Patient Poster/Flyer on Temper

Northwest Renal Network’s monthly patient flyer is now posted on our website at   The featured topic for January is Some Tips to Tame Your Temper.   These flyers are designed for posting in the facility waiting area, and for distribution to patients and family members.   Contact our Patient Services Coordinator, Lisa Hall ( if you have questions or ideas for future monthly topics.

CROWNWeb Data Submission Dates and 2744 Prep

CROWNWeb Data Submission Dates – Update

 Data Submission Target Dates

 CMS continues to emphasize January 31, 2013 as the target submission date for September 2012 – December 2012 CROWNWeb clinical/vascular access data.  However, facilities with outstanding data for any incomplete month that cannot meet this date will still be able to submit data in CROWNWeb. CMS will keep all clinical months (May 2012 – December 2012) open in CROWNWeb until further notice. CMS is assessing when to close data submissions for the various clinical months and will provide advance notice to facilities prior to closing.

For January 2013 CROWNWeb data, CMS has established February 28, 2013 as the target submission date. Facilities should submit all data for January 2013 by 11:59 PM ET on February 28th. CMS continues to evaluate the status of data submissions, and will provide information on upcoming submission target dates in the future.

CMS-2744 Annual Facility Survey

Dialysis facilities can begin the CMS-2744 Annual Facility Survey process in CROWNWeb, if all patient/clinical data has been entered for 2012. CMS is currently establishing a submission schedule for the CMS-2744, and will announce timelines for the submission of this form in the upcoming weeks.

A Web-Ex training on the CMS-2744 has also been scheduled for Feb. 13th, 2013.  You can sign up for this and training on a variety of other CROWNWeb subjects on the Project CROWNWeb website:  In addition, CMS has announced they will release a detailed training module that outlines the use of available resources from within CROWNWeb to research and resolve errors identified on the CMS-2744 form prior to the submission to the ESRD Network.

There are earlier bulletins on CROWNWeb.

Free KEEP Screening and Patient Symposium in Portland in March and April

The National Kidney Foundation will sponsor free screening for patients at risk for kidney disease, including anyone 18 or older with high blood pressure, diabetes, or a family history of kidney disease.  The screening is part of their “KEEP” Kidney Early Evaluation Program, and will be held from 9am to 1pm on March 9, 2013 at the Irvington Covenant Church, 4046 NE MLK Jr Blvd, Portland OR 97212.

NKF’s next free Patient Education Symposium will be Sunday, April 21, 2013 in the Lorentzen Conference Center, 2801 N Gentenbein Ave, Portland OR 94301.

To register for either event, call 888-427-5653 or email .

There are earlier bulletins on Pre-ESRD CKD (Patients).

New Infection Control Patient Video and Webpage

We’ve added a page on Infection Control to the Northwest Renal Network website, and initiated the Patient Section of the page with a link to a short video on “Dialysis Patients Speak on Preventing Infections,” and a link to CDC’s web page for patients on CRE-Resistant Infection.  In the Dialysis Facilities Section we’ve added links to many NHSN materials.  See for the new page, or link to it from the Infection Control section of our QI menu at .  There are earlier bulletins on Infection Control (Staff).

January 29 QIP Webinar Registration

Tuesday’s webinar on “QIP Measures for CY 2013“ requires pre-registration, and we’ve posted instructions at .  We recommend this webinar to any staff member who is still uncertain about what your facility needs to do during 2013 in order to receive full reimbursement in 2015.

NANT Symposium and CMS Survey Process Workshop March 11-14 in Las Vegas

NANT will hold their National Symposium, “Breaking the Mold: Taking Care to the Next Level,” in Las Vegas NV March 11-14, 2013.  March 11 will feature the “New CMS ESRD Core Survey: Focus on Patient Safety and the Key Role of Dialysis Technicians.”  That session alone is worth more than seven contact hours.  For complete details, see  There are earlier articles on Patient Safety.

AVF Surgeon Webinar Recording

The online seminar on Maximizing Successful AV Fistula Creation and Function: Strategies and Techniques, which is described at, has been recorded, and the recording is now available at  One of the major remaining barriers to highest-quality and lowest-cost dialysis care is access to surgeons who place functional AVFs.  We are asking Network facilities to monitor the performance of the surgeons they use, so you can send patients to the best surgeons, and ask the rest to seek additional vascular training.  This seminar may be very useful to you as part of that effort.  There are earlier articles on Vascular Access (Staff).

New HIPAA Rule Strengthens Security and Privacy

HHS has announced a new rule to strengthen the privacy and security protections for health information established under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).  The final omnibus rule greatly enhances a patient’s privacy protections, provides individuals new rights to their health information, and strengthens the government’s ability to enforce the law.

The changes in the final rulemaking provide the public with increased protection and control of personal health information.  The changes announced today expand many of the privacy and security requirements to business associates that receive protected health information, such as contractors and subcontractors.  Business associates may also be liable for the increased penalties for noncompliance based on the level of negligence up to a maximum penalty of $1.5 million. The changes also strengthen the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Breach Notification requirements by clarifying when breaches of unsecured health information must be reported to HHS.

Individual rights are expanded in important ways.  Patients can ask for a copy of their electronic medical record in an electronic form.   When individuals pay by cash they can instruct their provider not to share information about their treatment with their health plan.  The final omnibus rule sets new limits on how information is used and disclosed for marketing and fundraising purposes, and prohibits the sale of an individual’s health information without their permission.  The final omnibus rule is based on statutory changes under the HITECH Act, enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) which clarifies that genetic information is protected under the HIPAA Privacy Rule and prohibits most health plans from using or disclosing genetic information for underwriting purposes.

The Rulemaking announced today may be viewed in the Federal Register at  The HHS Press Release can be found at  There are earlier articles on Medical Records.