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Welcome to the May 10 issue of the Quality Insights Renal Network 4 e-newsletter. In this issue, we bring you information about how to help patients with the new Medicare card, patient education features, our quality improvement activities, upcoming events, National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) updates, CROWNWeb updates, continuing education opportunities,  resources and much more. We encourage you to  contact us with any questions, concerns or suggestions.  
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Dialysis Facility Compare (DFC)
We will be providing a Network 4 Patient Education Sheet each month in 2018. 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. 
MedicareCardnew medicare card: Help Your Patients
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is mailing new Medicare cards with new Medicare numbers to people newly enrolling in Medicare. People who already have Medicare coverage will receive their cards on a flow basis. CMS is conducting a major education campaign about the new card, and here's how you can help.
  • Your Medicare patients will not get new cards if their addresses are not correct. If the address you have on file is different than the Medicare address you get in electronic eligibility transaction responses, ask your patient to correct their address through Social Security.
  • Prepare to answer your patients' questions: Read the Medicare.Gov webpage and messaging guidelines.
  • Play the one minute New Medicare Cards are Coming! video in your waiting room, so patients know when and how they will receive the new card (also available in opened caption and 1080p formats).
  • Display a poster in your office.
  • Give your patients tear-off sheets or flyers.

Register and order these free color products available in multiple languages, or print on 8.5"x11" paper:

  • Poster, 11"x17" (Product #12009-P)
  • Pad of 50 tear-off sheets, 4"x 5.25" (Product #12006)
  • Flyer, 8.5"x11" (Product #12002 )

Visit the Provider webpage for the latest information.

QIAsQuality Improvement Activities (QIAs)

Increasing Patient Participation in network 4's quality improvement activities through Subject Matter Experts 
Many patients with kidney disease face barriers in completing the necessary steps required to be on the transplant waitlist. Studies show that peer support is effective. As a result, Network 4 - in consultation with its patient subject matter experts (SMEs) - is in the process of developing guidelines for a Patient Advocacy Initiative focused on improving the patient transplant waitlist status and home dialysis training initiations. Our goal is to build a pipeline of patients helping patients. Patient Advocates will be available for patient-to-patient sharing of experiences. The goal is to encourage/guide patients as they move through the processes of transplant evaluation and home therapy initiation. We currently have three SMEs partnering with four facilities.

Timmy Nelson
Featured Patient Testimonial: 
Timmy's Story

Check out an inspirational story from Timmy Nelson, an ESRD patient in the Network 4 region. Timmy's dedicated self-discipline allowed him to choose to receive peritoneal dialysis (PD). PD allowed him to be flexible with his intense travel schedule and receive dialysis at the most convenient and appropriate times. In 2018, Timmy received a kidney transplant and he has become physically stronger each day. Read Timmy's full story.  
UpcomingEventsUpcoming Events
Medication Management and Opioid (MMO) INitiative LAN call
Join the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the End Stage Renal Disease National Coordinating Center (ESRD NCC) on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 for the Medication Management and Opioid (MMO) Initiative Learning and Action Network (LAN) call.

To support this call, CMS asks that clinicians access, review and consider becoming involved by signing the MMO Pledge prior to attending. View the MMO Pledge.  

Event Speaker
Katie E. Cardone, Pharm.D., BCACP, FNKF, FASN, FCCP, is an associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (ACPHS) in Albany, NY. Dr. Cardone's clinical practice site is at Dialysis Clinic, Inc., where she provides medication management services for ambulatory patients with kidney disease. Dr. Cardone's research focuses on optimizing medication outcomes in the dialysis population. She is a board certified ambulatory care pharmacist and serves as director of the ACPHS nephrology pharmacy residency program.

Presentation Objectives
  • Educate dialysis facilities and clinicians in the ESRD community about pain management for ESRD patients.
  • Communicate the patient viewpoint regarding pain management for the ESRD patient.
  • Identify and share successes and best practices to spread to other partner communities.


  1. Go to
  2. Enter information on the registration form.
  3. Click "Register Now" button at bottom of page.

A registration confirmation, which includes the information needed to join this webinar, will be sent to the email address provided during registration from ESRD NCC.

Audio Details

Audio is available via internet streaming, which means no telephone line is required and the audio will come through your computer speakers or headphones. 


For questions or more information, please contact the NCC at

The Kidney Foundation of Central Pennsylvania (KFCP) is taking part in the annual Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community on Saturday, May 19 at the main campus of the Harrisburg Area Community College. Highmark underwrites the cost of the Walk, so each participating nonprofit organization keeps 100 percent of the funds raised by its walkers.

Proceeds from this important event help strengthen the KFCP's Patient Programs and Services. One important KFCP program in need of support this year is the Patient Emergency Assistance Fund. KFCP works closely with dialysis social workers who identify those patients in dire need of financial assistance, and temporary emergency funds are made available to help with prescription co-pays, nutritional supplements, or transportation costs to dialysis treatments. Due to fundraisers like the Highmark Walk, last year KFCP was able to assist over 350 patients when they needed it the most.

Please use this link below to make a donation or sign up to walk with the KFCP on May 19. Call (800) 762-6202 with any questions. Learn more
The Big Ask: The big Give Workshop
The Big Ask: The Big Give is a workshop on living donation coordinated by the National Kidney Foundation and Christiana Care Health System. Open to kidney patients, family members, friends, and potential living donors, the workshops provide interactive education about living donation and transplant, and teach the best, most effective strategies and tips for finding a living donor.

Sunday, May 20, 2018
John H. Ammon Medical Education Center
Christiana Hospital
4755 Ogletown-Stanton Road
Newark, DE 19718
12:00 to 4:00 p.m. ET

NHSNUpdatesNHSN Updates

cdc to present nhsn training webinars in may
The American Nephrology Nurses Association (ANNA) has announced that the CDC will present the following NHSN training webinars in May.  Advanced NHSN Dialysis Event Surveillance Reporting and Introduction to NHSN Reports will be held May 14, 2018 and repeated on May 15Learn more and register.

Reminder: Data for CMS Quality Reporting Programs Due Soon
All outpatient dialysis facilities providing in-center hemodialysis and/or a home modality should report their data to the Healthcare Patient Safety component in order to comply with the ESRD Quality Incentive Payment (QIP) requirements for reporting the clinical measure Healthcare Personnel Influenza Vaccination Reporting Measure. 

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: 1) your monthly reporting plans are complete, 2) you've entered appropriate summary and event data or checked the appropriate no events boxes, and 3) you've cleared all alerts from your NHSN facility homepage. For additional guidance on ensuring your data are accurately sent to CMS for Quality Reporting purposes, please visit the CDC website and navigate to the appropriate section(s) for your facility type.

As we approach the May 15 submission deadline for the 2017-2018 influenza season, CDC has outlined some guidance to help facilities check their HCP vaccination data. 

Data Verification in NHSN 

NHSN does not provide a confirmation e-mail to facilities once they have submitted their data. CDC assists with routinely verifying HCP influenza vaccination summary data during the first year of data reporting for a CMS program as a courtesy to facilities. After the first year, facilities should follow the steps below to verify data. Facilities should also maintain printed copies or screenshots of their data entry for their records. 
  1. Ensure that your facility is enrolled in NHSN as the correct facility type. You can view this information on the Facility Information page for your facility in NHSN. For example, if your facility is an ambulatory surgery center, it should only be enrolled in NHSN as "AMB-SURG - Outpatient Surgery Facility." If you have questions about your NHSN facility type, please contact for assistance. 
  2. Ensure that the correct facility CMS Certification Number (CCN) and CCN effective date have been entered into the "Facility Information" page of NHSN. View specific guidance on adding/updating the facility CCN and CCN effective date within NHSN. 
  3. Run a CMS Line Listing Report to ensure that data have been correctly entered into NHSN. Directions on how to run these reports are located by facility type under the "CMS Reporting" heading on the CDC website. This line listing shows what data for your facility will be shared with CMS. 
As long as your facility is enrolled as the correct facility type, your CCN and CCN effective date are correct, and your data appear in the CMS Line Listing for the current reporting period, no further action is required on your part. Your data will be shared with CMS following the reporting deadline established by CMS for your facility type. Also, please note that some facilities are required to report HCP influenza vaccination summary data not only to NHSN to meet CMS reporting requirements, but to other entities, such as their state or city. For non-CMS reporting requirements, facilities will need to determine if reporting through NHSN is sufficient to meet these requirements, or if data must be transmitted via another mechanism. For your reference, more information about reporting requirements, along with a data submission checklist is now available online.
Required Dialysis Event Surveillance Training
CMS requires that at least one person from each outpatient dialysis facility that is eligible to report positive blood cultures (PBC), IV antibiotic starts, and pus, redness and swelling (PRS) to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) in 2018, complete the Annual NHSN Dialysis Event Surveillance Training. Eligible facilities include:
  • Facilities that provide in-center hemodialysis to at least 11 in-center hemodialysis patients
  • Facilities that have a CMS Certification date prior to January 1, 2018 

