1/12+ CMS COVID Calls

CMS will hold an hour-long COVID “Office Hours” call at 2pm PST January 12, 2021. Call in to 833-614-0820 using access passcode 4688247, or use the audio webcast link at https://edge.media-server.com/mmc/p/p5jw6syi. They haven’t announced a second date, but they have indicated their intention to offer this call twice a month.

They will also offer a 1pm PST January 13, 2021 call on COVID-19 Vaccine Safety: A Fireside Chat with CMS, CDC, and front line staff and providers. Register in advance at https://cms.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_VQnfc77zTaOho3-yYrtGUA. After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. This call will be repeated at 1pm PST on January 20 and January 27, 2021.

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

FDA Warnings re COVID-19 False Test Results

The FDA has issued two different warnings about false negative COVID-19 test results:

They have warned that the Curative SARS-Cov-2 test may provide false results that could threaten the safety of patients and staff, providing details and recommendations at https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/safety-communications/risk-false-results-curative-sars-cov-2-test-covid-19-fda-safety-communication.

They have also warned that all SARS-CoV-2 molecular tests may provide false negatives on mutations of the virus, providing details and recommendations at https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-issues-alert-regarding-sars-cov-2-viral-mutation-health-care-providers-and-clinical-laboratory.

1/7 ASN+ Webinar on Vaccine Safety in ESRD

ASN, AAKP, AKF, ANNA, CDC, NANT, NKF, RPA, and the Renal Healthcare Association (formerly the NRAA) are collaborating to sponsor a January 7, 2021 webinar on Safety and Efficacy of COVID-19 Vaccines in the Dialysis Population. Webinar topics will include available information about the safety and efficacy of the current COVID-19 vaccines for health care workers and patients with CKD, the risk of poor outcomes in those contracting COVID-19, the position of the sponsors on urging dialysis patients to get vaccinated, possible concerns about receiving the vaccine, approaches to discussing and defusing those concerns, and a strategy to share the provided information widely. Find more information and register at https://goto.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1416384&tp_key=2914871054.

1/15 NCC Patient Event on COVID and Home Dialysis

The ESRD National Coordinating Center will present a January 15, 2021 online event for patients on Home Dialysis During COVID: Lessons Learned. The objective is to demonstrate best practices, share patient experiences, and discuss the benefits of home therapy. Find more information and register at https://esrdncc.org/en/covid-19/covid-webinars/.

Possible New QIP Measures

CMS is in the process of deciding which new measures to add to its Quality programs. For the ESRD QIP, measures under consideration include in-center patient Coronavirus vaccination coverage, health care personnel Coronavirus vaccination coverage, and Standardized Hospitalization Ratio. For details see https://www.cms.gov/files/document/measures-under-consideration-list-2020-report.pdf – suggested new ESRD measures are summarized on p.82. Measures under consideration are being sent to the National Quality Forum’s Measure Applications Partnership (https://www.qualityforum.org/map/). After the “MAP” has evaluated them, measures still under consideration will be published in the Federal Register for public comment sometime after February 1, 2021.

Patient-to-Patient COVID Poster

The National Forum of ESRD Networks Kidney Patient Advisory Council has developed a poster to encourage their fellow patients to stay strong and continue to be diligent about using COVID-19 safety precautions.  They understand the challenges patients have faced in 2020 and they want to send an encouraging message to stay safe and healthy.  Please consider printing this poster and sharing it with your kidney patients.  The poster is free to download from the Forum website at https://esrdnetworks.org/resources/coronavirus-information-resources/resources-for-kidney-patients/covid-19-poster-for-kidney-patients/view.

CDC: Monitor Vaccine Recipients

CDC says that during administration of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, “appropriate medical treatment used to manage immediate allergic reactions must be immediately available in the event that an acute anaphylactic reaction occurs following administration of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccine providers should observe patients with a history of anaphylaxis (due to any cause) for 30 minutes after vaccination. All other persons should be observed for 15 minutes after vaccination to monitor for the occurrence of immediate adverse reactions.” See https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/pfizer/clinical-considerations.html for a full description of all CDC recommendations around the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, including triage and adverse reaction reporting instructions near the bottom of the web page.