CMS Publishes ETC Payment Model

CMS has released information about the long-awaited ESRD Treatment Choices (ETC) Model, which “aims to test whether greater use of home dialysis and kidney transplantation for Medicare beneficiaries with ESRD will reduce Medicare expenditures, while preserving or enhancing the quality of care furnished to beneficiaries with ESRD.”  The newly published information includes:

7/16+ AAKP/GWU Virtual Summit on Innovation

AAKP and George Washington University will present their Second Annual Global Summit: Global Kidney Innovations – Expanding Patient Choices & Outcomes, online, on July 16-17, 2020.  The full schedule (8-12 sessions per day plus evening webinars) will emphasize COVID-19 and Innovation, but many other topics as well.  Find more information, including the detailed agenda, and register at https://aakp.org/programs-and-events/2nd-annual-global-summit-global-kidney-innovations-expanding-patient-choices-outcomes/.

9/4 Comments Due re Proposed Changes to QIP

CMS has presented for publication in the Federal Register a new proposed rule on changes to the ESRD PPS/QIP.  Public Comment must be received by September 4, 2020.  “In addition to the annual technical updates for the ESRD PPS, the proposed rule proposes the following:

  • “An addition to the ESRD PPS base rate to include calcimimetics in the ESRD PPS bundled payment;
  • “Changes to the eligibility criteria and determination process for the transitional add-on payment adjustment for new and innovative equipment and supplies (TPNIES);
  • “The expansion of the TPNIES to include new and innovative capital-related assets that are home dialysis machines;
  • “A change to the low-volume adjustment eligibility criteria and attestation requirement to account for the COVID-19 PHE;
  • “An update to the ESRD PPS wage index to adopt the new OMB delineations with a transition period. …
  • “The following updates to the ESRD QIP:
    • “Scoring methodology changes to the UFR reporting measure;
    • “Updates to the NHSN validation study.”
  • “This proposed rule also provides information received from two manufacturers whose products, a dialyzer and a cartridge for a home dialysis machine, are being considered for TPNIES in CY 2021.”

The (slightly edited) quotations are from the ESRD PPS CY2021 Proposed Rule Fact Sheet (CMS-1732-P) at https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/end-stage-renal-disease-esrd-prospective-payment-system-pps-calendar-year-cy-2021-proposed-rule-cms.  Find the Federal Register entry, which is scheduled to be published on July 13, 2020, at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/07/13/2020-14671/medicare-program-end-stage-renal-disease-prospective-payment-system-payment-for-renal-dialysis.

5/26+ COVID-19 Weekly Webinars

A number of organizations are hosting weekly webinars on COVID-19.  These include:

  • ESRD NCC half-hour “Quickinars” for providers and patients.   Find more information, recordings of past Quickinars, and register for current presentations at https://esrdncc.org/quickinars:
      • Tuesday May 26, 2020 patient Quickinar on Combating Uncertainty and Fear in the COVID-19 Era (En Español), presented by a PD patient, Network Ambassador, and patient and family engagement SME.  She will share how Spanish-speaking patients are coping with fears surrounding COVID-19, and Provide links to COVID-19 information in Spanish.
      • Wednesday May 27, 2020 provider Quickinar on COVID-19 Communication – Quick Tips to Connect, presented by the Director of Outreach and Development for the non-profit Academy of Communication in Healthcare, Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Patient Experience, and Assistant Clinical Professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

5/19+ COVID-19 Weekly Webinars

A number of organizations are hosting weekly webinars on COVID-19.  These include:

  • ESRD NCC half-hour “Quickinars” for providers and patients at 2 pm PDT.   Find more information, recordings of past Quickinars, and register for current presentations at https://esrdncc.org/quickinars:
    • Tuesday May 19, 2020 patient Quickinar on Caregiving During COVID-19: Tips from Kidney Caregivers, presented by a caregiver and a Network Patient Services Director.
    • Wednesday May 20, 2020 provider Quickinar on What to Do and Say to Support Psychological Safety During the COVID-19 Pandemic, presented by a nurse who uses “a human-centered co-design approach [as] she works with healthcare leaders to generate flourishing cultures and exceptional outcomes by integrating patient/family experience, quality, safety, and joy in work.”

