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Welcome to the September 19 edition of the Quality Insights Renal Network 4 (QIRN4) e-newsletter. In this issue, we bring you information about a new campaign from the Surgeon General, patient support groups, ICH-CAHPS survey results, ESRD events, resources and much more. We encourage you to contact us
with any questions, concerns or suggestions.  
PreviewPeriodESRD QIP Preview Period for PY 2017 Extended to September 30
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Quality Incentive Program (QIP) Preview Period for Payment Year (PY) 2017 through 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday, September 30, 2016. The Preview Period is an opportunity for outpatient dialysis facilities to review their scores before they are finalized. Facilities with PY 2017 ESRD QIP scores that fail to meet or exceed the minimum Total Performance Score face reimbursement reductions of up to 2 percent for dialysis treatments that will be rendered during 2017. For more information, visit the ESRD QIP website, review the materials from the August 2 MLN Connects® Call, or contact  Jeannette Shrift at (610) 265-2418 ext. 2821 or email
TurnTheTideSurgeon General urges participation in "Turn the Tide" Campaign and pledge
FREE The Office of the Surgeon General has established an initiative to address the opioid epidemic in the United States. The Turn the Tide campaign encourages healthcare professionals to learn more and sign a pledge to educate themselves to treat pain safely and effectively, screen patients for opioid use disorder and provide or connect them with evidence-based treatment, and talk about and treat addiction as a chronic illness, not a moral failing. Learn more about the initiative by reading this letter from the Surgeon General. Take the pledge here. Download the TurnTheTideRx pocket guide here.  
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

QINELearnsEducational opportunities from quality insights quality innovation network: e-Learn Courses 
Check out the newest Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network  e-learn: Antimicrobial Stewardship: Safeguarding Our Future and earn 1.0 contact hour*. E-learns are designed for individual learners but can easily be conducted in a group learning setting (unit meeting, staff education, etc.). Please contact Eve Esslinger if this is something you would be interested in doing. Staff will earn contact hours for completing the course in a group setting.
*Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative, Center for Perfecting Patient Care is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

ICHCAHPSAverage National and state Composite Scores and Ratings from the 2015 ICH CAHPS Survey are available
The ICH CAHPS Coordination Team has provided state and national averages for three ICH CAHPS global ratings and three composite measures from the 2015 ICH CAHPS Surveys. These state and national averages are now available here.

ICH CAHPS Survey vendors and ICH facilities should be advised of the following when using these state and national averages.
  • The state and national averages are a weighted average of the 2015 Spring and 2015 Fall ICH CAHPS Surveys. Scores are weighted using the number of respondents for each survey period, thus for a given state the survey period with more respondents will contribute more to that state's average score.
  • The average scores for the ratings and composite measures are patient-mix adjusted.
  • The state averages are based on survey responses from all sample patients included in both the 2015 Spring Survey and 2015 Fall Survey who received hemodialysis from an ICH facility in that state during the sampling windows. The sampling window for the 2015 Spring Survey was from October 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014; the sampling window for the 2015 Fall Survey is from April 1, 2015 through June 30, 2015.
  • The average global ratings represent the percentage of sample patients served by the ICH facilities in the state who rated the nephrologists, the dialysis center staff and the dialysis center a 9 or 10 on each of the respective questions.
  • The averages for the composite measures represent the percentage of sample patients who responded that the nephrologist and dialysis center staff "always" communicated well with them, provided information needed and operated professionally and according to expectations.
The three global ratings and the three composite measures for which state and national averages are provided are shown below.
Global Ratings
  • Rating of kidney doctors (Q8)
  • Rating of dialysis center staff (Q32)
  • Rating of the dialysis center (Q35)
ICH CAHPS Composite Measures
  • Nephrologists Communication and Caring (Qs. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9)
  • Quality of Dialysis Center Care and Operations (Qs. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 33, 34 and 43)
  • Providing Information to Patients (Qs. 19, 28, 29, 30, 31, 36, 38, 39, and 40)
The actual ratings questions and the text of questions that form each composite measure are included here.

Please contact the Coordination Team via email at or call (866) 245-8083 if you have any questions or need information about the 2015 ICH CAHPS state and national averages.

View the full announcement

VaccinationsInfluenza Vaccination Season is Fast Approaching
Immunization Graphic Influenza vaccination season is fast approaching (October 1st) and facilities should familiarize themselves with the NHSN Manual - HEALTHCARE PERSONNEL SAFETY COMPONENT PROTOCOL Healthcare Personnel Vaccination Module: Influenza Vaccination Summary which can be found here. Training materials, the protocol and other vital information can be found here.
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.

NRAAPediatricEducationNRAA Pediatric Dialysis Education Series
Learn more about this four-part webinar series from the National Renal Administrators Association (NRAA).  
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
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.   
CDCWebinarRegister for cdc's free webinar with continuing education for healthcare providers
  • Empowering Nursing for Early Sepsis Recognition - Thursday, September 22 @ 2:00 p.m. Register here.
ESRDResourcesESRD resources  
MEI Adds a Spanish and Mobile Version of My Life, My Dialysis Choice Resource
The Medical Education Institute (MEI) has added a Spanish version and a mobile version of their dialysis modality selection aid, My Life, My Dialysis Choice.  The software helps people with chronic kidney disease learn how each type of dialysis may affect their lifestyle and health values.  Hispanic people have a 50 percent higher incidence rate of kidney failure than non-Hispanic whites. A yellow button on the top left corner of each page lets users toggle between English and Spanish.  The mobile version, if the online version is used first, will save its place so you can go back and forth from online to mobile.  Access My Life, My Dialysis Choice.

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. ESRD4-091216