New Medicare Cards Delivered

When you get your new Medicare card, destroy your old red-white-and-blue Medicare card, but do not destroy your Social Security card, Medicare Advantage plan card, or drug plan cards.  If you belong to a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare drug plan (Part D), continue to use these cards when you get health care services or fill a prescription.  Dispose of your old Medicare card carefully, as it contains Personally Identifiable Information (PII) that can be used for identity theft.  Your dialysis facility will probably have a shredder if you don’t.  New Medicare Cards, and your Medicare Beneficiary Identifier on it, are also confidential PII that should be closely guarded.

New Medicare cards have been mailed to all Network 16 and 18 patients.  If you haven’t received yours, call 1-800-MEDICARE.  Call center representatives can check the status and help you get your new card.  Meanwhile, use your current Medicare card to get health care services.  While your old card will be good through the end of 2019, you want to get and use your new card as soon as you can.

1/29+ HIPAA Trainings

The HealthInsight HIPAA Pass program has scheduled online HIPAA trainings for January and February:

  • January 29, 2019 – All-staff HIPAA Orientation/Refresher Training
  • February 26, 2019 – HIPAA Privacy and Security Boot Camp

Find information about these and other HIPAA trainings at https://healthinsight.org/hipaapass#events, and about their more comprehensive Risk Assessment programs at https://healthinsight.org/hipaapass.

1/8+ National QIA Webinars

The ESRD National Coordinating Council will host four January webinars to introduce 2019 QIA projects, all to be held at noon PST.  Find more information and register at the links provided:

NW18 Patient Grievance Process

Check out the Network 18 website for some great information on the Network 18 Grievance Process:

  • For Providers, see http://www.esrdnetwork18.org/providers/patient-services/, which includes English and Spanish versions of the Network 18 Grievance Poster, Grievance Brochure, a link to the National Forum of ESRD Networks’ Grievance Toolkit, and a discussion on Preventing and Reducing Involuntary Discharge.
  • For Patients and Care Partners, see http://www.esrdnetwork18.org/patients/grievances/, which includes English and Spanish versions of the Network 18 Grievance Poster, Grievance Brochure, and a packet of Patient Grievance Guidelines and Forms; a discussion of patient and Network Roles and Responsibilities; and a list of California state Department of Health Services offices.

Keep in mind that no patient should ever suffer any retaliation for filing a grievance.  The Network is here to assist facilities and patients in resolving any concerns that may arise, in a collaborative and positive manner.  All facilities are required to:

  • Make sure you have the ESRD Network 18 Grievance Poster prominently displayed in your lobby or another area that is accessible to patients and guests, including a Spanish copy of the Poster.
  • Ensure that all patients understand how to file a grievance with you, with the Network, and with the State.

You can also print some Brochures and pass them out to patients, or have them available in your lobby.

NW16 Patient Grievance Process

The Network 16 website includes important information about the Network 16 Grievance Process:

  • For Patients and Care Partners: https://www.nwrn.org/patients-a-family/voice.html includes English and Spanish versions of the Network 16 Grievance Poster, Grievance Brochure, links to the National Forum of ESRD Networks’ Grievance Toolkits, and a list of State Survey Agency contacts.

Keep in mind that no patient should ever suffer any retaliation for filing a grievance.  The Network is here to assist facilities and patients in resolving any concerns that may arise, in a collaborative and positive manner.  All facilities are required to:

  • Prominently display the ESRD Network 16 Grievance Poster in your lobby or another area that is accessible to patients and guests, including a Spanish copy if appropriate for your patients.
  • Ensure that all patients understand how to file a grievance with you, with the Network, and with the State.

You can also print some brochures and pass them out to patients or have them available in your lobby.

1/1 Telehealth for Home Dialysis

Beginning January 1, 2019, a new law allows Home Dialysis patients, after their first three months at home, to be covered by Medicare when they communicate with their nephrologist via telehealth, an audio-visual internet link.  For a good summary of the new law, including a list of advantages and disadvantages, see https://homedialysis.org/news-and-research/blog/288-telehealth-for-home-dialysis.

Injection Safety, Needle Use, and HAI

The Oregon Patient Safety Commission website, while directed specifically at Oregon, includes many resources that any healthcare provider will find useful, such as:

1/15 CMS Call re CY2019 PPS Final Rule

CMS will host a 15 January, 2019 national call on the CY2019 ESRD PPS final rule and PY2021-22 QIP.  Topics include legislative framework; updates to QIP measures, domain structure, and weights; and changes to NHSN data requirements and Validation Study.  For details see https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Outreach/FFSProvPartProg/Provider-Partnership-Email-Archive-Items/2018-12-20-eNews.html?DLPage=1&DLEntries=10&DLSort=0&DLSortDir=descending#_Toc532966944.

2/18 CMS Requests Comments on AO Conflicts

CMS is preparing to improve rules for Accrediting Organizations (AOs) that on contract survey healthcare facilities for Medicare Certification.  They are requesting public comment on whether it should be considered a conflict of interest for an AO to also accept consulting fees from the corporation that’s opening the new facility.  Comments are due by approximately February 18, 2019 (sixty days after publication of the RFI in the Federal Register, scheduled for December 20, 2018).  The RFI is summarized at https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/medicare-program-cms-requests-stakeholder-feedback-accrediting-organizations-conflict-interest-and.  The proposed Federal Register text can be found at https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2018-27506.pdf.