November 9, 2020 is when the functionality of CROWNWeb gets absorbed into the ESRD Quality Reporting System, EQRS. Accordingly, the CROWNWeb Newsletter has become the EQRS Newsletter, and the November issue is now available, at https://mycrownweb.org/2020/10/november-2020-newsletter/. It includes articles on training materials, patient admissions, Medical Evidence Form 2728 submissions, and clinical closures (November 30 for September, January 4 for October, February 1 for November, unless your Network requires earlier entry). It also announces the November 4 EQRS New User Training, and preserves the very useful lists of resources. The Newsletter doesn’t mention the EQRS Town Hall, but you might want to mark your calendar for November 26, in case they continue their pattern of holding it on the fourth or fifth Thursday of each month.
The FMC Renal Therapies Group is presenting a Medical Education Online Webex Series of daily continuing education credit webinars. Topics for November 2-6, 2020 include home dialysis prescriptions, hyperphosphatemia, medical evidence for more frequent HD, PD essentials, and tidal PD. The remainder of November includes courses on urgent start PD, the peritoneal equilibrium test, infectious and non-infectious PD complications, PD software, fluid management, simplified dosing, anemia, and other topics. Find links to everything you need to know at https://www.cvent.com/events/medical-education-webex-series/event-summary-d2ca127a10594ddfb52335b657b58bb2.aspx.
CMS Conditions for Coverage (CfC) require all facilities to notify both their ESRD Network and their State Survey Agency of all involuntary discharges or transfers, within specified time parameters.
If you’re considering an involuntary discharge or transfer in Network 16, first contact Network Patient Services Coordinator Lisa Hall at email@example.com or 206-923-0714. Lisa may be able to help you negotiate a better outcome. Also follow the instructions found under “Notifying the Network” on https://www.nwrn.org/providers-and-professional-staff/patient-services/ivd.html.
For Network 18 facilities, follow the instructions under “Preventing & Reducing Involuntary Discharge” on http://www.esrdnetwork18.org/providers/patient-services/.
The Renal Support Network has been offering its free Annual Patient Education Meeting for kidney patients and their families in the Los Angeles area for 27 years. With COVID-19 complicating things this year, RSN did what only Lori Hartwell could have imagined doing – they went global and online, and made it five times as big! So this year, RSN Hope Week will span November 10-14, 2020 with a different theme each day: CKD on day 1, Dialysis on day 2, Transplant on day 3, All Stages of Care on day 4, and Parenting Children with CKD on day 5.
Find RSN’s press release introducing the week at https://www.rsnhope.org/press-releases/renal-support-networks-27th-annual-patient-education-meeting-goes-virtual/. Find a short version of the agenda below. It’s page 1 of their flyer, which includes a full page describing each day – find the full 6-page flyer HERE. Find brief vitae and snapshots of the full faculty at https://www.rsnhope.org/hope-week-faculty/. And register at https://www.rsnhope.org/hope-week-rsns-national-online-patient-meeting/ – there’s also a short version of the agenda on that page.
CMS will host a COVID-19 “Office Hours” call October 27, 2020 at 2pm PDT. Call 833-614-0820 using passcode 2394789, or use the audio webcast at https://engage.vevent.com/rt/cms2/index.jsp?seid=2612.
My Employment Options will host a free November 19, 2020 webinar on How To’s for Job Success and Career Advancement that will cover how to be successful in your job, advance in your career, ask for a raise, and leave with grace, whether you’re working from home or in the community. Find more information and register at https://www.myemploymentoptions.com/webinar-registration-page/.
Dialysis Patient Citizens will present an 11am PST November 19, 2020 webinar on Looking Out for the Caregiver: Understanding the People Who Care for Dialysis Patients. For details see below. Register at https://www.dpcedcenter.org/news-events/education-webinars/signup/?bblinkid=244466063&bbemailid=25295695&bbejrid=1697677768.
DPC will also host 11am PST webinars on Coping with the Holidays December 17, 2020; Advance Directives & Shared Decision-Making January 28, 2021; Nutrition and Exercise for the Immune System February 25, 2021; and The Empowered Patient: Taking Steps to Manage Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease March 25, 2021.
The Renal Support Network has recently published audio podcasts for patients on:
● What Is Lupus? – https://www.rsnhope.org/kidneytalk/what-is-lupus/.
● Transitioning to Home Dialysis – https://www.rsnhope.org/kidneytalk/transitioning-home-dialysis/.
● Bacteria VS. Virus – https://www.rsnhope.org/kidneytalk/bacteria-vs-virus/.
● Assessing Your Kidney Transplant Health – https://www.rsnhope.org/kidneytalk/assessing-your-kidney-transplant-health/.
● Innovations in Kidney Care – https://www.rsnhope.org/kidneytalk/innovations-in-kidney-care/.
● A Double-Transplant Survivor’s Story – https://www.rsnhope.org/kidneytalk/valen-keefer-a-double-transplant-survivors-story/.
● Understanding the Five Stages of Kidney Disease – https://www.rsnhope.org/kidneytalk/understanding-the-five-stages-of-kidney-disease/.
● Covid-19 and Organ Donation – https://www.rsnhope.org/kidneytalk/covid-19-and-organ-donation/.
● Tips to Help the Search for a Living Kidney Donor – https://www.rsnhope.org/kidneytalk/advocating-for-a-living-kidney-donor/.
The Renal Support Network has published an excellent blog post titled Original Medicare vs. Medicare Advantage Plans: How Do I Decide? The post compares “plain vanilla” Medicare to Medicare Advantage (“MA” or sometimes, informally, “Medicare Part C”). Ongoing kidney patients will be eligible for MA plans in 2021 for the first time, and Medicare beneficiaries can switch plans until December 7, 2020. There are pros and cons to both, and each MA plan is unique, so kidney patients should huddle with their insurance advisors and their social worker to make sure that they enroll in the plan which best suits their individual situation. While MA plans can provide additional benefits, they are tied to specific provider groups (or “networks” – not to be confused with the ESRD Networks), and since they may provide very different advantages and disadvantages in different places, they must be evaluated individually.
The RSN blog post provides an excellent overview of the pros and cons of each type of plan, but can’t consider each plan in each location. That evaluation must be tailored to each specific patient and each specific place. The RSN post includes a series of questions that each patient should be asking themselves and their advisors. Find the post at https://www.rsnhope.org/health-library/original-medicare-vs-medicare-advantage-plans-how-do-i-decide/.
NKF and CareDx will co-sponsor an October 27, 2020 webinar on Getting a Transplant & Staying Safe as a Transplant Recipient During COVID-19, featuring a panel of transplant professionals and patients discussing the impact COVID-19 has had on receiving a kidney transplant, and the extra precautions being taken to maintain safety. Find more information and register at https://caredx.zoom.us/webinar/register/7315983940336/WN_XGx2skqgS52fxT7ZgrjQsA.