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Welcome to the July 27 issue of the Quality Insights Renal Network 4 e-newsletter. In this issue, we bring you information about preparing for the ESRD QIP PY2018 Preview Period, CMS updates, National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) updates, patient education features, ESRD events, resources and much more. We encourage you to  contact us with any questions, concerns or suggestions.  
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How to return to work while keeping your health coverage
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. 
esrdqippy2018periodReminder: prepare for the esrd qip py2018 preview period
The Payment Year (PY) 2018 Preview Period began Monday, July 17, 2017, and will end on August 18, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. PT. The Preview Period provides an important opportunity for each facility to review and pose questions about its ESRD QIP scores and any potential payment reductions that may result.

In preparation of the PY 2018 ESRD QIP Preview Period, CMS encourages facilities to take the following actions.
  1. Confirm or Designate a Point of Contact (POC) in the ESRD Quality Reporting System (EQRS). Facilities that do not have a POC will be unable to access their Preview Performance Score Reports (PSR), nor will they be able to submit clarification questions or a formal inquiry. If your facility has not established a facility POC, then CMS encourages you to do so as soon as possible.
  2. Update User Account Passwords in EQRS. Last month, CMS implemented a new password policy for Enterprise Identity Management (EIDM) accounts. All EQRS users (including CROWNWeb and ESRD QIP system users) must update their accounts in accordance with the updated password requirements
  3. Review Materials from the PY 2018 Preview Period Webinar. On Monday, July 10, 2017, CMS conducted a webinar on the PY 2018 Preview Period. The purpose of the webinar was to discuss how to access, review, and submit clarification questions and/or a formal inquiry about a facility's estimated scores by the close of the Preview Period. CMS plans to provide post-webinar materials on the new ESRD QIP section of soon.
  4. Access and Review Facility Preview PSRs. Facility POCs should access their Preview PSRs and identify any clarification questions they wish to pose. The PY 2018 Guide to the PSR, available from the new ESRD QIP section of, is a helpful resource in this undertaking.

If you have questions or concerns regarding 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 ESRD QIP team at

HORBillHouse of representatives unanimously passes bill to improve telehealth services for home dialysis patients
A recent article on talks about the House of Representatives' unanimous passing vote on a bill to improve telehealth services for home dialysis patients. Read the article.

AAKPScholarshipsAAKP scholarships available for national patient meeting
The American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) is offering scholarships for the September 8 - 10 AAKP National Patient Meeting in St. Petersburg Florida. The scholarship application deadline is August 1, 2017. Download the application. Learn more
RSN Essay Contest
RSNEssayIndividuals Invited to enter 15th annual rsn essay contest
Renal Support Network (RSN) is encouraging people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) to enter its 15th Annual Patient Essay Contest. RSN is a nonprofit, patient-run organization that provides non-medical services to those affected by CKD. This year, the essay contest commemorates 15 years with the theme, " Describe a positive decision that you have made about your healthcare. " All submissions must be written by someone who has been diagnosed with CKD. 

The essay contest inspires people with kidney disease to share their experience with others traveling the same road and looking for answers. Contest winners will receive cash prizes of $500 for first place, $300 for second place and $100 for third place. 

The submission deadline is August 10.  Winners' will be announced on September 14. Winning essays will be featured in RSN's publication,  Live & Give , and on . For information about the contest, rules and read previous winning essays visit

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. 

CMSUpdatesCMS Updates 

What Facilities Need to Know about the New Medicare Cards 
CMS has announced that facilities may need to change their healthcare records systems to:
  • Accept the new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier or MBI. Use the MBI format specifications if you currently have edits on the current HICN.
  • Identify your patients who qualify for Medicare under the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB). You will no longer be able to distinguish RRB patients by the number on the new Medicare card. You will be able to identify them by the RRB logo on their card, and we will return a message on the eligibility transaction response for a RRB patient. The message will say, "Railroad Retirement Medicare Beneficiary" in 271 Loop 2110C, Segment MSG. If you use the number only to identify your RRB patients beginning in April 2018, you must identify them differently to send Medicare claims to the RRB Specialty Medicare Administrative Contractor, Palmetto GBA
  • Update your practice management system's patient numbers to automatically accept the new MBI from remittance advice (835) transactions. Beginning in October 2018, through December 2019, CMS will return your patient's MBI on every electronic remittance advice for claims you submit with a valid and active HICN. It will be in the same place you currently get the "changed HICN": 835 Loop 2100, Segment NM1 (Corrected Patient/Insured Name), Field NM109 (Identification Code).

