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.
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.
CMS will hold a June 20, 2018 National Provider Call on Dialysis Facility Compare. For details and registration see https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/405275978555133697.
CMS has completed its April refresh of the facility data in Dialysis Facility Compare (DFC). Details about this update can be found at https://data.medicare.gov/data/dialysis-facility-compare, and the newly updated DFC database and current five-star facility ratings can be found at https://www.medicare.gov/dialysisfacilitycompare/.
CMS also recently updated its web page on Technical Specifications for ESRD QIP Measures to include the CY2018 ESRD PPS Final Rule, and links to Technical Measure Specifications through PY2021. Find this page at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/ESRDQIP/061_TechnicalSpecifications.html.
CDC also recently updated its web page on NHSN and CMS ESRD QIP Rule and its page on the nine Core Interventions that they recommend for reducing BSI. Find these pages at https://www.cdc.gov/nhsn/faqs/dialysis/faq-esrd-qip.html and https://www.cdc.gov/dialysis/prevention-tools/core-interventions.html.
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.
On June 28, 2017, a webinar will provide an update to CMS dialysis quality measures and Star Ratings, and discuss recommendations and next steps from the recent Star Ratings Technical Expert Panel and Patient Summit. Register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4557956566332806147 . Direct questions to CMSESRD@ketchum.com .