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                                                                             A Bi-Weekly Newsletter for QIRN4
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Welcome to the June 28 edition of the Quality Insights Renal Network 4 (QIRN4) e-newsletter. In this issue, we bring you information about reporting deadlines, new webinars, the CMS Comprehensive ESRD Care Model, NHSN training videos, the proposed rule for ESRD PPS, ESRD events, resources and much more. We encourage you to contact us with any questions, concerns or suggestions. 
NHSNDeadlineReminder: Deadline is approaching for nhsn reporting  
The National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) reporting deadline for 2016 Q1 Dialysis Event Surveillance data is on 
June 30. 
QIPPainAssessmentReminder: CMS QIP Pain Assessments Due 7/31 
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Incentive Program requires that you document a pain assessment response two times for each of your patients in 2016. The first of these assessments must be submitted in CROWNWeb before July 31.

The requirement and patient eligibility details can be found on the attestation page of CROWNWeb, found by clicking the Clinical tab, then the Patient Reporting sub-tab, then the Pain Assessment sub-tab.

With the impending change to a new user registration system in mid-July, we highly recommend that you submit these attestations as soon as possible.

ESRDMeasuresManualWebinarCMS to host webinar on newly Released ESRD Measures Manual 
CMS recently released the CMS ESRD Measures Manual which provides detailed specifications for Performance Measures used by the ESRD Quality Incentive Program (QIP) and Dialysis Facility Compare (DFC). CMS invites you to learn more about this comprehensive guide at a webinar to be held on June 28. The webinar will provide an overview of the Manual and of the "JIRA platform" by which you can offer feedback and propose small technical improvements to Measure specifications. Learn more. The webinar will include time for questions. Register for the webinar

ComprehensiveCareModelCMS requests applications for the comprehensive esrd care model 
CMS is officially announcing a Request for Applications (RFA) for the Comprehensive ESRD Care (CEC) Model. Applicants will have the opportunity to apply to join the Model starting in its second year, on January 1, 2017.

The CEC Model is designed to identify, test, and evaluate new ways to improve care for Medicare beneficiaries with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). Through the CEC Model, CMS will partner with health care providers and suppliers to test the effectiveness of a new payment and service delivery model in providing beneficiaries with person-centered, high-quality care. Dialysis providers, nephrologists, and other providers form ESRD Seamless Care Organizations (ESCOs), which are responsible for coordinating care and improving health outcomes for aligned beneficiaries, and are eligible for shared savings when total cost of care is reduced and quality is improved. 

The CEC Model currently has 13 ESCOs participating in the model, including 12 ESCOs from Large Dialysis Organizations (LDOs) and 1 from a non-Large Dialysis Organization (Non-LDO). 

Deadline to apply is July 15, 2016.

NHSNTrainingVideosContinuing education credits are now available for 2016 nhsn training videos 
Continuing Education (CE) credits are now available for those who have viewed the 2016 National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) Training webstream videos.

Please see the detailed guidance, including links to the training videos, number of CEs available per training, and registration for obtaining CEs. Available CEs include CME, CNE, CPH, and CEU.

All archived webstream videos are available on the NHSN Training website under the dropdown menu entitled "NHSN Webstreaming and Webinar Events."

Step-by-step directions on accessing the CDC continuing education registration and online system can be found online

NHSNVersionNHSN Version 8.5.4 to be Released July 23
The next National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) release (version 8.5.4) was originally scheduled to go live on June 18. However, the release has been delayed until July 23 to accommodate necessary infrastructure upgrades. All of the anticipated upgrades are expected to be implemented on this new date. Updates include: 
  • NHSN Dialysis Event rate tables and run charts will be updated to include 2014 national aggregate data for benchmarking
  • Availability of a new group-level pooled mean rate tables
  • Availability of a new facility-level SIR report (available to both facilities and groups)
  • Availability of a new "compFollowed" variable to identify which components are active among the facilities in your group
  • Resolution of several minor system bugs

FDAAlertsandRecallsFDA alerts and recalls  

CMSProposedRuleCMS issues proposed rule for ESRD pps
On June 24, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that would update payment policies and rates under the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Prospective Payment System (PPS) for renal dialysis services furnished to beneficiaries on or before January 1, 2017. This rule proposes new quality measures to improve the quality of care by dialysis facilities treating patients with end-stage renal disease.

The complete proposed rule can be read here.

DATES: Comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. on August 23, 2016. See Page 2 of the proposed rule for instructions to submit comments.
RSNEssayContestRSN Invites people with kidney disease to enter 14th annual essay contest
The Renal Support Network (RSN) announces its 14th Annual Essay Contest. This year's theme is "What Do You Know Now About Chronic Kidney Disease That You Wish You had Known When You Were Diagnosed?"

"People who live successfully with a chronic illness like kidney disease know firsthand the importance of having an innovative perspective not only toward their illness, but also toward life in general. There is an abundance of talent within the renal patient community, and the RSN Essay Contest provides people who have CKD with a forum where they can share their experiences, strength, and hope, as well as inspire others."

- Lori Hartwell, RSN President and Founder

A total of $900 in prizes will be awarded. Essayists must have been diagnosed with CKD. The deadline for submitting essays is August 1.

Read past winning essays.
AmericanKidneyFundAmerican Kidney Fund to Present Patient Employment Webinar
Please let your patients know that the American Kidney Fund (AKF) will present a webinar on Staying Employed with Kidney Disease on Tuesday, July 19 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. ET.  Mary Beth Callahan, ACSW, LCSW, a Senior Social Worker at the Dallas Transplant Institute, will speak.  To learn more and view a list of other patient-oriented AKF webinars, please view this page
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
Eight Continuing Education credits are available for social workers, dietitians, and registered nurses. Scholarships, covering only the conference fees, are available to patients, but you must apply before July 31, 2016.  Learn more and register

HomeDialysisModalitiesUpcoming Webinar: Increasing the Use of Home Dialysis Modalities
Join us for the upcoming webinar Increasing the Use of Home Dialysis Modalities on Wednesday, July 13 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET. Attendees may be eligible to receive 1.2 CEUs for this webinar. Please register prior to the event date by following these instructions. If you have any questions or problems accessing the web portion of this meeting, please call the Ventech Solutions WebEx Helpline at (571) 598-1988.
ESRDResourcesESRD resources  
New Infection Prevention Page on QIRN4 Website is Now Live
QIRN4 has developed a new page on its website focused on Infection Prevention. The page will be regularly updated with new information important to dialysis patients and facilities and will include resources and tools from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The latest information included on the page focuses on viral hepatitis. Learn more from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website.

IHI White Paper - "Sustaining Improvement"
View this recently published white paper by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

Vascular Access Planning Guide for Professionals
The ESRD National Coordinating Center (NCC) has developed a Vascular Access Planning Guide for Professionals. View the guide here

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. ESRD4-062116