March 6, 2017
March is National Professional Social Worker Month
Celebrated each  March , National Professional Social Work Month is an opportunity for social workers across the country to turn the spotlight on the profession and highlight the important contributions they make to society.  They confront some of the most challenging issues facing individuals, families, communities and society and forge solutions that help people reach their full potential.

World Kidney Day is March 9, 2017
Celebrated every year on the second Thursday of March, World Kidney Day (WKD) is a global campaign that aims to increase awareness of the importance of our kidneys to our health and reduce the impact of kidney disease and its associated problems worldwide.

Why is it Important?
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a non-communicable disease that affects 1 in 10 people worldwide. While severity can vary, CKD is incurable and causes the patient to need lifelong care. As the incidence of kidney disease escalates, WKD plays a crucial role in educating the public and the medical community and encouraging prevention and early detection of kidney disease. Key objectives of the WKD campaign are to:
  • Raise awareness about how diabetes and high blood pressure are key risk factors for CKD, and encourage preventive behaviors.
  • Educate all medical professionals about their key role in detecting and reducing the risk of CKD.
  • Encourage transplantation as a best-outcome option for kidney failure, and the act of organ donation as a life-saving initiative.
Spread the Word! Follow World Kidney Day on: 
Facebook: World Kidney Day_Official
Twitter: @worldkidneyday
Instagram: world_kidney_day_official

For more information about WKD, visit .
Click here  to download the campaign toolkit to help promote WKD.
MEETING: ANNA Northern New England Chapter 131 Spring Update
ANNA will host a conference in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Sunday, March 26, 2017 
7:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Conference Agenda:
Dialysis Transitional Care
- The Immature Fistula: When to turn failure into success
- Today's Death Hastening Medical Practices: Dialysis discontinuation as a model
- Hypersensitivity Reactions
- Infection Prevention: When you thought you knew it all

For registration and reservations, please click here.
Patient Services
ICH CAHPS Survey Requirements
In-center hemodialysis (ICH) facilities that served 30 or more survey-eligible patients in calendar year (CY) 2016 must administer the ICH Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Provider Systems (CAHPS) Survey in the spring and fall of CY2017 to comply with CMS quality reporting requirements for the 2019 payment year.

Is Your Facility Required to Participate in the 2017 ICH CAHPS Survey?
To determine whether your ICH facility as identified by your CMS Certification Number (CCN) is required to participate in the ICH CAHPS Survey in CY2017, count the number of survey-eligible patients your facility served in CY2016. Your count must include hemodialysis patients who:
  • were 18 years old or older as of December 31, 2016;
  • were alive as of December 31, 2016;
  • received hemodialysis on an outpatient basis from your facility for 3 consecutive months or longer at some point in CY2016;
  • are not currently receiving hospice care; and
  • were not living in a nursing home or other skilled nursing facility or other long-term facility such as a prison or jail as of December 31, 2016.

Click here to read more.

Forum of ESRD Networks GRIEVANCE TOOLKIT: Now Available in Spanish
The National Forum of ESRD Networks has created a Spanish version of its new Dialysis Patient Grievance Toolkit. Find it at .  It joins the catalog of Forum Medical Advisory Council (MAC) and Patient Toolkits, which now includes resources on the following topics: 
  • Home Dialysis
  • Transitions of Care
  • Medical Director
  • QAPI
  • Medication Reconciliation
  • Catheter Reduction
  • Assurance of Diabetes Care Coordination
  • Vaccination
Find them all, along with the MAC Speaker's Bureau Brochure, at
Calling All Social Workers: Free CEs through the NKF
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) Professional Education Resource Center offers three new free online CE courses for social workers: 
  • Depression Screening Tools: Policy and Nephrology Social Work Interventions 
  • Support of Renal Patients and Families Facing End-Of-Life Care Decisions: A Nephrology Social Worker's Reflection
  • Navigating Health Insurance: How Public Options, Private Coverage and Charitable Assistance Can Work Together
For more information and to register visit
Quality Improvement
WEBINAR: Getting SMART - Antimicrobial Stewardship  Across the Continuum
Antibiotic stewardship programs (ASPs) are a focused effort by a health care system or a part of the system (e.g., an outpatient clinic) to optimize the use of antimicrobial agents. These programs focus on appropriate use, selection, dosing, and duration of antimicrobial therapy.  In order to improve patient outcomes, decrease adverse consequences, prevent antimicrobial resistance, and deliver cost-effective therapy Antimicrobial Stewardship must be a cross- continuum effort. 