Learn more about eligibility.

Starting in 2018, Network 4 must verify, track, and report to CMS on a monthly basis the number of facilities completing this training for 2018. Please complete the following steps as soon as possible. 

  1. Complete the training and attestation no later than September 28.
  2. Print the certificate of completion. 
  3. Attest to completion of the training.

Dialysis Event Training/Re-training is available:  

Deadline extended for re-Consent Process
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announces a deadline extension for completing the online National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) Agreement to Participate and Consent form, referred to as the Consent in this announcement. The new deadline for completing the Consent, June 15, 2018 , applies to ALL facilities currently enrolled in NHSN regardless of their CMS participation. The deadline for Long-term Care Facilities remains June 15, 2018.

The Consent is accessible to only the NHSN Facility Administrator or Primary Contact user. The new deadline provides additional time for each facility's NHSN Facility Administrator or Primary Contact to complete the online Consent and avoid any interruptions in access to the NHSN application, including access for purposes of submitting data to meet local, state, or federal reporting requirements. Please be informed that if the Consent is not completed by the new deadline, access to NHSN will be temporarily suspended. Additionally, users will receive an error message when they attempt to log into NHSN redirecting them to the Facility Administrator or Primary Contact.

CMS quality reporting deadlines for NHSN measure reporting are not affected by this extension.
NHSN is pleased to assist with any questions or concerns you may have regarding the Consent process. Learn more on how to complete the NHSN Agreement to Participate and Consent process. You may also direct questions to
CMSUpdatesCMS Updates
May 2018 CROWNWEb Newsletter now available
The May 2018 edition of the CROWNWeb Newsletter is now available online. The CROWNWeb Newsletter focuses on user-specific topics, such as training, account management, use of the CROWNWeb system, and tips and tricks, as well as key technical aspects of CROWNWeb.

This month's featured stories include:
  • CROWNWeb: 5 Years Strong
  • EQRS 1.2 - CROWNWeb Enhancements
  • CROWNWeb New User Training
  • Clinical Closures
CEUOppsEducation and 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 offers several online courses that provide free CEs for health care professionals. Learn more
Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality
The Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality is now offering short, interactive samples of courses to get a feel for how it creates engaging learning experiences that are relevant and applicable to your work improving patient safety. Samples are now available for the following cours es:
  • Patient Safety Certificate Program
  • Human Factors for Patient Safety
  • Becoming a Patient Safety Hero
  • Foundations of CUSP
These samples will work on mobile devices; however, for the best experience use on a laptop or desktop computer. Browse the course catalog for details on all courses, including continuing education credits, learning objectives and costs.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The CDC has new free continuing education opportunities available through its Tune In for Safe Healthcare webinar series. Webinars include: 

  • Empowering Nurses to Protect Themselves and Their Patients: The Importance of Collaboration between Nurses and Environmental Services
  • Infections in Dialysis Centers: Understanding what Matters to Patients
  • Empowering Nurses for Early Sepsis Recognition
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) and Medscape
CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) presents a FREE continuing education activity on the following topics:
  • Cancer and Obesity
  • Invasive Cancer
  • Recommendations on the Use of Seasonal Influenza Vaccines

