CMS QIP CY2021 Proposed Rule Webinar

CMS has posted a webinar on the QIP CY2021 Proposed Rule (see https://nwrnbulletins.wordpress.com/2020/07/10/9-4-comments-due-re-proposed-changes-to-qip/).  Find a PDF of the presentation slides, an audio recording, and a PDF of the transcript of the webinar at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/ESRDQIP/99_EduResources.

7/30 EO Work From Home Job Tips Call

Employment Options, an authorized Employment Network in the SSA Ticket to Work Program, will present a free conference call and online slide show on July 30, 2020 at noon PDT on Work From Home Job Tips: What You Need To Know!  Topics will include Work At Home challenges, mental and physical aspects, technology requirements, resume tips, Work At Home job examples and new industries, protecting yourself from scams, and new hire expectations.  Register, peruse recordings of past presentations, and sign up for their email bulletins at https://www.myemploymentoptions.com/webinar-registration-page/.  The presentation includes an audio portion that’s open to an unlimited number of attendees, and a limited-capacity online slide show that can  accommodate only the first 250 registered attendees to log in on July 30.  Instructions will be sent to you when you register.

Employment Options is also available daily to help SSDI/SSI disability benefit recipients return to work in the free SSA Ticket to Work Program.  EO offers both Work At Home and onsite jobs in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana.  For more information see https://www.myemploymentoptions.com/apply-now/.  The web page includes resources and links for people in California and Alaska or who otherwise are not qualified for the Ticket to Work Program.

8/4+ CMS August COVID-19 Calls

CMS has announced the following COVID-19 August calls:

Find more information and further schedules at https://www.cms.gov/outreach-education/partner-resources/coronavirus-covid-19-partner-toolkit.

8/5+ NCC August COVID-19 Weekly Calls

Starting next week, the ESRD NCC’s COVID-19 calls are moving from weekly to fortnightly, and from half-hour “Quickinars” to one-hour webinars.  The Tuesday patient webinars will be held August 11 and 25, 2020 at 1pm PDT, and the Wednesday provider webinars will be held August 5 and 19 at noon PDT.  For descriptions of the current webinars and registration, see https://esrdncc.org/en/covid-19/covid-webinars/.  You can also find links to recordings of previous webinars there.

Update of Kidney School Nutrition/Fluids Module

MEI has updated the most popular module, Module 9: Nutrition and Fluids for People on Dialysis, in it’s award-winning Kidney School.  The new Module 9 has been completely updated with new information about the value of eating real food, phosphorus absorption from food additives vs. meat and plants, graphics and photos, and brand-new meal plans and recipes, and was reviewed by expert renal dietitians.  A Spanish translation will be available soon.

Kidney School offers free, tailored education for people with stages 4-5 CKD.  Sixteen interactive modules at the 6th grade reading level help patients and family members learn about kidney disease, treatment options, coping skills, lab tests, diet and nutrition, and much more.  Each online module creates a Personal Action Plan.  Audio files and PDFs in English and Spanish are also available.  Continuing education credits are available for professionals.

Find Kidney School at https://www.kidneyschool.org/, and the new Module 9: Nutrition and Fluids for People on Dialysis at https://www.kidneyschool.org/m09/.

Notify Network of Service Disruptions

CMS requires ESRD Networks to track the status of facility operations and patient access to treatment during emergency events at all facilities, including disruptions due to wildfire, excessive heat, water pollution, or any other natural or man-made event that interrupts your normal schedules.  If the operations of your facility, or ability for patients to have access to dialysis, are impacted by emergency events, please let your Network know right away.

For Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska (Network 16), call Lisa Hall at 206-923-0714 or email LHall@Comagine.org.  We also ask that you fill out and submit the Network Disaster Reporting Form at http://www.esrdnetwork18.org/machform/view.php?id=44393.  Network 18 will forward the completed form back to Network 16.

In Southern California (Network 18), call Brianna Smith at 206-923-0714 or email  BSmith2@Comagine.org, and fill out the form at http://www.esrdnetwork18.org/machform/embed.php?id=16298.

Never put PHI or PII in an email or online form.  Examples include patient name or initials, birthdate, SSN, and other identifying information.

7/28+ NCC Weekly COVID-19 Webinars

The ESRD National Coordinating Center will present two COVID-19 “Quickinars” this week:

  • July 28, 2020 for patients on COVID-19: Separating Myths from Facts.
  • July 29 for providers on COVID-19: Separating Myths from Facts.

Both half-hour sessions begin at 2pm PDT.  Find more information and register at https://esrdncc.org/en/covid-19/covid-quickinars/.

Toxic Waters

Now that high summer and higher temperatures have arrived, Harmful Algae Blooms (“HABs”) are an increasing threat to recreational and subsistence uses of bodies of fresh- and salt-water.  HABs can impact, sometimes fatally, harvesting of water- and shoreline-dwelling animals and plants, drinking, swimming, wading, and boating.  Pets and children are particularly vulnerable because they can rush into water before you even realize they’re out of the car.  The Oregon Health Authority advises,

“Don’t go into water that looks foamy, scummy, thick like paint, pea-green, blue-green or brownish red.  A good rule of thumb for you and your pet is: When in Doubt, Stay Out!”  (https://www.oregon.gov/OHA/PH/HealthyEnvironments/Recreation/HarmfulAlgaeBlooms/pages/index.aspx).

Bear in mind that most waters are not monitored for toxicity, so the lack of a warning sign is not enough to assure safe use.  The following websites provide information on identifying and responding to toxic waters and their impacts, and include alerts on the few, most popular, waters that are monitored and posted:

The Washington website is also available in Spanish, Somali, and Viet.  As an example of a posted warning, Odell Lake near Willamette Pass, between Eugene and Klamath Falls OR, has recently been posted; see the Oregon website above.

9/21-22 PFCCpartners Virtual Conference

Patient and Family Centered Care Partners will hold their 2020 Annual Conference virtually, on September 21-22, 2020 on the theme A Virtual Skills Exchange.  All sessions will be recorded, so registrants can watch or listen whenever they like.  Find details and agenda, and register, at https://pfccpartners.com/annual-conference/.

7/21 Webinar on Mental Health Access for Minorities

The independent “think-tank” Bipartisan Policy Center will present an 8:30 am PDT July 21. 2020 webinar on COVID-19’s Adverse Impact on Mental Health Access for People of Color.  Black, Indigenous, and people of color populations have long experienced disparities in access to care, while mental health and substance use problems have increased dramatically due to the COVID-19 crisis.  Register at http://bpcevents.cloudapp.net/Pages/Home.aspx?eventid={56306DE0-71B5-EA11-A813-000D3A1BBB23}, but be mindful that the times they post, without indicating it, are most likely Eastern Time.  The 1½-hour webinar begins at 8:30 am PDT.