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Welcome to the December edition of the Quality Insights Renal Network 4
Network Notes patient e-newsletter. In this issue, we bring you information about ways to stay active, phosphates in packaged food, an opportunity to be on our Patient Advisory Council (PAC) and much more!  We encourage you to  contact us ( ) with any questions, concerns or suggestions. 
exercise KeepingActiveKeeping Active with Kidney Disease   
Being inactive is dangerous for people with kidney disease. When you are inactive, you have an increased risk of: 
  • Disability and loss of independence
  • Other diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes
  • Hospitalization
  • Muscle wasting

There are many benefits of exercise. Participating in regular exercise can: 

  • Increase your fitness level up to 42%
  • Increase your strength up to 20%
  • Increase your physical functioning
  • Help reduce blood pressure medication requirements up to 36%
  • Decrease your LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol)
  • Increase your HDL cholesterol (GOOD cholesterol)
  • Improve your control of diabetes
  • Help your manage weight
  • Increase your chance of survival
  • Decrease depression
  • Decrease anxiety
  • Improve the quality of your life

It's easy to start an exercise routine. You don't need to join a gym and pay a lot of money. Options include:  

  • Walking
    • Move around during TV commercials
    • Park farther away from your destination 
    • Listen to a book as you walk around your neighborhood
  • Cycling
    • Using a stationary bicycle while on dialysis 
  • Lift light weights
    • Use soup cans for light weights
    • Use milk jugs partially full with liquid or sand for heavier weights
  • Get a hula-hoop and "hula" to music

Exercise is great for you, but sometimes hard to do. Getting started is the first step. Consider these tips for getting started: 

  • Talk to your doctor about starting an exercise program that's right for you.
  • Start small and build up to a comfortable routine, such as the "FITT" plan:
    • Frequency - Try 3 times per week.
    • Intensity - Don't overdo it. Go at your own pace.
    • Time - Build up to 30 minutes.
    • Type - Walk, run, cycle, swim or row.

The University of Delaware is offering free supervised group exercise lessons.  Learn more by contacting

FacebookHave you found us on facebook? 
Network 4 posts the latest happenings and interesting insights for the dialysis community on our Facebook page ( If you haven't already, please check us out and "like" our page to make sure our posts find their way to your news feed. You can read stories like this and more: 

DidUKnowDid you know? phosphates and kidney disease
Did you know that many foods contain phosphate additives, which is a challenge for people with kidney disease? With a little attention to detail, you can easily make substitutes that don't require you to give up your favorite foods. For example, consider reading food labels to look for the terms that contain "phos." These could include (but are not limited to): 
  • Calcium phosphate
  • Tricalcium phosphate
  • Phosphoric acid
  • Ferric phosphate
  • Sodium triphosphate
  • Disodium phosphate
  • Dipotassium phosphate
  • Pyrophosphate
  • Hexametaphosphate
  • Tripolyphosphate
Check out the following article from  to see specific examples of foods that contain phosphates and some alternatives.  

PACOppPatient Advisory Council (PAC) Opportunity
Are you a dialysis or transplant patient? Or, are you a caregiver/family member of a patient? Have you ever felt like your concerns were not heard, especially when you knew you could do something that would change things for the better? Have you ever had an idea, but felt reserved or unsure about how to share it? Quality Insights Renal Network 4 has an opportunity for you!

We need your expertise to help fulfill two different roles:
  • Patient Advisory Council (PAC) member; and/or
  • Subject Matter Expert (SME) working on various quality improvement projects
What do PAC members and SMEs do?
As a PAC member or a SME, you are the link to promoting patient and family-centered care throughout the Network 4 area. You will:
  • Help Network staff understand what is important to patients
  • Share useful ideas and experiences
  • Represent the Network at your own dialysis facility
You have a unique set of skills and understanding of the dialysis experience that no one else can provide. Take time to share your talents and ideas with other PAC members and SMEs. Learn more about things that are happening in the Network 4 region to empower dialysis patients. Your voice will count where it matters most in the care you receive or the care your loved one receives.

To learn more about these roles, please call our toll-free patient number at (800) 548-9205. To become a Network 4 PAC member or SME, please complete the application below and fax to (610) 783-0374 or mail to:

Quality Insights Renal Network 4
610 Freedom Business Center Dr., Suite 102
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Download an application at or ask your social worker to assist you in obtaining an application. 

Do find this newsletter helpful? Are there things you'd like to see changed? Please take this short survey ( to provide your feedback. Please submit any items of interest for this newsletter to Tish Lawson ( 

FilingGrievances Filing Grievances
To file a grievance, please contact us by using the following contact information.  
610 Freedom Business Center,  
Suite 102 
King of Prussia, PA 19406 
(610) 265-2418 
(800) 548-9205 (patients only) 
(610) 783-0374 (fax) 
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. ESRD4-121217