Making its debut December 1, 2020, Dialysis Facility Compare (DFC) has been expanded and combined with other Medicare quality comparison websites, and will now be called Care Compare. Find it at https://www.medicare.gov/care-compare/. Find an introduction to Care Compare at https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cms-care-compare-empowers-patients-when-making-important-health-care-decisions.
The National Forum of ESRD Networks has published introductory guides to the Dialysis Facility Compare (DFC) internet application that compares facilities on their general characteristics (such as whether they offer home dialysis or stay open after 5 pm), their quality of care (such as how they compare to other facilities on infection control), and the experience of their patients (such as whether patients found their doctors to be caring and to communicate well).
The guides describe what, why, and how a patient might use DFC. Find them at:
Find DFC itself at https://www.medicare.gov/dialysisfacilitycompare/.
CMS has published a summary of changes and other important information about the October 2019 update to Dialysis Facility Compare (https://www.medicare.gov/dialysisfacilitycompare/). Find the summary at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/End-Stage-Renal-Disease/ESRDGeneralInformation/Downloads/DFC-October-2019-Release-Q-and-A.pdf.
CMS has issued an informative Q&A on the May 2019 Refresh of Dialysis Facility Compare. Find the Q&A at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/End-Stage-Renal-Disease/ESRDGeneralInformation/Downloads/DFC-May-2019-Refresh-Q-A.pdf, and DFC at https://www.medicare.gov/dialysisfacilitycompare/.
CMS has commissioned UM-KECC to assemble 10-20 volunteers for a Technical Expert Panel (TEP) to formulate a process for periodically resetting ESRD clinical quality Star-Rating criteria so that the Ratings continue to differentiate facility quality of care when treatment-quality trends reduce the variation between facilities. Volunteers will include patients, caregivers, ESRD subject matter experts, methodologists, and specialists working on dialysis QI and healthcare disparities. The TEP will require a one-day in-person meeting in Baltimore in June, plus 3-7 conference calls before and after. Nominations must be submitted by April 5, 2019. The current call for nominations doesn’t mention it, but past TEPs have reimbursed travel expenses. For details and nomination forms, see https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/MMS/TEP-Currently-Accepting-Nominations.html#a0305.
Your facility’s Master Account Holder (MAH) Password and User Accounts on DialysisData.org must be re-established in order to retrieve your facility’s DFR and December 2018 QDFC preview file. On December 13, 2018 all MAH passwords were reset and user accounts for https://www.DialysisData.org disabled. Networks provided the new passwords to the facility MAH on file. Facility MAHs must log in to their master account to re-enable or add facility user accounts and grant permissions prior to the start of the February 1, 2019 QDFC/QDFR Preview Period. MAHs must create a separate user account to be able to view DFRs and QDFC data, as their MAH account only manages user accounts and cannot view data.
- Detailed Timeline for 2019 QDFC Reports, Quarterly Updates of the FY2019 QDFR for State Surveyors Report, and FY2020 DFRs, State and Region Profiles – https://dialysisdata.org/sites/default/files/content/FAQs/Timeline_100918.pdf.
- Technical Instructions for Accessing the QDFC Preview Reports, DFRs, and the NEW QDFR Updates for State Surveyors – https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/nwrn.org/files/DFC/2018FacInstr.pdf.
- Instructions for Setting Up Accounts for the Corporate Office of Your Dialysis Organization – https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/nwrn.org/files/DFC/2018CorpAcctSetup.pdf.
- QIP 3.0 and Dialysis Data Logins – https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/nwrn.org/files/QIP/QIP_3.0_Login+Final+HI.pdf.
It is the MAH’s responsibility to update user contact information (including their own), transfer MAH credentials within the facility appropriately, review and enable existing user accounts, and set user-specific permissions. If the master account holder has changed, please notify your Network and also update the contact information on https://www.DialysisData.org to reflect a new contact person for the MAH.
CROWNWeb has announced that their next New User Training session will be held on December 11, 2018. Find details and register at http://mycrownweb.org/pcw_lems/dec-2018-crownweb-new-user-training/.
