Jan./Feb  2017
Save the Date: Network Annual Meeting
May 23, 2017 at the Garden City Hotel, Garden City, NY
Registration will open on February 15, 2017
New York Legal Resources for Patients: Health and Disability
The New York Lawyers for Public Interest Group has programs to assist the disabled and immigrants with access to healthcare/Insurance and other services.

The Disability Justice Program works to advance civil rights and ensure equality of opportunity, self-determination, and independence for people with disabilities. Advocacy spans many areas, including housing, transportation, education, community integration, and equal access to programs and services in New York.

The  Health Justice Program works to bring a racial justice and immigrant rights focus to health care advocacy in New York City and State through representing immigrant  and  detained  individuals  with  serious  health  care  needs.
New in 2017: Coverage and Payment for Acute Dialysis
Beginning January 1, 2017, end stage renal disease (ESRD) facilities are able to provide dialysis services to individuals with acute kidney injury (AKI).  The provision allows for Medicare coverage and payment to both hospital based and freestanding ESRD facilities for renal dialysis services furnished to beneficiaries with AKI.  

Medicare will pay ESRD facilities for the dialysis treatment using the ESRD Prospective Payment System (PPS) base rate adjusted by the wage index.  In addition to the dialysis treatment, the ESRD PPS base rate pays ESRD facilities for items and services that are  considered renal dialysis services and there will be no separate payment for those services.  Specifically, this includes renal dialysis drugs, biologicals, laboratory services, and supplies that are included in the ESRD PPS base rate when furnished by an ESRD facility to an individual with AKI.

Drugs, biologicals, laboratory services, and supplies that ESRD facilities are certified to furnish, but that are neither ESRD renal dialysis services, nor AKI-related dialysis services may be paid for separately when furnished to individuals with AKI 
At this time, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has not yet announced how AKI patient data will be obtained from the ESRD dialysis facility. CMS will provide additional information on this topic in the future

Important things to know:
  • AKI patient information should not be entered in CROWNWeb
  • There are no weekly limits on the number of dialysis treatments paid
  • Follow your dialysis organization's policies and the direction of your Medical Director regarding AKI
  • AKI patients are not included in the Quality Incentive Program (QIP) or the Network Quality Improvement Activities (QIAs)

Upcoming AKI Toolkit and Webinar:

The Forum of ESRD Networks (www.esrdnetworks.org) is currently developing an AKI Toolkit.
The National Renal Administrators Association (NRAA) will host a Webinar (free to NRAA members) on February 22, 2017 on the AKI changes, rules and facts (diagnosis codes, CPT billing codes, etc.); expert interpretation of the gray areas, such as labs and medication; and tools and recommendations for how to navigate these new "waters." Registration is coming soon; please visit the Webinar Wednesday webpage for links to registration.

Call for Nominations:
National ESRD Patient - Reported Outcomes Technical Expert Panel
 The University of Michigan Kidney Epidemiology and Cost Center (UM-KECC), through its contract with CMS, will convene a technical expert panel (TEP) to evaluate and make recommendations regarding the development of patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures.

TEP members will:
(1) review the current "quality of life and recovery time" measure concepts; 
(2) provide recommendations on their potential development; and
(3) review and provide recommendations on the Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System (PROMIS) and potentially other PRO measures or measure concepts identified by the TEP. 

The TEP nomination period closes on  February 10, 2017. Please submit all nomination materials by the closing date.

Click here for The TEP Charter and Nomination form.  For more information, please visit cms.gov  
Emergency Preparedness:
Barriers and Solutions to Patient Transportation Needs
Many dialysis patients depend on public transportation to get to and from dialysis treatment. However, public transportation may be limited during a disaster situation; patients may be forced to either delay dialysis or skip treatment, putting their health at risk; or they may have to go to a hospital for treatment. This Kidney Community Emergency Response (KCER) Coalition study takes a look at the barriers and possible solutions to the transportation needs of dialysis patients during a natural disaster or major community emergency.

Click here to continue reading the full article in KCER Watch .
NHSN: Dialysis Event Training
At least one staff member at every dialysis facility must  complete Dialysis Event Surveillance protocol training for the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) on an annual basis. Please complete the training as soon as possible.  

The Network will track each facility's completion of the training and will contact leadership at those facilities that do not complete  this CDC requirement.

New tools to help fight healthcare associated infections
Health Department HAI Communication Tools. The Association for State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and the CDC  have launched the Healthcare-Associated Infections and Antibiotic Resistance Communication Toolkit for Health Departments.

This suite of materials was designed to engage and enhance communication and coordination among various healthcare audiences, including dialysis facility staff , about HAI prevention and stopping the spread of antibiotic resistance.
What's included in the toolkit?
  • Key Messages and Talking Points
  • Tips for Working with the Media
  • How to Sustain the Conversation Around HAIs
  • Social Media Guide and Sample Content
  • Calendar of HAI-Related Events
Other resources include an infographic, infocard series, and a video. Download these tools, personalize the print materials by adding your organization's logo, and adapt them to meet the needs of your staff and patients.
Visit the ASTHO website to find more information and materials available for download.
Updated Dialysis Facility Compare Website
On October 19, 2016 CMS launched an updated version of Dialysis Facility Compare. Designed to help ESRD patients access and understand information about quality dialysis facilities more easily, Dialysis Facility Compare allows patients and care partners to search for and compare centers. For patients already on dialysis, the website is a resource to help understand the quality of care provided by their dialysis center.
CMS has calculated a star rating for every Medicare-certified dialysis center, with five stars as the highest rating. The star rating combines nine clinical quality measures related to how well dialysis centers care for their patients and how often each center uses best practices to care for its patients and keep them healthy. For the first time, Dialysis Facility Compare is also reporting information from a nationally conducted survey about patients' experiences with dialysis facilities. The results, which range from topics such as staff communication to overall cleanliness, are not in dialysis facilities' star ratings at this time.
2017 Performance Score Report (PSR) Available

CMS has released ESRD QIP PY 2017 Final PSRs for outpatient dialysis facilities.


This PSR is the final report of your facility's performance, including any revisions from the Preview Period. Payment Year (PY) 2017 performance and payment-reduction information for all facilities is posted on Dialysis Facility Compare at https://www.medicare.gov/dialysisfacilitycompare/ and the ESRD QIP website at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/ESRDQIP/index.html .


 To retrieve your Final PSR and Performance Score Certificates, access your account via QualityNet at https://www.qualitynet.org/ .


 For questions about the Final PSR or the program, contact ESRDQIP@cms.hhs.gov.

NANT Annual Symposium: February 20, 2017
The 2017 NANT Annual Symposium will be held February 20-23 in Las Vegas NV.  Corporations registering multiple attendees receive discounts.  Up to 26.3 continuing education contact hours are available.  Find full details at http://dialysistech.net/events/2017-annual-symposium .

IPRO End-Stage Renal Disease Network of New York, the ESRD Organization for New York state, 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-500-2016-00020C.