6/5 CDC Crisis Psychology Webinar

CDC will present a free June 5, 2018 CE webinar on The Psychology of a Crisis, addressing how people process information differently during a crisis, psychological barriers to communication that tend to emerge in crises, factors that impact perception of risk, and how to build trust to communicate more effectively.  For information and registration see https://emergency.cdc.gov/cerc/training/webinar_20180605.asp.

ESRD QIP and DFC Updates

CMS has completed its April refresh of the facility data in Dialysis Facility Compare (DFC).  Details about this update can be found at https://data.medicare.gov/data/dialysis-facility-compare, and the newly updated DFC database and current five-star facility ratings can be found at https://www.medicare.gov/dialysisfacilitycompare/.

CMS also recently updated its web page on Technical Specifications for ESRD QIP Measures to include the CY2018 ESRD PPS Final Rule, and links to Technical Measure Specifications through PY2021.  Find this page at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/ESRDQIP/061_TechnicalSpecifications.html.

CDC also recently updated its web page on NHSN and CMS ESRD QIP Rule and its page on the nine Core Interventions that they recommend for reducing BSI.  Find these pages at https://www.cdc.gov/nhsn/faqs/dialysis/faq-esrd-qip.html and https://www.cdc.gov/dialysis/prevention-tools/core-interventions.html.


CDC HAN on Coagulopathy

CDC has published a Health Alert Network advisory on vitamin K-dependent antagonist coagulopathy caused by synthetic cannabinoids apparently contaminated with the rodenticide brodifacoum.  While CDC does not report any cases from the West Coast, they advise proceduralists who deal with blood, and others, to be aware of the possibility.  The HAN includes:

  • Recommendations for clinicians, including notifying health authorities, especially in cases where a synthetic cannabinoid user has recently donated blood
  • Recommendations for public health officials, including notifying CDC
  • Recommendations for the general public, including avoiding synthetic cannabinoids

For details see https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00410.asp.

There is no suggestion that natural, non-synthetic cannabinoids are similarly contaminated; these are regulated and legal by state law in all of Networks 16 and 18 except Idaho, and increasingly used for medical purposes.  There is also no suggestion that natural, non-synthetic, non-psychoactive CBD oil made from industrial hemp, which is available throughout the US, is similarly contaminated; however, outside of the regulated marketplace, industrial-hemp CBD oil is unregulated, so the potential for contamination of some kind is always present.

6/26+ HIPAA Trainings

HealthInsight HIPAA PASS will present two HIPAA trainings:

  • MIPS, HIPAA and Your EHR: What You Need to Know, free webinar, June 26, 2018.  In order to receive a substantial portion of the MIPS Composite Performance Score and maximize revenue opportunity, each provider will have to perform a HIPAA Security Risk Analysis and ensure that your Electronic Health Records are configured appropriately.
  • Online HIPAA Privacy and Security Boot Camp, July 26, 2018.  Four-hour online webinar on HIPAA privacy and security regulations.  How to protect your patients and practice from the financial and reputational harm of audits and breaches.  Participants will be more prepared for the role of your organization’s privacy and/or security officer.

For details see https://healthinsight.org/hipaapass#events.

8/10 RSN Essay Contest

This year’s topic for the Renal Support Network’s Annual Essay Contest, for people diagnosed with CKD, is Who Inspires, Encourages, or Educates You to Live Well with Kidney Disease?  First prize is $500.  Winning entries are published in print and online.  Essays must be submitted by August 10, 2018.  For full information and to enter the contest, see http://www.rsnhope.org/essay-contest/.

NW16 5/25+ Continued Flooding in WA, ID

The National Weather Service warns that flooding is expected to continue through at least June 1, 2018 in the Pend Oreille watershed of Northern Idaho and Northeastern Washington.  For details see https://forecast.weather.gov/showsigwx.php?warnzone=IDZ001&warncounty=IDC017&firewxzone=IDZ101&local_place1=4%20Miles%20ESE%20Kootenai%20ID&product1=Flood+Warning&lat=48.2778&lon=-116.4423.

For Western Montana, the Weather Service provides a new map of counties and rivers, at https://www.weather.gov/mso/flooding.  Click on your county name on the top of the page to see graphs of current and expected flooding conditions in your area.

See also https://nwrnbulletins.wordpress.com/2018/05/11/nw16-5-18-flooding-in-wa-id-mt/.

MBI Lookup, RRB Cards

CMS hasn’t mailed the New Medicare Cards to the west coast yet, but you may encounter patients transferring or visiting from areas that already have their new Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers or MBIs. You may also have Railroad Retirement Board patients, whose cards have been mailed.  There’s a sample of RRB cards at https://www.rrb.gov/sites/default/files/2017-10/New%20Medicare%20Card%20Sample_0.pdf.

CMS’s top priorities in moving to new Medicare cards and numbers are to make sure that Medicare patients have continuous access to care, and that providers have the tools and information needed to make the change.  To look up a Medicare patient’s new Medicare number, see https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/Providers/New-Medicare-Card-Provider-Letter.pdf.