Recall: Abbott FreeStyle Glucose Test Strips

The FDA has announced a recall of 20 lots of FreeStyle and FreeStyle Lite Blood Glucose Test Strips in the United States because they may produce erroneously low blood glucose results when used with FreeStyle or FreeStyle Flash Blood Glucose Meters, and with the OmniPod Insulin Management System.  When the test strips are used with FreeStyle Freedom, FreeStyle Lite, and FreeStyle Freedom Lite Meters, test results are not affected.  The FreeStyle InsuLinx Meter is not affected by the recall.  For lot numbers and other details, see

Rosiglitazone-Containing Diabetes Medicines

The FDA has relaxed the 2010 restrictions on Rosiglitazone-containing diabetes medications, including Avandia, Avandamet, Avandaryl, and generics, because further study has indicated no increased risk of heart attack relative to other diabetes medications.  For details see

Recall: Hospira GemStar Infusion System

The FDA has announced an update to the earlier Class I recall of all GemStar Infusion Pumps (Models 13000, 13100, 13150, 13086, 13087, 13088) that were either manufactured or had a pressure sensor replaced during servicing of the pump since January 1, 2009, because of pressure sensor calibration drift.  For details see

Patient Engagement Webinar Dec 17

The Mid-Atlantic Renal Coalition will sponsor a one-hour online seminar December 17, 2013 on Embracing Patient Engagement.  The webinar will cover improving self-efficacy, tailoring, self-tailoring, and evidence-based strategies for improving patient outcomes.  Continuing education credits will be provided for nurses, PCTs, social workers, and dietitians.  Cost is $25 per facility, including CEUs for multiple staff at each facility.  For details and registration information see

QIP Webinar Dec 12

The Mid-Atlantic Renal Coalition will sponsor a one-hour online seminar December 12, 2013 on the CMS Quality Incentive Program (QIP) that will include information on the measures used in the QIP, and how it relates to CROWNWeb.  Continuing education credits will be provided for nurses, PCTs, social workers, and dietitians.  Cost is $25 per facility including CEUs for multiple staff at each facility.  For details and registration information, see

Educational Stipeds for 2014 SCM

The National Kidney Foundation has announced the availability of $1000 educational stipends for the 2014 Spring Clinical Meetings April 22-26, 2014 in Las Vegas NV.  Applications are now being accepted from nurses and technicians, advanced practitioners, social workers, and dietitians.  For details on the stipends see  The abstracts deadline is December 2, 2013.  See for details on the conference.

QIP CY2014 Final Rule Issued

CMS has released the Final Rule for the Calendar Year 2014/Payment Year 2016 Prospective Payment System (PPS) Quality Incentive Program (QIP).  The Final Rule can be found at; scroll down on that page to “CMS-1526-F [Display Copy]” for the full text.  The web page also includes several Addenda and other details.

The Final Rule document includes details on the PY2014 ESRD PPS base rate, wage index and floor, outlier policy, ICD-10-CM, self- and home-dialysis training adjustment, DME, QIP, applicability, cost analysis, stakeholder comments, outcome trends, rule development and performance scoring methodologies, and a great deal of additional information.  The PY2016 QIP includes clinical measures on hgb, adult HD and PD Kt/V, pediatric HD Kt/V, AVF and catheter rates, hypercalcemia, and NHSN HD BSI, and reporting measures on anemia management, mineral metabolism, and ICH-CAHPS.

More comprehensive information can be found at the CMS ESRD Center,




Patient Poster on Caregivers

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



CROWNWeb Closure Dates for Oct-Mar 2014

CMS has announced the next CROWNWeb Clinical Data Submission Schedule.  This includes vascular access, hemodialysis and peritoneal clinical data.

  • Clinical Data for October 2013 to December 2013 must be submitted by January 31, 2014
  • Clinical Data for January 2014 to March 2014 must be submitted by April 30, 2014

Although the next closure date is January 31, 2014, please do not delay working to complete your clinical months.  Please keep investigating and completing missing data through the end of the year.

Note that this does not affect or change any ESRD Quality Incentive Program (QIP) submission dates stipulated in the ESRD Prospective Payment Final Rule.

Annual Dialysis Conference Feb 8-11 in Atlanta

The Annual Dialysis Conference: Thirty-fourth Annual Conference on Dialysis, and Twenty-fifth Annual Symposium on Pediatric Dialysis, presented by the University of Missouri Schools of Medicine and Nursing and the Academy for Postgraduate Health Care Education, will be held February 8-11, 2014 in Atlanta GA.

The conference convenes an international group of practitioners and researchers to discuss current developments in the field of dialysis.  The conference is designed for health professionals involved in established dialysis programs, as well as those working in new and developing programs.  Both researchers and clinicians will find sessions of interest to them.  Extensive commercial exhibits give participants a chance to see for themselves what is new in PD and HD products and services.

See for full details.