HDC Post on Implicit Bias

MEI’s Home Dialysis Central blog has published a post on Combating Implicit Bias in Home Dialysis, summarizing research and tools on implicit bias, and how we might become more aware of our own implicit bias, which we all have. From the post:

“Our human tendency is to treat people outside of our own in-group(s) as ‘other,’ and therein lie our interpersonal and intergroup challenges. In the early days of humans, ‘others’ may well have been rivals for food or territory, but today many of us live close together in enormous population clusters. Some of our most urgent existential threats are only likely to be successfully addressed by collaboration, not competition. We need to learn new ways to work together, perhaps even to survive as a species. And, in healthcare particularly, we need to rid ourselves of biases that could harm patients.”

In one example from research, dialysis staff responded to cardiac arrest with CPR for 91% of white patients but only 85% of black patients and 77% of Asian patients. In another, home dialysis was offered more often to white patients than to others. Find the post at https://homedialysis.org/news-and-research/blog/399-combatting-implicit-bias-in-home-dialysis.

RSN on Medicare Advantage

The Renal Support Network has published an excellent blog post titled Original Medicare vs. Medicare Advantage Plans: How Do I Decide? The post compares “plain vanilla” Medicare to Medicare Advantage (“MA” or sometimes, informally, “Medicare Part C”). Ongoing kidney patients will be eligible for MA plans in 2021 for the first time, and Medicare beneficiaries can switch plans until December 7, 2020. There are pros and cons to both, and each MA plan is unique, so kidney patients should huddle with their insurance advisors and their social worker to make sure that they enroll in the plan which best suits their individual situation. While MA plans can provide additional benefits, they are tied to specific provider groups (or “networks” – not to be confused with the ESRD Networks), and since they may provide very different advantages and disadvantages in different places, they must be evaluated individually.

The RSN blog post provides an excellent overview of the pros and cons of each type of plan, but can’t consider each plan in each location. That evaluation must be tailored to each specific patient and each specific place. The RSN post includes a series of questions that each patient should be asking themselves and their advisors. Find the post at https://www.rsnhope.org/health-library/original-medicare-vs-medicare-advantage-plans-how-do-i-decide/.

9/17 CCCC Webinar on African American Experience

The Coalition for Compassionate Care of California will present a September 17, 2020 webinar on Understanding the African American Experience and its Impact on Serious Illness.  The webinar will explore authenticity and its role in reducing health inequities for people of color experiencing a serious illness, and how to use empathy and compassion to create more favorable health outcomes for African Americans and others.  One CEU is available for nurses and social workers.  For full details and registration see below and https://www.eventbrite.com/e/webinar-understanding-the-african-american-experience-and-its-impact-on-tickets-118647021435?mc_cid=ffca48bc3b&mc_eid=67e1ad4c31.

8/28+ PFCC Workshop on Diversity

Patient & Family Centered Care Partners will present an August 28, 2020 workshop on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Workgroup: Setting the Table for Equity.  Find details and register at https://pfccpartners.com/workshops/.  PFCC Partners also has future workshops planned for September 25, October 23, and November 27.

NCC COVID-19 Mental Health Handbook

The ESRD National Coordinating Center has published a new 17-page booklet called The COVID-19 Mental Health Toolkit: Helping Renal Professionals Support the Well-Being of the ESRD Community.  It was developed by Network professionals and patient volunteers to serve as a guide for renal healthcare staff to help patients manage their well-being, and includes sections on taking action, increasing awareness, building community capacity, incorporating telemedicine, and getting ahead of the issues.  Find a copy at https://esrdncc.org/contentassets/abe8671eadac49c691c0f40eef52ef18/covid19mhtoolkit07312020508.pdf.

9/21-22 PFCCpartners Virtual Conference

Patient and Family Centered Care Partners will hold their 2020 Annual Conference virtually, on September 21-22, 2020 on the theme A Virtual Skills Exchange.  All sessions will be recorded, so registrants can watch or listen whenever they like.  Find details and agenda, and register, at https://pfccpartners.com/annual-conference/.

