<12/11 NW18 Fire Warnings Extended Again

Red Flag Warnings for Los Angeles and Ventura Counties have been extended by the National Weather Service through Monday evening.  A Red Flag Warning means that, due to high winds, low humidity, and/or high temperatures, any open flame can become another wildfire with potential to reduce entire neighborhoods to ash.  With the exception of the Thomas Fire in Ventura County, most of the existing fires in Southern California are now under control.  However, with the Red Flag Warning still posted, new fires could erupt at any time.  The Thomas Fire is only 10% contained, and is still in danger of spreading west toward Santa Barbara, east toward Fillmore, and/or north toward Wheeler Springs.

HealthInsight ESRD Alliance Network 18

Serving Southern California

Disaster Preparedness Newsletter

Preparing the ESRD community for an emergency before it occurs is a priority at Network 18. Living with or providing care to those living with chronic illness that require ongoing life-sustaining treatment makes being prepared of the utmost importance.

Southern California Fires

In light of all the fires in our Network, please ensure that you, your staff and your patients are prepared. The winds are high and fire warnings are red flag across our region. Stay alert and informed.

For Up to Date Fire Information See http://www.fire.ca.gov/ .

If your unit or your patients are in a fire or evacuation zone please be prepared for the following:

1.  If your unit needs to shut down operations, be prepared to work with your back up facility.

2.  Make sure all patients have a copy of their treatment snapshot so dialysis needs are known.  This will make transfers much easier. Provide patients with an emergency diet and fluid restrictions in the event they are unable to receive care as needed in the next few days.

3.  Ensure that all patients are accounted for.

4.  If patients are unable to get to your unit due to evacuations or road closures, please assist them in getting treated at another facility that they can access.

5.  Don’t forget about your home dialysis patients.  Please ensure all are accounted for and have the supplies they need.

The Network is here to assist you with all of the above items.  Please reach out if you need us.  Keep up informed of your status.

Phone: 1-888-268-1539;  office hours 8:00 am – 4:30 pm Monday – Friday

Email After Hours: erhodes@nw18.esrd.net or jaguilar@nw18.esrd.net .

Need more resources?  KCER, at http://www.kcercoalition.com/en/ has many resources for patients, staff and their families.  Find the KCER Watch Newsletter at http://www.kcercoalition.com/en/resources/kcer-watch/2017-kcer-watch-newsletters/ .

Keep the Network Informed

Should you experience any interruption in service please notify the Network right away.  We are available to assist you.  Please complete the Interruption In Service Form at http://www.esrdnetwork18.org/machform/embed.php?id=16298 to help us stay informed of your situation and to let us know what your needs are.

nw18 <12/9+ Fire Danger

Warnings about Santa Ana winds and high fire danger in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties have been extended through Saturday, 9 December, 2017, and Santa Barbara County has been added.  In some areas the danger may extend into next week.

Networks are required by CMS to track the status of facility operations and patient access to treatment during emergency events.  If the operations of your facility, or ability for patients to have access to dialysis are impacted by emergency events, please let your Network know right away.  In Southern and South-Central California (Network 18), contact Eileen Rhodes or Julie Aguilar at 888-268-1539 or by email at ERhodes@nw18.esrd.net or JAguilar@nw18.esrd.net , and fill out the form at http://www.esrdnetwork18.org/machform/embed.php?id=16298 .

nw18 <12/7 Fire Danger

Santa Ana winds and high fire danger are expected in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties until Thursday 7 December, 2017.  Networks are required by CMS to track the status of facility operations and patient access to treatment during emergency events.  If the operations of your facility, or ability for patients to have access to dialysis are impacted by emergency events, please let your Network know right away.  In Southern and South-Central California (Network 18), contact Eileen Rhodes or Julie Aguilar at 888-268-1539 or by email at ERhodes@nw18.esrd.net or JAguilar@nw18.esrd.net , and fill out the form at http://www.esrdnetwork18.org/machform/embed.php?id=16298 .

New Emergency Preparedness Rule

The November 2017 issue of Network 16 News focuses on the new CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule for dialysis facilities.  The Rule requires two exercises per year, one of which must be full-scale.  The other can be what they’re calling a “table-top” exercise, or a disaster-response simulation.  The bulk of the News issue describes a sample table-top exercise.  The Question Corner deals with what State Surveyors will look for when assessing facility compliance with the Rule.

Another article advises that you need to know your facility’s “CCN” or CMS Certification Number.  This 6-digit number uniquely identifies your facility, and avoids the confusion of multiple or ambiguous facility names.  For instance, in CROWNWeb there are facilities that have entered their facility name as “Fresenius Medical Care” and “Pacific Northwest Renal.”  If a facility reported a name like this during a disaster, rather than their CCN, the Network would have to call fifty facilities to find the one with the emergency.

November’s News also flags the March 8-9, 2018 NWRD Annual Conference in Spokane and the April 11-14, 2018 NKF Spring Clinical Meetings in Texas in the “Hot Dates” section.  See our Facility Calendar at https://nwrnbulletins.wordpress.com/staff-education-calendar/ for more information on these and other dates.

Current and historical Network 16 News issues are online at https://nwrn.org/providers-and-professional-staff/nw16n.html .

KCER Newsletter 11/17

KCER has published their KCER Watch November Newsletter.  Topics include:

  • Emergency Preparedness Tabletop Exercises
  • November was Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month
  • Flu Shot Timing
  • Winter Storm Season Safety Tips
  • Federal Aid Claims

Find the November issue at http://kcercoalition.com/contentassets/8b965337d6a64a92b8d94a6e047a1727/kcerwatchnov2017final508.pdf, and past (and future) issues at http://kcercoalition.com/en/resources/kcer-watch/ .

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/ .

NW18 Extended CW Deadlines for Orange County

The November CROWNWeb Newsletter is now available, at http://mycrownweb.org/news/newsletters/ .  The feature article gives Orange County facilities an extra two months to complete their CROWNWeb data entry, since Orange County is a FEMA-designated disaster area.  New deadlines are:

  • For Clinical Month August 2017 – December 31, 2017
  • For Clinical Month September 2017 – January 31, 2018
  • For Clinical Month October 2017 – February 28, 2018
  • For Clinical Month November 2017 – March 31, 2018
  • For Clinical Month December 2017 – April 30, 2018

CMS asks, however, that facilities do their best to file their Forms 2728 as early as possible in order to avoid delays in coverage for beneficiaries.

The Newsletter also includes an article for facilities affected by wildfires or other emergencies, whether or not they are located in a FEMA-designated disaster area (and any facility needing an additional exception), on how to file an Extraordinary Circumstance Exception (ECE) request, and how their PY2019 QIP Final Performance Score will be calculated as a result.

An article on using the Facility Dashboard rounds out this issue of the CROWNWeb Newsletter.  The issue also announces a CROWNWeb Town Hall on November 30, 2017.