DFC January Update

CMS has announced that new data on the care quality of dialysis facilities is now available on Dialysis Facility Compare (DFC), the website that allows patients and health centers to view and compare quality data about dialysis facilities.  CMS uses this data, organized into a series of measures, to create a 5-Star Rating system that can help patients make educated decisions about where to get their dialysis treatments, as well as to assist them in speaking with their healthcare team regarding their care.

The January revision has updated information for Standardized Transfusion Ratios, Standardized Mortality Ratios, Standardized Hospitalization Ratios, Standardized Readmission Ratios, vascular access types (fistula and catheter), bloodstream infections, hemoglobin management, and the CAHPS survey on in-center hemodialysis patient experience.  The July 2017 DFC data for dialysis adequacy, hypercalcemia, serum phosphorus, and the facility Star Ratings will remain until the next update.

Find DFC at https://www.medicare.gov/dialysisfacilitycompare/#.

If you’re computer-savvy, you can download supplementary DFC data from https://data.medicare.gov/data/dialysis-facility-compare.

QIP/DFC Measures Manual

CMS has published the 2o17 edition of the CMS ESRD Measures Manual, which details how the PY2017 (CY2017) QIP and October 2017 DFC Star Ratings are calculated.  The Manual includes information on the new Kt/V and NHSN QIP measures, TPS calculation, PY2020, and changes to DFC and Star Rating calculations.  Find a copy of the CMS press release, which includes links to the Manual and supporting material, at  https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/nwrn.org/files/QIP/CMS%2CQIP.061617.pdf .

SC 1/30+ CA Dialysis Conference

The California Dialysis Council will present their 35th Annual Education Conference March 2-4, 2017 in Desert Hot Springs CA.  The Conference will include sessions on PD, fluid management, facility ratings, staffing, worries, survey issues, HIPAA audits, CEO/CMO panel, disaster planning, legislation, and motivation.  Exhibitors must register by January 30, 2017.  Early attendee registration discounts, and registration cancellation refunds, are available till February 3, 2017, and room reservations at the Conference hotel till February 8, 2017.  Find the Conference brochure at https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/nwrn.org/files/N/CADialysis0317.pdf .  Find additional information and register at http://www.californiadialysis.org/events/35th-Annual-Educational-Conference-2017-46/details .

12/22 DFC* TEP Nominations Wanted

CMS seeks nominations and self-nominations for a Technical Expert Panel to recommend potential quality measures to include in the Dialysis Facility Compare Star Ratings.  Patients and professionals with a wide variety of experience and expertise are invited, including patient and healthcare perspectives, methodology, QI and performance measurement, and disparities.  Nominations are due by December 22, 2016.  For more information see https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/MMS/TechnicalExpertPanels.html#422 .