7/29 Call re PY 2019 QIP

On July 29, 2015, CMS will hold a National Provider Call about the PY 2019 Quality Incentive Program.  Proposed measures, standards, scoring methodology, and payment reduction scale for PY 2019, and methods for reviewing and commenting on the proposed rule will be covered.  For details see http://www.eventsvc.com/blhtechnologies/register/65dd4c89-388f-4b48-bc04-4cfab76eb177 .

TEP Nominations for SHR / SMR Revision

CMS is convening a Technical Expert Panel to evaluate the inclusion of prevalent comorbidities in the risk adjustment models for the Standardized Hospitalization and Standardized Mortality Ratio used in various CMS reports and programs.  The SHR and SMR already include incident comorbidities.  CMS is accepting nominations for members of the TEP until June 18, 2015.  For details see https://www.nwrn.org/files/N/SHR.TEP.pdf , which is excerpted from http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/MMS/TechnicalExpertPanels.html .

7/9 Call re New ESRD QIP/DFR Website

Attention Facility Medical Directors, Representatives, and Administrators:

CMS plans to release a new user system for the ESRD QIP and related programs.  This system, which will be known as “ESRD QIP 1.0.0,” replaces the DialysisReports.org interface that was discontinued earlier this year.  ESRD QIP 1.0.0 will provide a portal for dialysis facility staff to access public reporting documents and participate in the annual Preview Period.  Additionally, appropriate corporate personnel and ESRD Network staff will be able to access facility data.

CMS will provide information about the Preview Period, including guidance for using  ESRD QIP 1.0.0, to the stakeholder community as part of a National Provider Call on July 9, 2015.   Register for the Call at http://www.eventsvc.com/blhtechnologies/register/12a40419-aeea-4242-b35d-f9cd088777c1 .

CMS expects that ESRD QIP 1.0.0 will be operational in time for the July 15 start of the PY2016 Preview Period, and it plans to provide training opportunities for users.  Further guidance will be released over the next several weeks.  Authorized users will access QIP 1.0.0 through the QualityNet.org portal.  Existing CROWNWeb Facility Administrators will be assigned by default to the “QIP Facility Viewer” role in the QIP 1.0.0 System.  Others will be required to establish their own ESRD QIP 1.0.0 accounts through an application process to be described soon.

KHI Patient Partnership Council

The Kidney Health Initiative (KHI), http://www.kidneyhealthinitiative.org , a collaboration between the FDA and the greater nephrology community, has the goal of enhancing the quality of patient care and safety, and fostering innovation in kidney disease.  KHI has announced the creation of the Patient and Family Partnership Council, an advisory group which will bring patient perspectives to KHI endeavors, and make recommendations on them.  For more information, see https://www.asn-online.org/khi/patients.aspx?ID=1 .

Online Catheter BSI Webinar Repeat

The ESRD National Coordinating Center (NCC) will offer on June 11, 2015 a repeat of its free webinar on Eliminating Blood Stream Infection in Patients with a Dialysis Catheter: A Matter of Life and Death, providing 1.0 CE hours for nurses and technicians.  For details see http://esrdncc.org/end-stage-renal-disease-national-coordinating-center-esrd-ncc-offers-free-webinar-on-dialysis-catheter-related-blood-stream-infections-june-4-2015-ce-available/ .  A CE-enabled recording of the earlier presentation is also available; see https://nwrnbulletins.wordpress.com/2015/04/24/online-catheter-bsi-webinar/ .

HealthInsight ESRD Alliance

We are pleased to announce that Northwest Renal Network (ESRD Network 16) has signed a letter of intent to affiliate with HealthInsight, the Quality Innovation Network – Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) in Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Utah, to become part of the HealthInsight ESRD Alliance.  Northwest Renal Network joins Intermountain ESRD Network (ESRD Networks 15 and 17) as part of the new HealthInsight ESRD Alliance.  The Alliance was developed to bring together the strengths of all partners to further integrate quality efforts across the care continuum for patients at risk for kidney disease, those with chronic kdney dsease, those on dialysis or receiving kidney transplant care.   The Northwest Renal Network will retain our corporate identity and will continue to use our current name alongside the HealthInsight ESRD Alliance name in order to preserve and enhance our successful outcomes and history in the Pacific Northwest.

The Board of Directors of Northwest Renal Network felt that this decision is the best for the future of the organization and will allow us to leverage broader expertise and resources for the benefit of our patients.  We anticipate that this transition will be seamless with our current staff continuing to work in their capacities with you.

The HealthInsight ESRD Alliance will build upon the unique strengths of  Northwest Renal Network, HealthInsight and Intermountain ESRD Network, Inc., teams.  All involved are committed to achieving triple aim results, working towards transforming health care to achieve improved quality, safety and value for ESRD patients and providers across the western United States.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Stephanie A. Hutchinson, MBA
Executive Director
Northwest Renal Network


       Member of the HealthInsight ESRD Alliance

Mental Health Month and Depression

May is Mental Health Month, and this year’s theme is “B4Stage4: Changing the Way We Think About Mental Health.”  CMS has collated a number of their mental health resources into an article called “Depression Is Not a Normal Part of Growing Older.”  Find the article and links to the resources at http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Prevention/PrevntionGenInfo/Health-Observance-Mesages-New-Items/2015-05-14-depression.html .

Home Dialysis Care Partner Agreements

The Medical Education Institute has released a pair of tools for coordinating home dialysis with one’s care partner – one for HHD and one for PD.  They’re one-page lists of tasks that typify home dialysis treatment, where the two of you can self-assign the tasks that you choose, then negotiate any tasks for which neither or both of you “signed up.”  They call the tools “PATH-D” for Partner Agreement on Tasks for Home Dialysis.  Find them at http://homedialysis.org/news-and-research/blog/99-introducing-the-new-partner-agreement-on-tasks-for-home-dialysis-path-d-tools-comments-welcome .