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Welcome to the October 25 issue of the Quality Insights Renal Network 4 e-newsletter. In this issue, we bring you information about patient education features, the upcoming CMS Quality Conference, our quality improvement activities, other upcoming events, 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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medicare parts a through D
We provide 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. 
AKFHIPPakf hipp has a new process
The American Kidney Fund (AKF) has developed a new process for its Health Insurance Premium Program (HIPP). Submission of the Provider Registration Form is required to establish the dialysis facility. Every dialysis facility is required to have a "HIPP Liaison" and "Renal Professional" listed. The "Renal Professional" role is normally used by social workers who have regular contact with patients and assist patients in entering their program applications. A "HIPP Liaison" releases insurance payments for any patients who have a recurring grant request, and generally acts as a conduit between AKF and renal professionals in the field. Contact Dan McDonough at for more information.
UpcomingEventsUpcoming Events

NHSN dialysis Event Surveillance Training Webinars scheduled throughout november 
The National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) Dialysis Team will be providing four live webinars in November for new and experienced NHSN users. CDC subject matter experts will be available to answer your questions about NHSN Dialysis Event Surveillance.

Introduction to the NHSN Dialysis Event Surveillance Protocol: National Healthcare Safety Network (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 session will provide a complete introduction to the NHSN Dialysis Event reporting requirements and the surveillance definitions necessary to complete accurate monthly reporting.

Advanced NHSN Dialysis Event Surveillance Reporting and Introduction to NHSN Reports: Learn how to apply National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) Dialysis Event Surveillance definitions through case studies that address common reporting questions. The session also will include an introduction to running and interpreting the most popular NHSN reports so you can review your facility's data, including Dialysis Event bloodstream infection rates.

If you have any questions, please contact us at with 'dialysis' in the subject line. 

save the date: 2019 cms quality conference 
The 2019 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Conference will take place January 29 - 31, 2019 at the Hilton Hotel in Baltimore, MD. Registration is now open. If you have question or concerns regarding CMS Quality Conference registration and housing, please don't hesitate to contact the CMS Logistics Team directly at

QIAsQuality Improvement Activities (QIAs)

national coordinating center introduces lan-specific webpage 
The End Stage Renal Disease National Coordinating Center (ESRD NCC) has announced the availability of a newly-developed webpage that provides a simplified method for members of the ESRD community to access Quality Improvement Activity (QIA) Learning and Action Network (LAN) materials.

This webpage provides visitors with a description of the CMS national goal for each QIA and gives a brief overview of how LAN meetings are utilized to help support the ESRD Networks' efforts to better the quality of care administered to ESRD patients.

Items available via this webpage include:
  • National QIA LAN materials (BSI, Home Modality, and Transplant)
  • Population Health Focused Pilot QIA (PHFPQ) LAN materials
  • Patient Experience of Care (PECO) LAN materials
  • Medication Management and Opioid (MMO) LAN materials
  • Registration opportunity for upcoming events
  • Access to past events
  • Access to intervention steps and documents used to support QIA efforts

Please note that this webpage will continue to be maintained to include new materials that could be used to support the ESRD community's needs. Access the webpage.  

New resource addresses challenges associated with kidney transplant 
Quality Insights Renal Network 4 recently completed a brochure titled "Understanding Challenges: A Guide to Understanding the Challenges of a Kidney Transplant Evaluation and Workup." Download the brochure  
CMSUpdatesCMS Updates
new hipaa fact sheet now available
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published a new fact sheet on Medical Privacy of Protected Health Information, a six-page summary of the major provisions of HIPAA, with extensive links to additional resources.  Download the fact sheet.  
update to the cms esrd state operations manual for esrd facilities and nursing homes
CMS has published a comprehensive update for Chapter 2 End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) of the State Operations Manual (SOM), which describes the oversight activities of State Survey Agencies for certified Medicare providers and suppliers. Chapter 2 of the SOM includes guidance and instructions on procedures for ESRD facilities, including nursing homes. The update incorporates current Conditions for Coverage, and CMS policies for ESRD issued previously through memoranda.  View the document.

There was also a new memo released in August 2018 that discusses the Survey Process for Reviewing Home Dialysis Services in a Long Term Care (LTC) Facility. View the memo
CY2019 esrd pps proposed rule webinar slides and recording now available
In case you missed the August 14 CMS conference call on the CY2019 ESRD PPS Proposed Rule, impacting PY2021-24 you can still review the presentation slides and listen to the speakers. The audio is available on the CMS website. The slides from the call are available now.

The Proposed Rule includes language for new facilities to begin QIP reporting in their fourth month of operation rather than their first month (slide 31). The slides also include timelines and resources. The call did not include questions, as listeners were directed to use the Federal Register comment process, which is detailed on the slides.  Learn more
october 2018 crownweb newsletter now available
The October 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:
  • The Journey to EQRS with System Design
  • Facility Details in CROWNWeb
  • ICD-10 Code Updates
  • 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)

Tune In for Safe Healthcare Webinar Series
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 topic:
  • Containing Unusual Antibiotic Resistance
This activity is intended for infectious disease practitioners, critical care practitioners, hematologists/oncologists, internists, laboratory practitioners, pathologists, public health officials, urologists, nurses, pharmacists, and other clinicians who treat and manage patients with multidrug-resistant organism infection. 

Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to
  1. Describe changes from 2006 to 2015 in the annual proportion of selected pathogens that were nonsusceptible to extended-spectrum cephalosporins (ESBL phenotype) or resistant to carbapenems (carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae [CRE]), based on infection data from the National Healthcare Safety Network
  2. Describe findings from January to September 2017 of carbapenemase testing and screening tests, based on a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study
  3. Describe clinical implications of changes in spread of two multidrug-resistant (MDR) pathogens over time, based on a CDC study
Access other free MMWR/Medscape CE activities. 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. 
ESRDResourcesESRD Resources
Latest edition of KCER Watch is Now Available  
The  September 2018 issue of KCER Watch , the monthly environmental scan that provides timely and pertinent information related to emergency preparedness, is now available. Kidney Community Emergency Response (KCER) reviews 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. The Network encourage you to share KCER Watch with your colleagues and patients. 
new network resource now available: Staying Healthy Through Work  
The Network recently completed the Staying Healthy through Work trifold brochure. This brochure highlights the benefits of staying active through work for patients with kidney disease. Download the brochure
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. ESRD4-102218