2/16 EQRS Training, Newsletter

The February 2021 EQRS News includes articles on the indefinite suspension of input of Clinical Data, ICH-CAHPS Attestations, and Depression Screening to EQRS while bugs are worked out, the 2744 Annual Facility Survey for 2020, and how to get help with EQRS. It also announces a February 16, 2021 EQRS New User Training. Find the News at https://mycrownweb.org/2021/02/february-2021-newsletter/. Find more information and register for the Training at https://mycrownweb.org/pcw_lems/february-2021-new-user-training/.

EQRS Clinical Data Deadline Suspensions

We’ve shortened a few lines to eliminate redundancy, but we’ve otherwise reprinted this January 29, 2021 bulletin from CMS verbatim:

“CMS is aware of the challenges that some users are experiencing with submitting data via EQRS. We are committed to ensuring the accuracy and reliability of our data, and are working to rapidly resolve these issues. We appreciate the feedback that we’ve received from the dialysis community, which helped us to identify these issues quickly. We will continue to monitor and assess our systems for any issues on an ongoing basis as a part of continuous process improvement and to ensure a positive user experience.

“At this time, we are suspending EQRS Clinical Data, ICH CAHPS Attestation, and Clinical Depression Screening and Follow-Up Plan submission, effective immediately. Users should not send any additional clinical data to CMS while we work towards implementing solutions that can support data reporting requirements and the EQRS user community’s needs. Users must continue to use EQRS to complete tasks such as admit and discharge patients, complete CMS forms (such as the 2728, 2744, and 2746), add or update treatment summaries, and resolve notifications within a timely manner. Users should also continue to keep facilities’ information up-to-date.

“Please note that all previously submitted data is stored in EQRS and will not be lost. We will remain in close communication with the dialysis community over the coming weeks and will provide updated information on submission requirements and deadlines soon. We look forward to continue working together to enhance the ESRD Quality Reporting System and reduce facility data reporting burden.

“For further information please visit QualityNet at https://qualitynet.cms.gov/ or contact the QualityNet Help Desk at 1-866-288-8912, Monday–Friday 5am-5pm PST.” 

1/22 NKF/ASN on eGFR and Race

The NKF/ASN Task Force on Reassessing the Inclusion of Race in Diagnosing Kidney Diseases has been collecting information and testimony about health care disparities for Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/ Alaska Native, Asian American, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander people, and about kidney function measurement, patient safety/standardization, new or innovative approaches to kidney function measurement, and measurement or reporting that does not include race. They will hold a January 22, 2021 public forum for patients, family members, and other public stakeholders. Register at https://kidney.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_vVdJli2uRJKIgi4zlc8hfw. Find more information at https://www.kidney.org/content/nkf-asn-task-force-reassessing-inclusion-race-diagnosing-kidney-diseases.

1/19+ January EQRS Newsletter

CMS has issued the January EQRS News, featuring articles on the specifications required for computers used to access EQRS, PY2021 PSRs and PSCs, the lack of PART verification in EQRS, the ICH CAHPS Attestation, Clinical Closure deadlines, and the usual useful links to more information about EQRS and its environment, including the announcement of New User Training on January 19, 2021. If it’s required, the ICH CAHPS Attestation must be completed by March 1, 2021. Clinical Closure deadlines for September, October, and November 2020 have been extended to February 1, 2021. Find the January issue at https://mycrownweb.org/2020/12/january-2021-newsletter/, and a compendium of online EQRS, HARP, and QIP training resources at https://mycrownweb.org/education/.

Navigating EQRS Bottleneck

Upcoming EQRS Service Center (nee Help Desk) Hold Times

Due to EQRS Clinical data deadlines being extended and the annual 2744 report, the EQRS Service Center is expecting an increase in volume of calls and emails between January 4 and March 31, 2021, resulting in longer wait times. CMS recommends the following to minimize wait times and ensure successful data submission:

Use a Single Method to Report Issues— Due to the increase in volume at the Service Center, and to minimize backlog of contacts, please use only one method of reporting for the same issue – either email or phone. Cases are processed in the order received regardless of the manner in which the Service Center was contacted. Please allow time for processing.

Submit Your Data Early— We encourage you to submit your monthly clinical data early, if possible. Early submission will allow you plenty of time for Service Center assistance if needed.

Call the Service Center at Off-Peak Hours— We strongly recommend calling the Service Center during off-peak hours, before 7am or after 11am PST.

For additional information on EQRS please visit https://www.mycrownweb.org for guides and instructional materials that may answer your question and keep you from waiting on hold for extended periods. Contact the EQRS Program at 866-288-8912, Monday through Friday, 5am-5pm PST, or by e-mail at qnetsupport-esrd@hcqis.org.  Customers who are hearing impaired can dial 711 to be connected to a TRS Communications Assistant.  Please have information available about the specific issue you are calling about, such as CCN, patient UPI, or MBI number to better assist you. Wait times are usually longer between 7am and 11am PST.

12/15+ EQRS New User Training, Town Hall

EQRS will present a December 15, 2020 EQRS New User Training. Find more information and register at https://mycrownweb.org/pcw_lems/december-2020-new-user-training/.

EQRS will also present a December 17, 2020 Town Hall on Understanding the ESRD QIP Final Performance Score Report. Find more information and register at https://mycrownweb.org/pcw_community_events/december-2020-town-hall/.

EQRS has also published their December 2020 EQRS Newsletter, at https://mycrownweb.org/2020/11/december-2020-newsletter/. Contents include (1) Extension of the clinical submission deadline for September 2020 data to January 4, 2021. October data continues to be due by January 4, and November data by February 1, 2021, (2) Details on what services are available from the QualityNet Service Desk and the ESRD Networks, and how to access them, and (3) The useful list of valuable EQRS links and resources that you’ll recognize from CROWNWeb days.

11/17+ EQRS September Deadline Extended

CMS has announced that the deadline for submitting September 2020 clinical closing data into EQRS has been extended till January 4, 2021 in order to allow users more time to get up to speed on EQRS. Starting November 9, 2020, EQRS will perform the data entry role CROWNWeb has been doing. Find more information and links to recorded EQRS training material at https://mycrownweb.org/education/. Online EQRS New User Training will be offered November 17, 2020; find details and register at https://mycrownweb.org/pcw_lems/november-2020-new-user-training-2/.

11/9 EQRS Absorbs CROWNWeb

November 9, 2020 is when the functionality of CROWNWeb gets absorbed into the ESRD Quality Reporting System, EQRS. Accordingly, the CROWNWeb Newsletter has become the EQRS Newsletter, and the November issue is now available, at https://mycrownweb.org/2020/10/november-2020-newsletter/. It includes articles on training materials, patient admissions, Medical Evidence Form 2728 submissions, and clinical closures (November 30 for September, January 4 for October, February 1 for November, unless your Network requires earlier entry). It also announces the November 4 EQRS New User Training, and preserves the very useful lists of resources. The Newsletter doesn’t mention the EQRS Town Hall, but you might want to mark your calendar for November 26, in case they continue their pattern of holding it on the fourth or fifth Thursday of each month.