The December 2018 CROWNWeb Newsletter is also available, at http://mycrownweb.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/December_2018_Newsletter_V1.7-508.pdf. This issues includes articles on:
- The schedule for release of the PY2019 QIP reports and certificates:
- December 14, 2018 – PSRs and PSCs will be available to facility POCs on the ESRD QIP System at https://www.qualitynet.org/. PSCs must be prominently displayed in both English and Spanish within fifteen days of their availability and remain posted throughout the entire 2019 calendar year. Facilities without POCs are directed to call the QualityNet Help Desk at 866-288-8912.
CMS expects to post the Performance Score Summary Report to DFC in January 2019, and to their Public Reporting & Certificates web page at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/ESRDQIP/08_ReportandCert.html by December 29, 2018.
- Questions may be directed to the QualityNet ESRD QIP Q&A tool at https://cms-ocsq.custhelp.com/app/homeesrdqip/p/960.
- A summary of the November CROWNWeb Town Hall featuring the
Kidney Community Emergency Response Coalition’s (KCER) role in emergency preparedness and disaster response coordination, and their coordination with EQRS and CROWNWeb. Slides of the meeting can be found at http://mycrownweb.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/November_Town_Hall_Version_2.3_508-Compliant.pdf. More information on KCER can be found at https://www.kcercoalition.com/.
- A Clinical FAQ on Post-Weight Dialysis Assessment date.
- Scheduled CROWNWeb Clinical Closure Dates; note that your Network may require earlier data entry in some situations.
- Announcement of a December 20, 2018 CROWNWeb Town Hall on 2018: A Retrospective Review. See http://mycrownweb.org/pcw_community_events/crownweb-town-hall-2018-a-retrospective-review/ for details and registration.
CMS has released Version 3.0 of the ESRD Measures Manual, which details specifications for the Clinical and Reporting Measures in the CY2018 Performance Period, PY2020, and the October 2018 QDFC and Star Ratings. Find a link to the Manual at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/ESRDQIP/06_MeasuringQuality.html, along with links to earlier Versions of the Manual, and other supplemental information. Address questions to the ESRD QIP team using the ESRD QIP Q&A Tool at https://cms-ocsq.custhelp.com/app/homeesrdqip/p/960.
The University of Michigan Kidney Epidemiology and Cost Center (UM-KECC) will post FY2019 Dialysis Facility Reports at https://dialysisdata.org/ for facility comments starting July 17, 2018. The comment period ends on August 15, 2018. Facilities must use their DialysisData.org Master Account Holder (MAH) password to create and/or enable staff accounts on DialysisData.org in order to review and comment on their DFR. If you do not know your MAH password, contact your Network.
UM-KECC has also recently published an updated Technical Notes on the Updated Dialysis Facility Compare Star Rating Methodology. Find it at https://dialysisdata.org/sites/default/files/content/Methodology/UpdatedDFCStarRatingMethodology.pdf.
CMS will suppress from public view some DFC and Star-Ratings data for impacted facilities in counties that were designated by FEMA as a major disaster area because of the 2017 wildfires. For information on this see https://dialysisdata.org/sites/default/files/content/News/Natural%20Disaster%20Supression%20FAQs.pdf.
Recordings of the 43rd AAKP National Patient Meeting, held June 8-10, 2018 in St. Petersburg FL, are now available online, at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwT_eU7vwGtHSapN8PKc-Hw. Sessions include:
- Assessing Dialysis Facility Quality: CMS Engagement of Kidney Patients
- Innovations in Kidney Disease Care
- Paving the Way for a Better Tomorrow: Understanding Clinical Trials
- Improving Kidney Care and Treatment Options – NIH Kidney Precision Medicine Project
- Innovation, Patient Focus and Care Improvement – Veterans Administration Leadership in Kidney Care
- Nutrition 101: Understanding & Enjoying Your Kidney-Friendly Diet
- Patient-Centered Kidney Disease Care: How to Change the Status Quo