6/25 CMS Seeks Comment on Rural Hospital Payment Changes

CMS has proposed that they improve their payments to rural hospitals, in an effort to improve rural health in the US.  While this isn’t directly relevant to ESRD, it will certainly be relevant whenever a kidney patient needs services at a hospital in a rural area.  Find the Proposed Rule and Request for Comment at https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2018-05-07/pdf/2018-08705.pdf, and a Notice of Corrections at https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2018-06-20/pdf/2018-13152.pdf.  Comments are due by June 25, 2019.  For background information see https://www.cms.gov/blog/putting-our-rethinking-rural-health-strategy-action and https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/AcuteInpatientPPS/FY2019-IPPS-Proposed-Rule-Home-Page-Items/FY2019-IPPS-Proposed-Rule-Regulations.html?DLPage=1&DLEntries=10&DLSort=0&DLSortDir=ascending.

More Care Transitions Resources

The ESRD National Coordinating Center has prepared a list of “Key Messages” for National Care Transitions Week, which you can find at https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/nwrn.org/files/N/NCC/NCC.NCTA.Keys.pdf.  Other useful materials on the ESRD NCC website include:

4/16 National Care Transitions Day

CMS will hold its first Annual National Care Transitions Awareness Day on April 16, 2019.  The goal is to increase awareness of the importance and value that safe and effective care transitions and care coordination have on the beneficiary and provider communities.  To raise awareness and promote action on a national level during the week of April 16, 2019, you are encouraged to perform one or more care transition activities, such as:

  • An educational webinar, highlighting best practices, to your organization, community partners, or other stakeholders
  • A gap analysis of your current practices and advancing your practices to the next level
  • A refresh on existing practices to your team and employees
  • Reach out to existing community partners to further your partnership and improve care coordination
  • Identify new community partners to expand resource options for patients
  • Engage health IT partners to improve data transfer and communication to improve care transitions
  • Support patient engagement activities to improve care transitions

You can also incorporate the best practices identified by the ESRD Forum of Networks in their new Toolkit on Care Transitions, available at http://esrdnetworks.org/resources/toolkits/mac-toolkits-1/new-toolkit-transitions-of-care-toolkit/transitions-of-care-toolkit/.

4/4+ AAKP HealthLine on Pediatric Dialysis

AAKP’s HealthLine is hosting a series of three webinars on Pediatric Kidney Patients:

You can find a catalog of recordings of all past HealthLine webinars at https://www.gotostage.com/channel/6927452477730326277, and a general introduction to the HealthLine program at https://aakp.org/aakp-healthline/.

9/25+ CCCC News

News about Coalition for Compassionate Care of California events:

  • April 8-9, 2019: CCCC Annual Summit, San Francisco, for everyone who wants to learn more about palliative care, share innovative practices and be part of a growing movement to improve the care of seriously ill people of all ages.  For details see http://ccccsummit.org/?mc_cid=9688cbc52e&mc_eid=67e1ad4c31.

* Check with CCCC about times for these webinars; their bulletin says PST, but the rest of California is on PDT, so it’s hard to say which they intend.

New Free SW CE Courses

The NKF Professional Education Resource Center offers three more new free online CE courses for social workers:

  • Depression Screening Tools: Policy and Nephrology Social Work Interventions
  • Support of Renal Patients and Families Facing End-Of-Life Care Decisions: A Nephrology Social Worker’s Reflection 
  • Navigating Health Insurance: How Public Options, Private Coverage and Charitable Assistance Can Work Together For ESRD Patients

For more information and registration, see http://education.kidney.org/courses .

Grievance Toolkit in Spanish

The National Forum of ESRD Networks has created a Spanish version of its new Dialysis Patient Grievance Toolkit.  Find it at http://esrdnetworks.org/resources/toolkits/patient-toolkits/dialysis-patient-grievance-toolkit-1 .  It joins the catalog of Forum Medical Advisory Council (MAC) and Patient Toolkits, which now include:

  • Home Dialysis
  • Transitions of Care
  • Medical Director
  • QAPI
  • Medication Reconciliation
  • Catheter Reduction
  • Assurance of Diabetes Care Coordination
  • Vaccination

Find them all, along with the MAC Speaker’s Bureau Brochure, at http://esrdnetworks.org/resources/toolkits/mac-toolkits-1 .