We include links to earlier issues at the end of this post. Most content is the same for both Networks, but not all. We’ve marked where they differ, and we’ve used blue type where information in one version also applies to the other Network. The Fall 2019 issue feature articles on:
2020 Quality Improvement Activities, which we expect to begin before Christmas.
Changes to the ESRD QIP, which include changes to measures for the Transplant Waitlist, Medication Reconciliation, Transfusions, and BSIs. We’ve scheduled a December 12, 2019 webinar to summarize these QIP changes (and the many other measures that aren’t changing).
Opioid Awareness and Pain Management.
Managing Patient Expectations to help create a calm and conflict-free environment.
The Dialysis Patient Depression Toolkit.
Patient Newsletters in English and Spanish for each Network.
The importance of Keeping Patient Information Up to Date, especially patient addresses, which are critical for tracking everyone in emergencies and disasters, for identifying home facilities and transplant centers near the patient, for receiving notices like the New ESRD Patient Orientation Packet, and for monitoring patient clusters so your organization can effectively plan where to locate new facilities.
A mini-lesson on how to admit a new patient into CROWNWeb if they do not have an SSN or MBI.
Fire Danger Power Shutoffs and Fire Resources in California (NW18 version).
The new ESRD Facility Emergency Preparedness Final Rule that went into effect on November 29, 2019 (NW18 version but also relevant to NW16).
New KCER document on Emergency Disconnect Procedure for In-Center Hemodialysis Patients (NW16 version but also relevant to NW18).
Notify the Network of any Interruptions in Service.
Notify the Network of any Personnel Changes.
We also list events of interest to Dialysis Facilities, Transplant Centers, and staff, on our Facility Calendar, via the link at the top of this page.
There are only six months to go on the transition to the New Medicare Card. To help prevent identity theft, the New Card removes a patient’s Social Security Number from their Card and replaces it with a new, randomly-assigned “Medicare Beneficiary Identifier” or MBI. MBIs must be protected as confidential PII. All patients should have received their new card by now, barring mailing address problems. After December 31, 2019 billing with the old “Health Insurance Claim Number” or HICN will be disallowed. If your facility has patients that don’t have a New Card, refer to https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNMattersArticles/Downloads/SE18006.pdf for instructions. Railroad Retirement Board Medicare cards are going through a parallel transition.
CMS has reported that more then two thirds of Medicare claims now use the MBI instead of the HIC number. All claims must use the MBI by the end of 2019. Medicare has published two handy references to help:
Sign into https://www.mymedicare.gov/ to see if their card has been mailed. If so, they can print an official card. If they do not already have an account, they need to create one.
Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). There might be something that needs to be corrected, such as updating their mailing address.
Mailings to Idaho, Montana, and Washington will not begin till August at the earliest, and probably considerably later. CMS is committed to mailing new cards to everyone with Medicare by April 2019. Until December 31, 2019 health care providers and suppliers can use either the former SSN-based HIC Number, OR the alpha-numeric MBI (Medicare Beneficiary Identifier) on the new cards, for all Medicare transactions.
The CMS MLN Matters document on New Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI): Get It, Use It has recently been revised, but the only change is the addition of the information (on page 2) that the MBI does not use the letters S, L, O, I, B, or Z in order to avoid confusion with similarly-shaped numbers.
The CMS New Medicare Card (NMC) web page at https://www.medicare.gov/newcard/ keeps an ongoing tally of NMC mailings. It shows that mailings are now underway for California, Oregon, and Alaska, but have not yet started for other Network 16 states. The page also includes a sample of the new card, important information about what a patient should do when they receive one in the mail, and important tips on avoiding Medicare scams.