IHS ESRD Reduction

Over the last two decades the US Indian Health Service has reduced kidney failure from diabetes by more than half among Native Americans, using a suite of seven protocols that are summarized at https://wire.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/systems-approach-slashes-kidney-failure-among-native-americans .

CDC Flu Vaccine Resources

CDC vaccination recommendations for the 2017-18 influenza season can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/indrr_2017.html .  Find additional CDC resources at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/professionals/Dear-Colleague-Letter-2017-2018.pdf and https://www.cdc.gov/flu/ .

CDC and Medscape also present a continuing education (ACCME and ANCC) opportunity on these recommendations; see https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/cme/medscape_cme.html .

11/21 Patients as Hostages WIHI

IHI will present a free November 21, 2017 “WIHI” audio program on When Patients Feel as Powerless as Hostages.  For full details see http://forms.ihi.org/next-wihi-on-november-21-at-2-pm-et-when-patients-feel-as-powerless-as-hostages .

11/13+ Antibiotic Awareness Week

CDC and WHO have announced that November 13-19, 2017 will be US and World Antibiotic Awareness Week, to raise awareness about antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic prescribing and use.  European Antibiotic Awareness Day is November 18.  CDC has updated their educational initiative Be Antibiotics Aware: Smart Use, Best Care, and aims to engage the industry and the public in efforts to improve antibiotic prescribing and use across all health care settings.  Find the CDC announcement and links to Be Antibiotics Aware at https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6644a9.htm?s_cid=mm6644a9_e and the WHO announcement at http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-antibiotic-awareness-week/en/.

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/ .

PPS/QIP/AKI Final Rule

CMS has published a Final Rule on Updates to Policies and Payment Rates for End-Stage Renal Disease Prospective Payment System, Quality Incentive Program, and Payment for Renal Dialysis Services Furnished to Individuals with Acute Kidney Injury, dealing with CY2018 and PY2019-2021.  The Rule is effective January 1, 2018.  Find the complete Rule on the Federal Register at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/11/01/2017-23671/medicare-program-end-stage-renal-disease-prospective-payment-system-payment-for-renal-dialysis , and a CMS summary at https://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2017-Fact-Sheet-items/2017-10-27.html .