Grievance Toolkit

The Kidney Patient Advisory Council (KPAC)  and the Forum of ESRD Networks Medical Advisory Council (MAC) have announced the release of the Dialysis Patient Grievance Toolkit.  This toolkit was written BY PATIENTS and FOR PATIENTS and is intended to help guide dialysis patients through the grievance process.  KPAC acknowledges the help and support of the entire ESRD Network system in creating the Toolkit.  Find it and the other MAC Toolkits at .

Don’t Wait, Vaccinate!

We’ve added the September Monthly Patient Flyer/Poster to the Network 16 website at .  The Poster includes information about the flu, vulnerability, and the vaccine, links to a “Flu IQ Widget” or quiz, and how to get more information.

Don’t forget that healthcare personnel flu vaccination is part of the ESRD QIP, and must be reported to NHSN by May 15, 2017 for PY2019.

10/18 Disaster Webinar

One purpose of the new CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule (see ) is to address a lack of communication and coordination between healthcare facilities and other state, county, and city emergency response systems.  Northwest Renal Network is partnering with the Washington State Department of Health to present a webinar on Health Care Coalitions (HCCs) and Renal Services: Partnering for Emergency Patient Care.  

  • California, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska facilities: If you don’t know how to contact your community’s HCC, call the Emergency Preparedness and Response office of your local or state public health division.  Even if they don’t coordinate the HCC, they’ll know who does.  It’s important that every dialysis facility coordinate with their local HCC.
  • Washington facilities: Please attend the webinar with the Washington DOH, to learn how your facility’s involvement can help make your community more connected and more resilient.  The webinar will be at on October 18, 2016 at 10 am PDT.  Audio dial-in information can be found on the webinar website.

MBI Replaces HICN

Over the next three years, CMS will replace their traditional Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) patient identifiers with a new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI).  New Medicare Cards will be sent to all Medicare beneficiaries starting in April 2018, and all providers will be expected to have modified their software to accept MBIs by then.  Between April 2018 and December 2019, either the HICN or the MBI will be accepted by CMS.  After December 2019, the HICN will no longer be accepted.  

The MBI will have eleven characters, numbers and upper-case letters only.  A 2015 law (MACRA) requires CMS to remove Social Security Numbers (SSN) from Medicare identifiers.  You may encounter the new acronym SSNRI, for the CMS SSN Removal Initiative.  For more information see and .

10/20 Earthquake Drills

A “Great Shakeout” will be held October 20, 2016 to further earthquake disaster preparedness.  The websites below offer links to many different types of resources, and regional summaries of who’s already signed up, for each state and in Spanish:

CDC Safe Dialysis Coalition

CDC has announced the formation of the Make Dialysis Safer for Patients Coalition, which aims to reduce bloodstream infections by half among dialysis patients.  The CDC press release can be found at .  It includes a long list of professional, patient, and government organizations that have already joined the Coalition, and invites other kidney and dialysis organizations and providers to join.

Northwest Renal Network and the HealthInsight ESRD Alliance have been active in developing this effort, and our Quality Improvement Director Barbara Breckler-Dommert, RN, BSN, CNN, will give an educational presentation to the Coalition’s first meeting on September 29, 2016, describing our success at reducing BSI.

10/6 KCER What-If Campaign

The Kidney Community Emergency Response Coalition is holding a “What If…Emergency Awareness Campaign,” encouraging dialysis patients to assess their level of preparedness, improve their ability to remain safe in an emergency, and engage with their care team to learn more about disaster preparedness in the facility.  Participating is easy, and faciliies can select the best way to share Campaign resources and provide education to patients.

The Campaign will consider situations where there is no transportation, no phones, no power, and no dialysis facility. Find information at and…campaign/and register your facility in the Campaign at .

10/5-11/15 New Emergency Prep Rule CMS Call

On October 5, 2016, CMS will host a National Provider Call to discuss provisions of, enforcement of, and technical assistance resources for the new Emergency Preparedness Requirements in the Final Rule that will go into effect November 15, 2016.  Find information on and register for the call at .  Read the Final Rule at .

10/4 Spanish Resources; CE Webinars

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month (9/15-10/15), CDC is highlighting the Spanish-language resources in their National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP).  Find them at .

Also in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, the American Kidney Fund will present Enfermedad de los riñones crónica: prevención y tratamiento (Chronic Kidney Disease: Prevention and Treatment), a webinar entirely and only in Spanish, on October 4, 2016.  For details see .

AKF also offers free recorded CE courses in their Cornerstones of Care series, on:

For the many other free AKF webinars, see and .

AAKP Recognition

Network 16 recently attended the American Association of Kidney Patients national meeting in Nashville, TN.  NW16 Patient Services Director Lisa Hall, MSSW, LICSW received the prestigious Samuel J. Orenstein Award given to an AAKP member who “consistently renders extraordinary service toward the achievement of AAKP’s goals and objectives.”  Congratulations Lisa!

Network 16 was awarded the National Patient Engagement and Advocacy Award which is given to recognize leaders in the field of kidney patient education and advocacy whose body of professional work and personal commitment advance the interests of kidney patients through policy, education or activism.  

Thank you to AAKP for this award and recognition of Network 16’s efforts in the area of patient engagement and to our patients who make this work easy!  Congratulations HealthInsight, Northwest Renal Network, and dedicated patients!