HDC: Insurance 101 for Social Workers

MEI’s Home Dialysis Central blog has published a post on Insurance 101 for Dialysis Social Workers.  The objective is to help assure that people with Chronic Kidney Failure avoid inaccurate advice that can be very costly.  The complexity is remarkable – even insurance experts should review the article for anything they may have overlooked.  Find the post at https://homedialysis.org/news-and-research/blog/367-insurance-101-for-dialysis-social-workers.

Just a few examples:

  • You must have paid Social Security taxes for a specific length of time to be eligible for Medicare to cover treatment for chronic kidney failure.
  • Medicare coverage starts in month 4 for in-center dialysis, but starts in month 1 for home dialysis.
  • Medicare part A is free, but it’s Part B that pays for dialysis, and it’s not free.
  • If you don’t sign up for Medicare Part B or D when you’re first eligible for part A, you’ll pay a lot more for them.
  • A few of the terms and acronyms that complicate matters: work credits, Medicare Advantage, Medigap, Medicaid, Medi-Cal, primary payer, Medicare assignment, MA, QMD, SLMB, COBRA, QHP, ACA.

Summer Provider Newsletters

Network Provider Newsletters for Summer 2020 have been published.  They include articles on:

  • Network Support for COVID-19.
  • The ESRD QIP.
  • New QIP website interface.
  • Staff Burnout.
  • Patient Psychosocial Needs.
  • NCC “Web Hub” for Patients (Network 16 only).
  • Seeking Volunteers for Spanish-Speaking PAC (Network 18 only).
  • Data Currency in CROWNWeb.
  • Links to Network Patient Newsletters.
  • Patient Emergency Preparedness.
  • Interruptions in Service.
  • KCER Newsletter.
  • Staff Changes.
  • Link to Events Calendar (Network 18 only).
  • Network email Updates.

Find them at:

New COVID-19 Resources: Telehealth, Patient Safety

We’ve added several new COVID-19 resources to our collection, two for providers on Telehealth and a cartoon to explain what’s going on to patients who’ve been out of the loop about the Coronavirus:

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/.

3/12 World Kidney Day and National Kidney Month

March 12, 2020 is World Kidney Day, sponsored by the International Society of Nephrology and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations.  This year’s theme is Kidney Health for Everyone Everywhere – from Prevention to Detection and Equitable Access to Care.  Find more information at https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5808a1.htm and a campaign toolkit at https://www.worldkidneyday.org/2020-campaign/2020-campaign-materials/.

March is also National Kidney Month, with the theme Take the Pressure off Your Kidneys and Your Health.  Find more information at https://www.kidney.org/content/national-kidney-month and https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/community-health-outreach/national-kidney-month.  The latter includes a campaign toolkit, including posters like the one below, in English and Spanish.

To support National Kidney Month, NKF, HHS, and ASN have launched a nationwide risk campaign called Are You the 33%?.  Find details at https://www.kidney.org/news/nationwide-kidney-risk-campaign-launched-nkf-hhs-and-asn.

“Are You the 33%?” CKD Campaign

To honor National Kidney Month (March), HHS, ASN, NKF, and private partners including CVS Kidney Care, have launched a nationwide campaign to reach the 33% of American adults who are at risk of kidney disease, and to help them avoid further development of the disease.  Find more information at https://www.kidney.org/news/nationwide-kidney-risk-campaign-launched-nkf-hhs-and-asn.  They plan to also launch a Spanish-language version on September 15, 2020 for National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15).

12/12+ Fall 2019 Provider Newsletter and Archive

We’ve published the Fall 2019 ESRD Network 16/18 Provider Newsletters.  Find them at:

We include links to earlier issues at the end of this post.  Most content is the same for both Networks, but not all.  We’ve marked where they differ, and we’ve used blue type where information in one version also applies to the other Network.  The Fall 2019 issue feature articles on:

  • Quality Improvement:
    • 2020 Quality Improvement Activities, which we expect to begin before Christmas.
    • Changes to the ESRD QIP, which include changes to measures for the Transplant Waitlist, Medication Reconciliation, Transfusions, and BSIs.  We’ve scheduled a December 12, 2019 webinar to summarize these QIP changes (and the many other measures that aren’t changing).
    • Opioid Awareness and Pain Management.
    • Diabetes Self-Management.
  • Patient Services:
    • Managing Patient Expectations to help create a calm and conflict-free environment.
    • The Dialysis Patient Depression Toolkit.
    • Patient Newsletters in English and Spanish for each Network.
  • Data:
    • The importance of Keeping Patient Information Up to Date, especially patient addresses, which are critical for tracking everyone in emergencies and disasters, for identifying home facilities and transplant centers near the patient, for receiving notices like the New ESRD Patient Orientation Packet, and for monitoring patient clusters so your organization can effectively plan where to locate new facilities.
    • A mini-lesson on how to admit a new patient into CROWNWeb if they do not have an SSN or MBI.
  • Emergency Preparedness:
    • Fire Danger Power Shutoffs and Fire Resources in California (NW18 version).
    • The new ESRD Facility Emergency Preparedness Final Rule that went into effect on November 29, 2019 (NW18 version but also relevant to NW16).
    • New KCER document on Emergency Disconnect Procedure for In-Center Hemodialysis Patients (NW16 version but also relevant to NW18).
    • Notify the Network of any Interruptions in Service.
    • KCER Newsletter.
  • Notify the Network of any Personnel Changes.
  • Upcoming Events!

We also list events of interest to Dialysis Facilities, Transplant Centers, and staff, on our Facility Calendar, via the link at the top of this page.

Find previous issues at:

11/21 DPC Webinar on Treatment Options

Dialysis Patient Citizens will present a November 21, 2019 webinar on Treatments and Modality Options for Kidney Disease.  For details see below, and register at https://www.dpcedcenter.org/news-events/education-webinars/signup/.