SC Nov. Patient Support Groups

November 2016 Patient Support Group Meetings in southern California include:

  • 11/1 Loma Linda (San Bernardino County), Kidney/Pancreas Support Group, in English
  • 11/2 La Jolla (San Diego County), Scripps Liver/Kidney Support Group, in English
  • 11/9 Visalia (Tulare County), Valley Renal Support Group, in English and Spanish
  • 11/11 Loma Linda (San Bernardino County) Kidney/Pancreas Support Group, in Spanish
  • 11/12 Lake Forest (Orange County), Saddleback Church Kidney Support Group, in English
  • 11/13 Playa Vista (LA County), Westside Kidney Support Group, in English and Spanish
  • 11/19 Panorama City, Santa Clarita, and San Fernando (all Los Angeles County), Kidneys Quest Foundation, in English and Spanish
  • 11/27 Glendale (LA County), Renal Support Network, in English
  • 11/28 Lake Forest (Orange County), Saddleback Church Kidney Support Group, in English

For details on the meeting, location, and who to call for more information, see . Note that meetings are sorted by County on this web page.

For patient educational meetings, see the Patient Calendar link at the top of this page.

Pneumonia Vaccines

The October issue of Network 16 News has been posted to the Northwest Renal Network website.  The front-page article covers the essentials of Pneumonia Vaccines – why, which ones, when.  The “Question Corner” concerns patient and family engagement in their care, and the “Hot Dates” section highlights the November 9, 2016 free CE webinar on Patient and Provider Engagement.  You can find a copy of the October issue at 

DFC Changes Published

CMS has published changes to DFC, detailed at .  ICH-CAHPS, Standardized BSI Ratio (SIR), and Pediatric PD Kt/V have been added to DFC, but not to the Star Ratings.  Changes have been made to the way the Star Ratings are calculated, and adjustments have been made to the way the Vascular Access, Kt/V, Standardized Readmission Ratio (SRR), and Hypercalcemia components of the Star Ratings are measured.  All of these changes are included in the DFC update made October 28, 2016.

QIP Final Rule Published

CMS has published the final version of the QIP for CY2017 and PY2019-20, summarized at .  Major changes include:

  • Changes for CY2017 include adjustments to the Outlier Policy, Home/Self-Dialysis Training Add-On Payment, and Acute Kidney Injury provisions.  
  • PY2019 will see two NHSN measures – DE reporting and BSI clinical – combined into a new Patient Safety Domain, and substantive changes to the Hypercalcemia clinical measure.  
  • For PY2020, the Standardized Hospitalization Rate clinical measure and Ultrafiltration Rate reporting measure will be added, and the Mineral Metabolism reporting measure will be replaced by a reporting measure for Serum Phosphorus.

11/15 Delicious Holiday Eating

On November 15, 2016 AAKP HealthLine will present a webinar on enjoying holiday food without leaving your dietary plan, called Keep It Kidney-Friendly: Nutrition Advice on Surviving the Holiday Season, with kidney patient and excellent chef Duane Sunwold.  For more information and registration, see .

11/14 CMS Disparities Webinar

On November 14, 2016, CMS will present a webinar on new resources developed under the CMS Equity Plan for Improving Quality in Medicare, often referred to as Reducing Disparities in Healthcare.  The webinar will cover tools to help you better collect and analyze your data, and programs and initiatives across CMS that have the potential to promote equality of care for all beneficiaries.  Find more information on the webinar, and register, at .  For information on the CMS Equity Plan, see .

11/1 SSN Removal Call

On November 1, 2016 CMS will hold an Open Door Forum conference call on the removal of Social Security Numbers from Health Insurance Claim Numbers (HICN).  HICNs will be replaced by randomly created Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers (MBIs) starting in 2018.  For more information see .  

The call well be held at 11am PDT, 800-837-1935, conference ID 98745631.  For TTY services, dial 800-855-2880.  CMS requests that participants dial in at least fifteen minutes before the scheduled start time.  

CMS has also advised that between now and 2018, all patients and facilities should make sure that their mailing addresses are kept current.  MBIs will be mailed to patients, and facilities will have to ask patients for their MBI.  Patient addresses in the Medicare, SSA, and CROWNWeb databases should all agree, with a correct and complete address to which the US Postal Service delivers.

QIP Account Update

Prepare for ESRD QIP PY 2017 Reporting Documents by Updating your Account

More than 200 outpatient dialysis facilities have not designated a Facility Point of Contact (FPOC) in the ESRD QIP system.  Facilities should maintain their accounts and make sure that FPOCs have access to reporting documents.  CMS is preparing ESRD QIP end-of-year documents for release in December, including the Payment Year 2017 Final Performance Score Reports and the Performance Score Certificate, which facilities are required to post for public review.  For help with the ESRD QIP system, including reviving a deactivated account, contact the QualityNet Help Desk at or 866-288-8912.

SC 1/27 CA Dialysis Conference Exhibitor Registration Deadline

Online registration is now open for the for the March 2-4, 2017 California Dialysis Council’s Annual Educational Conference in Desert Springs CA.  Exhibitors must register by January 27, 2017.  Early registration discounts for attendees expire February 3, 2017.  The hotel registration deadline for group rates is February 8, 2017.  Planned topics for the Conference include hypertension, fluid control, facility ratings, Network 18 update, staffing shortages, common survey issues, HIPAA audits, new technology, and motivation.  For full details see .