6/26 PFCCpartners Webinar on Patient Engagement

Patient and Family Centered Care Partners will present a June 26, 2020 webinar on Co-Designing Through The Crisis At The Sharp End.  It will feature description of a state-wide patient engagement process set up by the Connecticut Hospital Association that involved patient and family representatives in the design of healthcare down to the bedside level, using QI processes we know well, such as rapid-cycle trials of potential improvements and state-wide spread of successes.  Find more details and register at https://pfccpartners.com/workshops/.  You’ll also find a link to archived PFCCpartners webinars there.

5/22+ PFCC Webinar re Patient-Family Engagement

Patient & Family Centered Care Partners will present a May 22, 2020 online workshop on Patient Family Engagement During a Pandemic, highlighting the many benefits of engaging Patient Family Advisors into a pandemic response.  Find more information at https://pfccpartners.com/workshops/.  PFCCpartners holds these workshops monthly.  Find archived earlier workshops at https://pfccpartners.com/partner-resources/archived-webinars/.  Register for the May 22 or future workshops at https://zoom.us/meeting/register/vpMvdOuvrT4qECsYLu5hKn598qN_8vs_Yg.

5/26+ CMS Shareholder Engagement Calls

CMS is hosting weekly Stakeholder Engagement sessions to share information related to the agency’s response to COVID-19.  These sessions are open to the healthcare community and provide updates, share best practices, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts.  Conference lines are limited so we encourage you to join via audio webcast on your computer or smartphone web browser.  You are welcome to share this invitation with your colleagues and professional networks, but these calls are not intended for the press.  Call recordings and transcripts are posted on the CMS podcast page at: https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Outreach/OpenDoorForums/PodcastAndTranscripts.

Targeted Updates for Dialysis Organizations on the agency’s latest COVID-19 guidance, also featuring leaders in the field sharing best practices, with an opportunity to ask questions if time allows.  Wednesday May 27, 2020, 2:30-3:00 pm PDT, toll-free 833-614-0820, passcode 6152699, audio webcast link https://engage.vevent.com/index.jsp?eid=5779&seid=2123#/main/simplify.

COVID-19 Office Hours Calls are an opportunity for providers to ask questions of CMS officials about temporary actions that allow increased capacity, expanded workforce, patient priority, and telehealth.  Tuesday May 26, 2020, 2-3pm PDT, toll-free 833-614-0820, passcode 8977438, audio webcast link https://engage.vevent.com/index.jsp?eid=5779&seid=2012#/main/simplify.

Lessons from the Front Lines with representatives from CMS, FDA, and the Coronavirus Task Force, along with front-line clinicians.  Friday May 29, 2020, 9:30-11:00 am PDT,  toll-free 877-251-0301, passcode 6350189, audio webcast link https://engage.vevent.com/index.jsp?eid=5779&seid=2075#/main/simplify.

5/21+ CCCC COVID Conversations Webinars

The Coalition for Compassionate Care of California will hold it’s next free COVID Conversations and Patient-Centered Care webinar May 21, 2020, on the subject of CCCC Decision Aids, Ventilators, CPR, Transfers, And Comfort Care.  Find details and register at https://mailchi.mp/coalitionccc.org/no-one-should-die-alone-on-the-street-746012?e=67e1ad4c31.

Upcoming weekly sessions will be announced at https://coalitionccc.org/covid-conversations-education/, and recordings of earlier sessions can be found there.  CCCC also provides a COVID Conversations Toolbox at https://coalitionccc.org/covid-conversations-toolbox/, with conversation tools, forms and resources on advance directives and POLST, and links to COVID-19 resources and news updates.  They also have a blog post on The Vital Importance of Advance Care Planning Amid COVID-19, which explains the difference between POLST and Advance Directives, and recommends specific actions.  Find that at https://coalitionccc.org/2020/04/covid-19-conversation-toolkit/.