If you use vendors to bill Medicare, contact them if they haven't already shared their new Medicare card system changes with you; they can also tell you how they will pass the new Medicare number to you. Visit the New Medicare Card Provider webpage to learn more. 

CMSReportingDeadline CMS Reporting Deadline for NHSN Dialysis Event Surveillance is extended to July 31
To meet the CMS ESRD QIP National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) reporting requirements for Payment Year 2019, outpatient hemodialysis clinics must submit their first quarter 2017 Dialysis Event data collected from January 1, 2017 through March 31, 2017, by Monday, July 31, 2017. The extension to July 31 is an effort to allow facilities to comply with the guidance on Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) and reporting calendar year 2017  Dialysis Event Surveillance data to the NHSN. New or revised first quarter data entered into NHSN after July 31 will not be sent to CMS. Therefore, please be aware that any changes or corrections to first quarter 2017 data should be made prior to the reporting deadline.
We recommend using the following resources to review your data before the deadline. These resources and others can be found on the Dialysis Event homepage:
Contact the NHSN Helpdesk (, subject line 'Dialysis') with any questions.

cecreditsContinuing Education Credits Now Available for Those Who Viewed 2017 NHSN Training Videos
Continuing Education (CE) credits are now available for those who have viewed the 2017 NHSN Training webstream videos. View guidance, which includes links to the training videos, number of CEs available per training, and registration for obtaining CE. Available CEs include CME, CNE, CPH, and CEU. All archived webstream videos are available on the NHSN Training website under the dropdown menu "NHSN Webstreaming and Webinar Events." Step-by-step directions on accessing the CDC continuing education registration and online system can be found on the training website as well. Learn more

nhsnwebinarRegistration Now Open for Dialysis Event Surveillance Protocol Webinar
The NHSN Dialysis Event Surveillance instructional webinar Introduction to the NHSN Dialysis Event Surveillance Protocol will be presented twice - once on August 3, 2017 and again on August 4, 2017. NHSN Dialysis Event Surveillance reporting is required for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Quality Incentive Program (QIP) rule. This presentation will provide a complete introduction to the NHSN Dialysis Event reporting requirements and the surveillance definitions necessary to complete accurate monthly reporting. CDC subject matter experts will be available to answer questions entered in the chat box, and continuing education credits will be provided courtesy of the National Association of Nephrology Technicians/Technologists (NANT). Please register for one of the following sessions. Pre-registration is required. Listen-only audio will be available through your computer speakers. 
NHSNPresentationSlidesPresentation Slides Now Available for Webinar on 8.7 Updates
The CDC presented an NHSN Surveillance webinar on the NHSN Release 8.7 Updates which went into effect on June 17. Updates include: 
  • Analysis - Updated Aggregate Rate Data
  • Resolution of System Issues - Alerts
  • Resolution of System Issues - Annual Surveys
  • Changes to the Injection Safety in the Prevention Process Measures (PPM) Reports and Report Analysis
For more information please view the presentation slides

SummerCamps3CAn't wait for Summer? Take a Look at Upcoming ESRD Camps

Central and Western Pennsylvania
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

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 

Looking for Vascular Access Management Materials? 
Check out this series of educational videos for healthcare providers on vascular access management. The series includes quick videos and PowerPoint presentations on assessment of the new AV fistula, protocol for new AV fistula cannulation, assessment of the mature AVF, cannulation site selection, preparation, and pain control options just to name a few. 

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. ESRD4-071917