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Welcome to the October 10 edition of the Quality Insights Renal Network 4 (QIRN4) e-newsletter. In this issue, we bring you information about the ESRD Choice Act, flu season, patient support groups, emergency preparedness campaigns, ESRD events, resources and much more. We encourage you to contact us
with any questions, concerns or suggestions.  
ESRDChoiceAct2ESRD Choice act removes prohibition of enrollment in ma insurance plans
On September 20, 2016, the House of Representatives voted 423-0 to pass the ESRD Choice Act (H.R. 5659). Under current law, ESRD patients are prohibited from enrolling in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, which offer more flexible and integrated managed care coverage than traditional Medicare. The Expanding Seniors Receiving Dialysis Choice Act, or ESRD Choice Act, would remove the prohibition on current ESRD patients from enrolling in MA insurance plans. The legislation was introduced on July 8, 2016, by Representative Jason Smith (R-MO-08), along with original cosponsors Representatives John Lewis (D-GA-05), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL-12), Kurt Schrader (D-OR-05), and Tom Marino (R-PA-10). The bill now goes before the Senate for consideration. Learn more.  
FREECDCUpdateCDC Advises on administration of flu vaccine to people with egg allergies
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has changed its recommendations for the administration of flu vaccine to people with egg allergies.  Learn more.  
NewPatientSupportGroupNew Patient Support Group has started
A new patient support group has started. Patients can join the Westtown Patient Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) Forum, located at 105 Westtown Road in West Chester, PA. The next meeting will be on October 24 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. This is a patient-focused and patient-driven forum designed to: 
  • Develop a support network for PD patients.
  • Offer an opportunity to meet, greet, and share ideas for a healthier, more effective PD life.
  • Provide a positive group session to learn from each other.
  • Provide an opportunity to share frustrations, along with brainstorming viable solutions.
  • Share what you have learned from the dialysis process.
  • Be an example for others on the merits of PD.

No questions? No concerns? Perhaps you have the answers that can aid another dialysis patient. RSVP by calling the clinic at (610) 701-2491 by October 17 to save a spot for yourself.   

AlertsRecallsAlerts and recalls

FDA MedWatch

PELetterA letter on patient engagement  
Patient engagement is the road we all share.  The destination will bring better outcomes for our patients. Read this powerful letter from a home hemodialysis patient that describes some of her struggles to achieve self-determination.
A brief excerpt...
Patient education, empowerment and engagement are a must if a dialyzor wants to experience the best possible outcome for their dialysis treatments. Physicians, nurses, clinics and staff must be taught to value an educated and engaged patient, and not be threatened by, nor to retaliate (which sadly occurs all too often) on someone who wants to be involved in their treatment. Patients must be made aware of and have access to referral services such as Physical Therapy and Vocational Rehabilitation, and not be encouraged to quit work, become inactive, or accept an inferior quality of life. Patients must never be told "That's life on dialysis, just accept it!"

KCERWhatIfcheck out the kcer coalition "what if..." emergency awareness campaign
The Kidney Community Emergency Response Coalition is holding a "What If..." Emergency Awareness Campaign, encouraging dialysis patients to assess their level of preparedness, improve their ability to remain safe in an emergency, and engage with their care team to learn more about disaster preparedness in the facility.  Participating is easy, and facilities can select the best way to share Campaign resources and provide education to patients. The Campaign will consider situations where there is no transportation, no phones, no power, and no dialysis facility. Learn more here and here. Register your facility in the Campaign here.

NRAAFacebookbe featured on the nraa facebook page
Each month the National Renal Administrators Association (NRAA) spotlights an NRAA member on its Facebook page. If your facility is interested in being featured, please provide the following information to
  • Name, Title, Facility
  • Provide a brief blurb about your facility, where you're located, what you do on a daily basis.
  • Highlight a recent achievement, either professionally or personally.
  • What NRAA means to you? Or, why your facility choose to be an NRAA member?
  • Provide 2-3 photos of your staff and/or facility (in JPG format).
For exclusive content, updates and reminders, follow NRAA on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the NRAA LinkedIn Group.
EssayContestessay contest works published  
The Renal Support Network has published the work of its 2016 Annual Essay Contest, on "What do you know now about CKD that you wish you knew when you were diagnosed?"  Find the essays here.

TransplantDesigneeTransplant Designee Symposium
Dialysis nurses, patient care technicians, dialysis social workers and dietitians are invited to attend the Transplant Designee Symposium on October 28. Learn more.  
ExperienceofCareRegister for the "Experience of Care" webinar series
Two webinars remain in a three-part webinar series presented by the National Forum of ESRD Networks and sponsored by the American Association of Kidney Patients. The webinars focus on The Experience of Care: Patients and Providers as Partners. CEs for nurses and social workers are available without cost. Separate registration is required for each of the webinars.   
IUConferenceIU to Host Home Dialysis Program Conference
Indiana University Health's conference on Building a Successful Comprehensive Home Dialysis Program: "The Road Home" will be held in Indianapolis October 13-14, 2016.  Check out the conference brochure.
ESRDResourcesESRD resources  
KCER Offers Resources for Taking Care of Children during Disasters
The Kidney Community Emergency Response Coalition (KCER) has prepared a web page covering special considerations for taking care of children during disasters, including some resources in Spanish.  Visit the page.  Another KCER web page emphasizes physical and emotional recovery after a disaster. Visit the page. The Disaster Distress Helpline is at (800) 985-5990, or you can text "TalkWithUs" to 66746. The monthly KCER Watch newsletter covers current Emergency Preparedness topics. View the newsletter

KPAC and National Forum of ESRD Networks Team Up for Dialysis Patient Grievance Toolkit 
The Kidney Patient Advisory Council (KPAC)  and the Forum of ESRD Networks Medical Advisory Council (MAC) have announced the release of the Dialysis Patient Grievance Toolkit.  This toolkit was written BY PATIENTS and FOR PATIENTS and is intended to help guide dialysis patients through the grievance process.  KPAC acknowledges the help and support of the entire ESRD Network system in creating the Toolkit.  Find it and the other MAC Toolkits here

Spanish-Language Resources and AKF Webinars 
The CDC recently highlighted Spanish-language resources in their National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP).  Find them here. The American Kidney Fund (AKF) also offers free recorded CE courses in their Cornerstones of Care series, on Building Relationships and Professionalism. Learn more about other free AKF webinars.

CDC Offers New Resource 
The CDC has updated the Dialysis Safety webpage and posted a new resource created in collaboration with AAKP: Conversation Starter to Prevent Infections in Dialysis Patients. View the resource.  

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. ESRD4-100516