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Welcome to the March issue of the Quality Insights Renal Network 4 e-newsletter. In this issue, we bring you information about National Kidney Month, CMS updates, upcoming events and more. We encourage you to  contact us with any questions, concerns or suggestions.  

We will provide a Network 4 Patient Education Sheet each month in 2019. Please provide all of your patients with this education sheet each month.  Also, we ask that you please encourage your facility's Patient Representatives to pass out this educational information.
KidneyMonthmarch is national kidney awareness month
March is National Kidney Month. Each year, kidney disease kills more people than breast or prostate cancer.*

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) program invite you to be a part of a national campaign focusing on kidney health. To show your support, consider one of the following activities:
  • Wear an orange shirt, pants, dress, shoes, hair, etc. (be creative)
  • Take a selfie or have someone take a picture of you in your orange gear
  • Share information on your Twitter account about why all Americans should ask their doctors for a kidney checkup; Use #NationalKidneyMonth #Medicare 
  • Post your picture and short statement to your Facebook page; Make your post public and use #NationalKidneyMonth #Medicare
  • Have fun with your post
* Source: 
WebinarOppwebinar opportunity: the esrd qip - what every facility should know  
The Forum of ESRD Networks is hosting a webinar that will provide a comprehensive overview of the ESRD Quality Incentive Program and practical guidance on interpreting and sharing the QIP Performance Score Certificate with your kidney patients.

The ESRD QIP: What Every Facility Should Know
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
4:00 - 5:00 p.m. ET

The live event is limited to the first 1,000 attendees. Register today.
CMSUpdatesCMS Updates
cms releases new "medicare beneficiaries at a glance" infographic  
CMS has published a new infographic with summarized information about beneficiaries in the Medicare program. The Medicare Beneficiaries at a Glance infographic includes information on types of Medicare coverage, utilization of healthcare services, average cost for specific services, top chronic conditions, beneficiary satisfaction and access to care, and usual source of care for calendar year 2016. For example, did you know that 3.7 million individuals enrolled in Medicare in 2016? Or that the top chronic condition among Medicare beneficiaries is high blood pressure? To find these and other statistics, please view CMS' Medicare Beneficiaries at a Glance infographic.
crownweb pain assessment submission no longer required  
Starting March 1, 2019, CMS will no longer require facilities to submit Pain Assessment data into CROWNWeb. The Pain Assessment screen will remain active for facilities to review previously reported data in the system. For information on the requirements and instructions on how to submit data on Pain Assessment in CROWNWeb, please visit the Training videos on the Education page at
cms announces esrd qip reporting deadline extension for the nhsn  
CMS has announced an extension to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) deadline for the ESRD Quality Incentive Program (ESRD QIP) fourth reporting quarter of 2018. The fourth quarter ESRD QIP NHSN reporting deadline of March 31, 2019 (data for October 1 - December 31, 2018) falls on a Sunday, so CMS has extended this deadline until Monday, April 1, 2019. This deadline applies to all facilities reporting data to NHSN for the ESRD QIP.

For further assistance regarding the information, please contact the ESRD QIP Support Team using the ESRD QIP Q&A Tool.
esrd qip py 2019 pssr now available  
CMS announces the release and availability of the Payment Year (PY) 2019 Performance Score Summary Report (PSSR), a spreadsheet containing the performance values of each facility for PY 2019. The PSSR provides information about facility performance on each ESRD QIP measure as well as the Total Performance Score. Assistance can be obtained by contacting the ESRD QIP Support Team using the ESRD QIP Q&A Tool.  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).
UpcomingEventsUpcoming Events

Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Spend the day networking with The Kidney Foundation of Central PA in a collaborative environment.  Hear from top professionals and walk away with best practices and new resources.
The Kidney Foundation of Central PA and Penn State College of Medicine, in collaboration with: Penn State Health ´╗┐Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Transplant Surgery, Lancaster General Health, UPMC Pinnacle and the Dialysis Care Center will be presenting an Update on Chronic Kidney Disease on Tuesday, April 16 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Hotel Hershey in Hershey, PA. This conference is designed for all health care professionals.  Sessions will help practitioners attain the knowledge and skills to increase competency in the management of patients with CKD and ESRD. 
Registration prior to April 15 will be $85 per person, which includes meals, handouts and refreshments.  Registration after April 15 will be $110.  Continuing education credits are also available.     
National care transitions awareness (ncta) day   

April 16, 2019 
CMS Baltimore Headquarters 
Baltimore, MD

CMS will be holding its First Annual National Care Transitions Awareness (NCTA) Day. The goal is to increase awareness of the importance and value safe and effective care transitions and care coordination have on the beneficiary and provider communities.

To raise awareness and promote action on a national level during NCTA week, you are asked to commit to one or more care transition activities. Some examples include:
  • Providing an educational webinar, highlighting best practices, to your organization, community partners, or other stakeholders 
  • Doing a gap analysis of your current practices and committing to advance your practices to the next level 
  • Providing a refresh on existing practices to your team and employees 
  • Reaching out to existing community partners to further your partnership and improve care coordination 
  • Identifying new community partners to expand resource options for patients 
  • Engaging health IT partners to improve data transfer and communication to improve care transitions 
  • Patient engagement activities to improve care transitions 

Register today.  

National Kidney Foundation to hold 2019 Spring Clinical Meetings SCM19   

May 8-12, 2019
Hynes Convention Center
Boston, MA
The National Kidney Foundation 2019 Spring Clinical Meetings (SCM19) presents a unique opportunity for busy renal health care providers to learn new developments related to all aspects of nephrology. An important objective of SCM19 is to present the latest insights into chronic kidney disease care. Participants will learn about new and evolving concepts related to kidney disease through a carefully designed combination of interesting courses, practical workshops, thought-provoking symposia and insightful debates incorporating the latest developments in clinical nephrology.  
american association of kidney patients (aakp) national patient meeting   
September 6-8, 2019
Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill
Washington, DC

Celebrating this patient organization's 50th anniversary, the AAKP National Patient Meeting is the largest event of its kind in the U.S., providing both patients and care partners with access to the most accurate and timely disease information through direct interaction, educational sessions and an extensive exhibit hall. This year's meeting agenda will focus on relevant information critical to those impacted by kidney diseases and highlight the latest in research and innovations in the renal space. AAKP will host a diverse line-up of speakers crossing all sectors of the kidney community including the Federal government; the U.S. Congress, academia; industry; allied kidney organizations and associations; patients and other various stakeholders.

Register today.
resourcesESRD Resources
latest issue of kcer watch now available   
KCER Watch is a monthly environmental scan that provides timely and pertinent information related to emergency preparedness. Each month, KCER will review available literature from peer-reviewed journals and emergency and disaster related trade publications, social media postings, and stakeholder websites to identify news and events in the emergency management field that are beneficial to the ESRD community. The goal of KCER Watch is to facilitate the exchange of information, sharing of resources, and advancement of knowledge and expertise among ESRD and emergency management stakeholders. View the latest edition.
new resources can provide value to kidney patients   
Download the following resources and share with your kidney patients.

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610 Freedom Business Center,  
Suite 102 
King of Prussia, PA 19406 
(610) 265-2418 
(800) 548-9205 (patients only) 
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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. ESRD4-031819