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                                                                             A Bi-Weekly Newsletter for QIRN4
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Welcome to the August 3 edition of the Quality Insights Renal Network 4 (QIRN4) e-newsletter. In this issue, we bring you information about proposed rules, data submission deadlines, webinar opportunities, ESRD events, resources and much more. We encourage you to contact us with any questions, concerns or suggestions. 
QIPPaymentDatesannouncing dates for the esrd QIP Payment year 2017 preview period 
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is informing the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Network Organizations (Networks) that the Payment Year (PY) 2017 Preview Period for the ESRD Quality Incentive Program (QIP) will begin on August 15, 2016, and conclude at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on September 16, 2016. 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. CMS will conduct a National Provider Call (NPC) about the PY 2017 Preview Period on the afternoon of August 2, 2016. Learn more about this NPC.
DataSubmissionDeadlineMay clinical data submission deadline is extended 
To accommodate the July 19 transition from the QualityNet Identify Management System (QIMS) to the new QualityNet Account and Role Management (QARM) application, the deadline to submit May clinical data to CROWNWeb has been extended from July 31, 2016 to August 15, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. ET.
PolicyPaymentChangesCMS Publishes proposed policy, payment and quality provisions changes in the federal register 
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published Proposed Policy, Payment, and Quality Provisions Changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for CY 2017 in the Federal Register and is accepting public comment on its provisions until September 6, 2016. Several of its many proposals may impact ESRD treatment. For instance:
  • Making dialysis-related and advanced-care-planning services eligible for Telehealth
  • Updates to Geographic Practice Cost Indices, particularly in California
  • Review of the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program
  • Changes to Medicare Advantage and Medicare Shared Savings Programs

View a summary of the proposed changes.  View the full Federal Register publication

ProposedRuleCMS issues proposed rule with organ procurement organization changes and transplant performance thresholds 
CMS has placed in the Federal Register a Proposed Rule that changes, among other things, organ procurement organization reporting and communication, transplant outcome measures and documentation requirements, and electronic health record incentive programs. Changes include:
  • Transplant Performance Thresholds. With respect to solid organ transplant programs, we are proposing to restore the effective tolerance range for clinical outcomes that was allowed in our original 2007 rule. 
  • Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs) Changes. In this proposed rule, we are proposing to: Change the current "eligible death" definition to be consistent with the OPTN definition; modify CMS current outcome measures to be consistent with yield calculations currently utilized by the SRTR; and modify current requirements for documentation of donor information which is sent to the transplant center along with the organ.

View the full Federal Register notice. Public comment is due by September 6, 2016. 

NHSNTrainingNHSN Dialysis Event Surveillance Training Webinar for experienced users 
Please join the live webinar on August 11 that will provide training for experienced NHSN users. CDC subject matter experts will be available to answer your questions about NHSN Dialysis Event Surveillance.

Advanced NHSN Dialysis Event Surveillance Reporting and Introduction to NHSN Reports - August 11 at 3:00 p.m. ET
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. No registration is required.  Click here to join the meeting online. Listen-only audio will be available through your computer speakers. Chat function will be available for questions and answers. If you're unable to get audio through your computer speakers, you can dial-in by phone to hear the audio: toll number (303) 248-0285 / Conference ID: 6393927*. 

NHSNReleaseNotesNHSN Version 8.5.4 Release notes
The National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) release notes feature the following changes: 

FDAAlertsandRecallsalerts and recalls  
ProposedRule2CMS files proposed rule that modifies terms of the esrd qip for py2018-2020
CMS has filed a Proposed Rule, to be published in the June 30, 2016 Federal Register. The new Rule would modify terms of the ESRD QIP for PY2018-2020, provide payment for patients with acute kidney injury, and include many other changes. Comments on the Proposed Rule must be submitted by August 23, 2016.

Proposed changes to the ESRD QIP include:
  • Revised technical specifications for the Hypercalcemia clinical measure in PY2018
  • A new Patient Safety Domain encompassing an NHSN reporting measure and BSI clinical measure, valued at 15% of facility TPS in PY2019 and 10% in PY2020
  • An SHR Standardized Hospitalization Ratio clinical measure for PY2020
  • A new Ultrafiltration Rate reporting measure for PY2020
  • Replacing the Mineral Metabolism measure with a new Serum Phosphorus reporting measure in PY2020
View a summarized Proposed Rule here. Read the full Federal Register article with instructions for commenting. 
DFCWebinarDid you miss the June 22 dialysis facility compare - star ratings refresh webinar? 
Slides and transcript from June 22 Dialysis Facility Compare - Star Ratings Refresh webinar are now available on the ESRD General Information webpage of the website. Feel free to download these materials and share them with your colleagues in kidney care.

As previously stated, CMS will share information about future webinars as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have questions about any of the information presented on the June 22 webinar, please submit your inquiry to the University of Michigan Kidney Epidemiology and Cost Center Helpdesk at

EngagingPatientsEngaging patients and families in their care: a look at programs for esrd and diabetes
View the recording of the Grand Rounds Enduring Webinar, Engaging Patients and Families in their Care: A Look at Programs for ESRD and Diabetes that took place on June 28. The webinar featured speakers Patrick Conway, MD, MSc, Shari Ling, MD, Thomas Workman, PhD, Janice Hidalgo and Jennifer St. Clair Russell, PhD, MSEd, MCHES. CEUs may be available after completion. Learn more.

FacilityClosureReportingToolReminder: Please use new Facility Closure Reporting Tool on QIRN4 website
QIRN4 has developed a new form on its website for reporting facility closures and service interruptions. Please make note of this change and reset any bookmarks you may have previously had with a link to the old survey. 

GolfTournamentKidney Foundation 
of central pa's 9th annual kidney classic golf tournament
Join the Kidney Foundation of Central PA (KFCP) on Monday, September 19, 2016 at the West Shore Country Club in Camp Hill, PA for a fun golf-filled day to benefit a great cause.  The tournament will include individual and team challenges, a putting contest, raffle prizes, and a sports memorabilia silent auction.  Proceeds from this event help support essential KFCP programs such as the nationally-recognized Patient and Family Partner Program, the Patient Emergency Assistance Fund, and Camp Kydnie. Learn more
AAKPMeetingAAKP National Patient Meeting Registration Now Open
Registration is now open for the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) National Patient Meeting on September 23-25 in Nashville, TN. Three major themes at this year's Convention will be:
  • Increasing Living Organ Donation (including a workshop on "Having Your Donor Find You" on September 22)
  • Engaging Patients: How Voices and Choices Shape Your Future
  • Food, Drugs and Safety
ESRDResourcesESRD resources  
Continuing Education Credit Opportunities 
  • The American Kidney Fund offers a number of free NANT, NASW, and CDR continuing education credits on depression, self-care, relationship-building, and a number of other topics.  Learn more.
  • The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) Professional Education Resource Center also presents free continuing-education courses, for most kidney-related health professions. Just a few of these courses include prevention, hepatitis (see below), water, cultural sensitivity, pain management, hyperkalemia, and other mineral imbalances. Learn more
Strategies to De-Escalate Aggressive Behavior in Psychiatric Patients
Check out this document from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) on dealing with aggressive behavior in psychiatric patients. 

Tips for Staying Cool and Controlling Fluids in the Summer Heat
CMS' Interpretive Guidelines for Dialysis Facilities
This tool features CMS' Interpretive Guidelines for Dialysis Facilities, which can be helpful when being surveyed by the Department of Health. 

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. ESRD4-080116