The New England QIN-QIO and Massachusetts Department of Public Health invite you to them 
on  Tuesday - March 14th (12 pm-1 pm)  to learn more.  Please click here to register for this webinar.

Upon completion of the session, you will be able to:
  • Identify why antibiotic resistance is considered a nationwide threat;
  • Describe the relationship between antibiotic use, drug resistance and C. difficile;
  • Explain what an antibiotic stewardship program (ASP) does and its benefits;
  • Identify key members, infrastructure, and activities necessary to successfully execute an ASP; and
  • State why AS must be addressed across the continuum of care.
For more information, plea se contact  Ileizy Victor at or  781-287-9155.

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month
Now is a great time to reach out to the CKD and ESRD population and educate them on the importance of preventative screenings. It's also important to remind patients who are on the kidney transplant wait list that they must remain current with all required preventive screenings, including colonoscopy.
Preparing for a colonoscopy can be a challenge for ESRD patients. All ESRD patients are on fluid restriction and low sodium and phosphorus diets, and the standard colon preparation solution is an oral sodium phosphate. Patients require education on risks vs. benefits; practitioners must inform patients about the potential hazards of taking this solution, including fluid and electrolyte imbalance, and discuss alternative solutions that can be used to prep for a colonoscopy.
For more information about excessive sodium in diagnostic testing, visit
For more information about tests and evaluations for kidney transplant candidates, visit
Data Management
Payment Year 2017 Performance Score Certificates 
As of February 21, 2017 Network records indicate that several End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Quality Incentive Program (QIP) Payment Year (PY) 2017 Performance Score Certificates (PSC) have not been downloaded from . CMS regulations state that each facility's PY 2017 PSC, which is available in both English and Spanish, must be printed and posted in a prominent patient area within fifteen  (15) business days  of its availability. The PY 2017 PSCs were made available in the system on  December 15, 2016.

Click here to read CMS memo.
CrownWeb and NHSN Data Validation Project in the Payment Year 2017 Final Rule
Allegheny Science & Technology (AST) is under contract with CMS to validate the accuracy of CROWNWeb and NHSN data.  AST has a data use agreement in place with CMS to request and receive patient records from dialysis facilities for this purpose. 
CMS describes this validation project in the PY2017 final rule, which can be accessed at the following link:

CMS Reporting DEADLINE is Approaching for NHSN Dialysis Event Surveillance: March 31, 2017
To meet the CMS ESRD QIP NHSN reporting requirements for Payment 
Year 2018, outpatient hemodialysis clinics must submit their fourth quarter 2016 Dialysis Event data collect
ed from O ctober 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016, by Friday, March 31, 2017. New or revised fourth quarter data entered into NHSN after March 31 will not be sent to CMS. Therefore, please be aware that any changes or corrections to fourth quarter 2016 data should be made prior to the reporting deadline.

We recommend using the following resources to review your data before the deadline.  These resources and others can be found on the Dialysis Event homepage:
Refer to the How to Create and Read an NHSN Report for Bloodstream Infections guide to review your facility's bloodstream infection rates.
Provider Compliance: Reporting Changes in Ownership 
A 2016 Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report noted that providers currently might not be informing CMS of ownership changes. Providers must update their enrollment information to reflect changes in ownership within 30 days. Owners are individuals or corporations with a five percent or more ownership or controlling interest. Failure to comply could result in revocation of Medicare billing privileges.

Use the Network Data Knowledge Base and Customer Portal
With the increase in data that must be submitted, as well as systems through which the data is collected, there are multiple ways in which you can reach the Network Data Support Team for help. 
*Please remember that you should NEVER include any patient-specific information such as Name, Date of Birth, Social Security Number, Medicare Claim Number, etc. The only patient identifier that can safely be communicated is the Unique Patient Identifier (UPI) from CROWNWeb.*

IPRO End-Stage Renal Disease Network of New England, the ESRD Organization for Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, prepared this material under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents presented do not necessarily reflect CMS policy. CMS Contract Number: HHSM-500-2016-00019C.