In support of improving patient care, Medscape, LLC is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team. If you are not a registered user on Medscape, please register for free or login without a password and get unlimited access to all continuing education activities and other Medscape features.

renal physicians association e-Learning portal offers new course
The Renal Physicians Association (RPA) has an eLearning portal that offers a wide variety of courses. The newest course, 2018 Fundamentals of Nephrology Coding and Billing, is now available online. This course will provide a better understanding of the federal and regulatory requirements for proper nephrology coding, billing and documentation. 
Quality insights quality innovation network
Quality Insights is hosting a webinar on Wednesday, May 23 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. ET. This webinar is designed to help you build and strengthen your outpatient antibiotic stewardship program with the Four Core Elements of Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship.
The following guest speakers will provide an explanation and detail interventions to support the tracking and reporting core element:
  • Tom Rushton, MD, Director of Infectious Diseases, St. Mary's Medical Center (WV)
  • Geri Abadie, RN, Chief Quality Officer, St. James Parish Hospital (LA)
  • Scott D. Dantonio, RPh, Director of Pharmacy, St. James Parish Hospital (LA)
  • Hal P. Kramer, MD, Lead Physician, Medical Aid Units, Christiana Care Health Systems (DE)

Registration is required, so please register today. Once registered you will receive a confirmation email which will contain the login details.


If you are a physician, nurse, pharmacist or other health care team member in the states of Delaware, Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia who works to build and strengthen your organization's outpatient antibiotic stewardship program, we encourage you to register today for this informative program.

1.0 Free CEUs
Quality Insights is working with Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI)* to obtain 1.0 free CNE, CME or CPE contact hours for attending this session and completing the post-session evaluation. If you are unable to attend, the presentation will be offered as an enduring material that will offer CNE, CME and CPE contact hours on My Quality Insights.

Webinar: Understanding the Updated Blood Pressure Guidelines
Join the American Heart Association and a panel of speakers, in collaboration with the New England QIN-QIO, on May 16 from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. EDT. During this webinar, we will discuss the new Blood Pressure Clinical Practice Guidelines, released in November 2017, and how you can implement new tools and resources in your clinical practice to improve control rates. Following the M.A.P. framework (Measure accurately; Act rapidly; and Partner with patients, families and communities), this webinar will focus on partnering with your patients.

Following this webinar, you will:
  • Understand the new blood pressure classification system;
  • Understand how to navigate free, evidence-based resources from Target: BP (; and
  • Be able to use an evidence-based protocol to guide the way you and your team assess and treat people with high blood pressure.


  • Harvey M. Kramer, MD, FACP, FACC
    Senior Attending Physician & Director of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Danbury Hospital
  • Laken Barkowski, RN, BSN, IHO Improvement Advisor, American Medical Association 
  • Jennifer N. Gilbert, DNP, FNP-C, OPTIMUS Health Care
  • Taylor Edelmann, Community Health Worker, OPTIMUS Health Care

Register today.

Webinar: Tools to prevent infections in hemodialysis
The Making Dialysis Safer for Patients Coalition has released the latest issue of its newsletter, which highlights recent and upcoming Coalition activities. It also includes information regarding its Friday, May 18 webinar, Making Dialysis Safer for Patients: Tools to Prevent Infections in Hemodialysis. Speakers will present resources and strategies for preventing infections in the hemodialysis setting, as well as increasing the use and visibility of CDC-recommended practices. Registration is required. Please contact with any questions or comments.
ESRDResourcesESRD Resources
Latest edition of KCER Watch is Now Available  
The  April 2018 issue of KCER Watch , the monthly environmental scan that provides timely and pertinent information related to emergency preparedness, is now available. 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.
harmful mental health myths decoded
Many harmful myths surround the subject of mental illness. It's important for us to learn the truth behind these myths - and have empathy for those suffering with mental illness. Check out this article from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Health Beat
Three ways walking and running can improve mood
Walking and running are great ways to improve cardiovascular health, build muscle, and lose weight. What you may not know is that walking and running come with benefits for both the body and mind. Check out this article from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Health Beat
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. ESRD4-050918