HDC: Insurance 101 for Social Workers

MEI’s Home Dialysis Central blog has published a post on Insurance 101 for Dialysis Social Workers.  The objective is to help assure that people with Chronic Kidney Failure avoid inaccurate advice that can be very costly.  The complexity is remarkable – even insurance experts should review the article for anything they may have overlooked.  Find the post at https://homedialysis.org/news-and-research/blog/367-insurance-101-for-dialysis-social-workers.

Just a few examples:

  • You must have paid Social Security taxes for a specific length of time to be eligible for Medicare to cover treatment for chronic kidney failure.
  • Medicare coverage starts in month 4 for in-center dialysis, but starts in month 1 for home dialysis.
  • Medicare part A is free, but it’s Part B that pays for dialysis, and it’s not free.
  • If you don’t sign up for Medicare Part B or D when you’re first eligible for part A, you’ll pay a lot more for them.
  • A few of the terms and acronyms that complicate matters: work credits, Medicare Advantage, Medigap, Medicaid, Medi-Cal, primary payer, Medicare assignment, MA, QMD, SLMB, COBRA, QHP, ACA.

7/16 KCER After-Action Report Webinar

KCER will present a July 16, 2020 webinar for dialysis facilities on The Basics of Preparing an After-Action Report for an Incident or Disaster.  The webinar presents KCER’s template for After-Action Reports (“AAR”) and includes instructions for meeting the CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule for dialysis facilities, and specific guidance for AARs on your response to COVID-19.  Find more information in the flyer below.  Click HERE to register.  Contact KCER at kcerinfo@hsag.com for questions or assistance.

An AAR describes an event or process that for any reason you needed or wanted to respond to or improve, how you responded, your evaluation of the effectiveness of your response, and any improvements you recommend for “next time,” or to complete or enhance your response to the current issue.

New USPHS Guidelines for Infection and Transplant

The CDC MMWR has published a document entitled Assessing Solid Organ Donors and Monitoring Transplant Recipients for HIV, HBV, and HCV Infection — U.S. Public Health Service Guideline, 2020., describing advances in infection detection and treatment since the previous 2013 edition, with recommendations for organ procurement organizations and transplant centers.  It doesn’t cover COVID-19 organ damage or transmission.  Find the Guideline at https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/rr/rr6904a1.htm?s_cid=rr6904a1_w.

Summer Provider Newsletters

Network Provider Newsletters for Summer 2020 have been published.  They include articles on:

  • Network Support for COVID-19.
  • The ESRD QIP.
  • New QIP website interface.
  • Staff Burnout.
  • Patient Psychosocial Needs.
  • NCC “Web Hub” for Patients (Network 16 only).
  • Seeking Volunteers for Spanish-Speaking PAC (Network 18 only).
  • Data Currency in CROWNWeb.
  • Links to Network Patient Newsletters.
  • Patient Emergency Preparedness.
  • Interruptions in Service.
  • KCER Newsletter.
  • Staff Changes.
  • Link to Events Calendar (Network 18 only).
  • Network email Updates.

Find them at:

7/9 NW16/18 COVID-19 Q&A Call

Comagine ESRD Networks 16 and 18 host a Q&A Zoom call on the second Thursday of each month.  Prior to the meeting, email your COVID-19 related questions to Barbara Dommert-Breckler at bbreckler@comagine.org.  To join the July call, link to https://comaginehealth.zoom.us/j/96776190485?pwd=bWZtSnhRM213QWE0ZjU1TXo5Zkh4UT09 a few minutes before 1pm PDT on July 9, 2020.

7/7+ CMS July COVID-19 Weekly Webinars

July’s COVID-19 CMS Stakeholder Engagement Calls:

For recordings of past events, see https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Outreach/OpenDoorForums/PodcastAndTranscripts.

6/30+ COVID-19 Weekly Webinars

A number of organizations have been hosting weekly webinars on COVID-19.  This week:

  • ESRD NCC half-hour “Quickinars” for patients and providers.   Find the latest information, recordings of past Quickinars, and register for current presentations at https://esrdncc.org/quickinars.
      • Tuesday, June 30, 2020, 2-2:30 pm PDT, Quickinar for patients on Surviving and Coping with the Aftermath of COVID-19.
      • Wednesday, July 1, 2020, noon-1:15 pm PDT, Quickinar for providers on Dialyzing Patients in Skilled Nursing Homes During COVID-19.  Co-sponsored by CMS.  1 CEU available.
  • This week’s CMS Stakeholder Engagement Call:

For recordings of past CMS events, see https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Outreach/OpenDoorForums/PodcastAndTranscripts.

7/8+ CMS PY2021 DFR/QIP Webinar

CMS has scheduled a webinar on the PY2021 ESRD DFR/QIP process.  We haven’t seen a timeline yet for the process, though there are rumors that the DFR data has become available.

The webinar is titled ESRD QIP: Previewing Your Facility’s PY2021 Performance Data.  There are three sessions, each repeating the same material, so you need to attend only one of them.  To register:

    • July 8, 2020, 11am PDT – Click here.
    • July 14, 2020, 11am PDT – Click here.
    • July 23, 2020, 11am PDT – Click here.

After you register, you will receive an e-mail containing a unique webinar link and audio details.  Do not share the link, as it will be unique to you.  If more than one staff member at your facility would like to attend, and you can maintain safe social distancing, you may join as a team.  The webinar will cover:

    • How to access and review your facility’s PSR and PLR.
    • How CMS calculated your QIP performance scores.
    • What your TPS means to your facility’s 2021 reimbursement.
    • When and where to ask questions.
    • Where to get help and additional information.

To learn more about the QIP and DFR (and DFC) Preview process, see https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/ESRDQIP/.  It’s not updated for PY2021 yet, but will be soon.

For more information on the PY2021 process, see https://mycrownweb.org/2020/06/py-2021-esrd-qip-preview-period-webinar/.  If you haven’t already made the conversion, note that you will need to use the new QIP User Interface in the updated version of EQRS; for details and instructions see https://mycrownweb.org/2020/06/esrd-qip-ui-phase1/.

For further assistance and to ask questions, use the CMS Quality Support ServiceNow Q&A Tool at https://cmsqualitysupport.servicenowservices.com/qnet_qa.

NW18: Recall – Diasol Concentrate for Bicarb Dialysis

The FDA has announced a Class II recall of 212 cases of Diasol 1000225-10-DEX100 Liquid Acid Concentrate for Bicarbonate Hemodialysis, UDIs B467100225101004 and B4671000225101004, Lot PHQ03041/030920, because of mislabeling.  They were distributed in California.  For details see https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/ires/index.cfm?Product=181559.

New COVID-19 Resources: Telehealth, Patient Safety

We’ve added several new COVID-19 resources to our collection, two for providers on Telehealth and a cartoon to explain what’s going on to patients who’ve been out of the loop about the Coronavirus: