Serving Delaware and Pennsylvania
A Bi-Weekly Newsletter for Quality Insights Renal Network 4
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Welcome to the March 31 issue of the Quality Insights Renal Network 4 e-newsletter. In this issue, we bring you information about talking to your patients about Dialysis Facility Compare (DFC), 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
Grievance Process
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. 
DFCHelp your patients get quality dialysis care
Do you want to refer your patients to a quality dialysis center? Talk with them about Dialysis Facility Compare.

Dialysis Facility Compare allows patients and their caregivers to search for dialysis centers, compare them side by side, and find the right one for them. Patients who are currently receiving dialysis, can use the site to understand how Medicare measures the quality of care dialysis centers provide.

The information on Dialysis Facility Compare includes:
  • Dialysis center contact information and services offered
  • Clinical quality of care Star Ratings
  • Clinical quality measure data
  • Patient experience of care survey results

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has calculated Star Ratings for every Medicare-certified dialysis center, with five stars as the highest rating. The Star Ratings combine nine clinical quality measures of how well dialysis centers care for their patients and how often each center uses best practices to care for its patients and keep them healthy.

As of October 19, Dialysis Facility Compare also contains the results of patient experience of care survey which includes information about how well staff listen and how clean the facility is.

Help your patients take control of their dialysis care. Teach your patients these four easy steps to search for the right dialysis facility for them. Visit

RSNRenal Support Network Essay Contest celebrating 15th year
The Renal Support Network (RSN) annual essay contest for people with kidney disease will celebrate its 15th year in 2017. The essay contest is a popular event with cash prizes and published winning essays on the RSN website and shared on RSN social media pages. The contest and winners also receive local and national news press. The 2017 theme encourages individuals to  "Describe a positive decision that you have made about your healthcare." Look for details in May from RSN about the call for entries for this year's contest.   Read the 2016 winning essays here

PediatricForumNEtwork 4 coordinates Pediatric Forum
Network 4 will be initiating a Pediatric Forum to discuss issues/topics relevant to this population of ESRD patients. If you are interested in participating, the first teleconference will be held on Thursday, April 13 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. ET. You may join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone using this link:, or you can join the conference call at 1-866-951-1151, Conference Rm - 2088872#.

NHSNExtensionExtension of NHSN Fourth Quarter 2016 Deadline for ESRD QIP
Due to an unscheduled maintenance on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) system, facility users were unable to report data between March 16, 2017, and March 21, 2017.

The unscheduled maintenance may have adversely impacted the ability of outpatient dialysis facilities to enter NHSN Dialysis Event data for the fourth quarter 2016 by the established March 31, 2017 Quality Incentive Program (QIP) deadline. To address this, and in collaboration with the CDC, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended the QIP deadline for facilities to enter fourth quarter 2016 data to April 15, 2017.

CMSEPTrainingCMS to Hold Emergency Preparedness Requirements Final Rule Training
CMS will hold an Emergency Preparedness Requirements Final Rule Training Call  on April 27, 2017 to discuss the implementation of the new emergency preparedness requirements, including an overview of the regulation, and training and testing requirements.  Facilities must be in compliance with the new rule by November 15, 2017.  A question and answer session will follow the presentation.  Providers and suppliers affected by the final rule; state survey agencies; health care coalitions, and state emergency preparedness officials are encouraged to attend.   Learn more and register today

Penn State College of Medicine, in partnership with The Kidney Foundation of Central PA, Lancaster General Health, Pinnacle Health and Quality Insights Renal Network 4, will be presenting an Update on Chronic Kidney Disease on Tuesday, April 25 from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Hotel Hershey in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Network 4's Executive Director, Chris Brown, will be presenting information about CROWNWeb and CMS' Quality Incentive Program (QIP) requirements.  Other sessions to note include the breakout sessions around the topic of Arterial-Venous Fistula Cannulation Camp Techniques. These include Fistula Maturation and Cannulation Readiness; Hands-on Cannulation Skills; and Vascular Access Assessment. Registration prior to April 24 will be $85 per person, which includes meals, handouts and refreshments. Registration after April 24 will be $110. Continuing education credits may be available. Learn more and register today

My Employment Options will hold a free Job Application Tips webinar, titled  Job Application Workshop: Application Do's and Don'ts, on April 6, 2017.   My Employment Options is an employment network that helps people with disabilities return to work as part of the free national Ticket to Work program, offering Work-At-Home and Onsite jobs in 47 states.

Learn  more and  register.   
NKFEventUpdatesNKF Event Updates
NKF Spring Clinical Meetings on the Horizon
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) will be holding the Spring Clinical Meetings in Orlando, FL on April 18 through 22. Learn more and register .

NKF PERC Again Offers Free Online CE Courses
The NKF Professional Education Resource Center (PERC) again offers three new free online CE courses for social workers:
  • Depression Screening Tools: Policy and Nephrology Social Work Interventions
  • Support of Renal Patients and Families Facing End-Of-Life Care Decisions: A Nephrology Social Worker's Reflection
  • Navigating Health Insurance: How Public Options, Private Coverage and Charitable Assistance Can Work Together For ESRD Patients

CouncilDatesMark your calendar: 2017 April network council 4 meeting
Quarterly Network Council meetings in 2017 will center around the topics of Patient Engagement and the Patien t Representative Program.   Each facility is REQUIRED to have a facility staff representative attend one of the meetings EACH quarter .  The next Network Council meeting will include guest speaker Gary Petingola, MSW, RSW. He will talk about "Refueling and Reconnecting as Compassionate Caregivers in Nephrology Care."
Click on the links below to register.  There is no cost to attend this conference.
  • April 11 and 12: Both days from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. EST
1.0 CEU Approval for Nursing
1.0 CEU PENDING Approval for Social Workers

The National Kidney Foundation Council of Nephrology Social Workers, Provider #1014, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. The National Kidney Foundation Council of Nephrology Social Workers maintains responsibility for the program. Licensed social workers should contact their individual jurisdiction to review current continuing education requirements for licensure renewal.

CantWaitCan't wait for summer? take a look at upcoming esrd camps 

Philadelphia Area
  • University City, PA: CHOPed: Mastering the Renal Diet is a free cooking program held from July 20-24 at The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College. It is for adolescents and teens ages 11 to 18 years who have chronic kidney disease. Email Nina Foster or call 267-425-3934.
  • Blue Bell, PA: Camp Jeremy is a week-long day camp for children ages 6 to 16 years who have undergone a life-saving organ transplant, and their siblings.
Central and Western Pennsylvania
  • Ligonier, PA: Kidney Kamp is held from in the first week of August for children of all ages who have PD, who are pre-dialysis or on hemodialysis, or who have had a transplant. Read more about Kidney Kamp. 
  • Millville, PA: Camp Kydnie is held from July 5-10 for children ages 6 to 16 years who have kidney disease or have had a transplant, and their siblings or friends.
ESRDResourcesESRD resources 

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

Executive Director
Quality Improvement Director
Quality Improvement Coordinator
Quality Improvement Coordinator
Patient Services Coordinator
Data Manager
Administrative Assistant
610 Freedom Business Center,  
Suite 102 
King of Prussia, PA 19406 
(610) 265-2418 
(800) 548-9205 (patients only) 
(610) 783-0374 (fax) 
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. ESRD4-033117