 
Check out the ESRD NCC Information Exchange
The ESRD Network Coordinating Center (NCC) provides centralized coordination and support for the Medicare ESRD Network program. Each month, the ESRD NCC distributes an e-newsletter, known as the Information Exchange, that compiles the most important information from numerous ListServs and publications related to renal health. To sign up to receive this informative newsletter, please contact the ESRD NCC at or visit the ESRD NCC website

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This bi-weekly e-newsletter will serve as our primary method of communicating important news and updates. We encourage you to visit our Web site for the most up-to-date information or to contact us with questions, comments or suggestions.
This material was prepared by Quality Insights Renal Network 4 under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The contents do not necessarily reflect CMS policy.

Publication No. ESRD4-072817