5/12+ COVID-19 Weekly Webinars

A number of organizations are hosting weekly webinars on COVID-19.  These include:

  • ESRD NCC half-hour “Quickinars” for providers and patients at 2 pm PDT.   Find more information, recordings of past Quickinars, and register for current presentations at https://esrdncc.org/quickinars:
    • May 12, 2020 patient Quickinar on Preparing for a Kidney Transplant During the COVID-19 Pandemic, presented by a patient and a Transplant Coordinator.
    • May 13, 2020 provider Quickinar on Pathways to Increase Nephrologist Comfort Managing Home Dialysis Patients During COVID-19, presented by a nephrologist.
  • We haven’t heard from CMS yet, so evidently these are no longer being held: CMS Stakeholder Engagement Call for Dialysis Providers at 2:30 pm PDT May 13, 2020, call 833-614-0820, passcode <coming soon?>, audio webcast link <coming soon?>.  The bare registration portal, and the email verifying your registration, appear to be named “Lessons COVID Dialysis.”

5/12+ COVID-19 Weekly Webinars

A number of organizations are hosting weekly webinars on COVID-19.  These include:

  • ESRD NCC half-hour “Quickinars” for providers and patients at 2 pm PDT.   Find more information, recordings of past Quickinars, and register for current presentations at https://esrdncc.org/quickinars:
    • May 12, 2020 patient Quickinar on Preparing for a Kidney Transplant During the COVID-19 Pandemic, presented by a patient and a Transplant Coordinator.
    • May 13, 2020 provider Quickinar on Pathways to Increase Nephrologist Comfort Managing Home Dialysis Patients During COVID-19, presented by a nephrologist.
  • CMS Stakeholder Engagement Call for Dialysis Providers at 2:30 pm PDT May 13, 2020, call 833-614-0820, passcode <coming soon>, audio webcast link <coming soon>.  The bare registration portal, and the email verifying your registration, appear to be named “Lessons COVID Dialysis.”

4/29+ COVID-19 Weekly Wednesday Webinars

A number of organizations are hosting weekly webinars on COVID-19 on Wednesdays.  These include:

  • ESRD NCC half-hour “Quickinars” for providers and patients at 2 pm PDT – The April 29 patient Quickinar will be on Remaining Connected While Practicing Social Distancing, presented by two patient advocates.  The provider Quickinar is on Optimal Transition of Patients into Home Dialysis in the COVID-19 Era, led by two nephrologists.  Find more information, recordings of past Quickinars, and register for current presentations at https://esrdncc.org/quickinars.

ASN COVID-19 Home Dialysis Video

ASN has published a video on COVID-19: Considerations in the Home Dialysis Setting.  Find it at https://www.asn-online.org/ntds/resources/Webcast_2020_04_09_COVID-19.mp4.  The video is self-starting.  Major topics include treatment strategies, organizational change, PPE, patient education, regulatory issues, telehealth, and cohort management.  Find slides here and speaker bios here.

CMS Summary of COVID-19 Waivers as of 4/9

On April 9, 2020 CMS published a document on COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Blanket Waivers for Health Care Providers, summarizing relief during the current emergency from normal requirements, with the intention to allow healthcare facilities to focus more attention on treating COVID-19 patients.  Waivers for dialysis facilities are summarized on pp.17-19, and include adjustments to regulations for water quality testing, fire inspections, patient assessments, plan of care, rounds, home visits, special purpose facilities, PCT certification, transferability of professional credentials, dialysis in nursing homes, and many other details.  Find the document at https://lnks.gd/l/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJidWxsZXRpbl9saW5rX2lkIjoxMDEsInVyaSI6ImJwMjpjbGljayIsImJ1bGxldGluX2lkIjoiMjAyMDA0MTAuMjAwMTg1NTEiLCJ1cmwiOiJodHRwczovL3d3dy5jbXMuZ292L2ZpbGVzL2RvY3VtZW50L3N1bW1hcnktY292aWQtMTktZW1lcmdlbmN5LWRlY2xhcmF0aW9uLXdhaXZlcnMucGRmIn0.NmtjnP-P1fvfNYld0nlhqMouY3FZb10Xx7Aull2AIwA/br/77281657281-l.