NMC Updates

CMS has added information to their web page for providers on the New Medicare Card (NMC) project to remove Social Security numbers and replace them with generic Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers (MBI) starting April 2018.  Among other things, the new information includes:

  • The recommendation that providers sign up with your Medicare Administrative Contractor’s portal now, in order to test your processes before April 2018; see https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/Providers/MACs-Provider-Portals-by-State.pdf for a list or portals and links.
  • New posters and handouts in English and Spanish that you can use to remind patients of what they will need to be aware of, and do, as the NMC conversion proceeds.
  • What to do if you treat Railroad Retirement Board beneficiaries.
  • Links to past Open Door Forums and their accompanying educational materials.

The NMC Providers page with complete information can be found at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/Providers/Providers.html .

New Emergency Preparedness Rule

The November 2017 issue of Network 16 News focuses on the new CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule for dialysis facilities.  The Rule requires two exercises per year, one of which must be full-scale.  The other can be what they’re calling a “table-top” exercise, or a disaster-response simulation.  The bulk of the News issue describes a sample table-top exercise.  The Question Corner deals with what State Surveyors will look for when assessing facility compliance with the Rule.

Another article advises that you need to know your facility’s “CCN” or CMS Certification Number.  This 6-digit number uniquely identifies your facility, and avoids the confusion of multiple or ambiguous facility names.  For instance, in CROWNWeb there are facilities that have entered their facility name as “Fresenius Medical Care” and “Pacific Northwest Renal.”  If a facility reported a name like this during a disaster, rather than their CCN, the Network would have to call fifty facilities to find the one with the emergency.

November’s News also flags the March 8-9, 2018 NWRD Annual Conference in Spokane and the April 11-14, 2018 NKF Spring Clinical Meetings in Texas in the “Hot Dates” section.  See our Facility Calendar at https://nwrnbulletins.wordpress.com/staff-education-calendar/ for more information on these and other dates.

Current and historical Network 16 News issues are online at https://nwrn.org/providers-and-professional-staff/nw16n.html .

11/30 CW Town Hall

The topic for the November 30, 2017 CROWNWeb Town Hall will be What’s Coming to CROWNWeb and Understanding Role and Scope.  Among other things, the audio presentation will include information on the new Ultrafiltration Screen and the Security Official Role for CROWNWeb.  No phone lines will be required, as the meeting will be streamed live over the internet.  For more information and to register see http://mycrownweb.org/pcw_community_events/november-2017-town-hall/ .

11/17+ PPS PY2018, QualityNet News

The QualityNet Secure Portal may be temporarily unavailable between 5 p.m. PST Friday November 17, 2017 and 3:00 am PST on Monday November 20, to allow for required maintenance.

QualityNet has also added a new QIP PY2018 subsection to their website, which includes Frequently Asked Questions, PY2018 Guide to PSRs, PY2018 Facility User Manual, and PY2018 Facility User Quick Start Guide.  Find these resources at https://www.qualitynet.org/dcs/ContentServer?c=Page&pagename=QnetPublic%2FPage%2FQnetTier2&cid=1228776130562 .

CMS PPS/AKI CY2018 Update

CMS has published an update to Publication 100-02, Medicare Benefit Policy Manual, Chapter 11, section 50, on “Implementation of Changes in the ESRD PPS and Payment for Dialysis Furnished for AKI in ESRD Facilities for CY2018,” dated November 3, 2017.  Find the document at https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Guidance/Transmittals/2017Downloads/R237BP.pdf .

NMC Ombudspersons

CMS has announced the appointment of a Provider Ombudsman for the New Medicare Card, to serve as a resource for the provider community.  The Ombudsman will ensure that CMS hears and understands any implementation problems experienced by clinicians, hospitals, suppliers, and other providers, will communicate about the New Medicare Card to providers, and help to develop solutions to any implementation problems that arise.  To reach the Provider Ombudsman, contact: NMCProviderQuestions@cms.hhs.gov .

The Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman and other CMS staff will address inquiries from Medicare beneficiaries and their representatives through existing inquiry processes.  For more information on the Beneficiary Ombudsman see https://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/11173.pdf and https://www.medicare.gov/claims-and-appeals/medicare-rights/get-help/ombudsman.html .

11/15 New Emergency Rule

The new CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule for dialysis facilities will be enforced starting November 15, 2017.  The Kidney Community Emergency Response Coalition (KCER) has prepared resources for facilities, including Interpretive Guidelines and Survey Procedures, a Survey Tool, and a Knowledge Center.  Find them at http://www.kcercoalition.com/en/resources/professional-resources/ .

The Rule requires dialysis facilities to conduct two emergency preparedness exercises per year.  One must be full-scale, but the other may be a “table-top exercise,” a group discussion led by a facilitator using a narrated, clinically-relevant emergency scenario that challenges an emergency plan.  KCER is also preparing a variety of table-top exercise templates that facilities may copy; see http://www.kcercoalition.com/en/resources/professional-resources/table-top-exercises/ .