CDC HAN on Coagulopathy

CDC has published a Health Alert Network advisory on vitamin K-dependent antagonist coagulopathy caused by synthetic cannabinoids apparently contaminated with the rodenticide brodifacoum.  While CDC does not report any cases from the West Coast, they advise proceduralists who deal with blood, and others, to be aware of the possibility.  The HAN includes:

  • Recommendations for clinicians, including notifying health authorities, especially in cases where a synthetic cannabinoid user has recently donated blood
  • Recommendations for public health officials, including notifying CDC
  • Recommendations for the general public, including avoiding synthetic cannabinoids

For details see https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00410.asp.

There is no suggestion that natural, non-synthetic cannabinoids are similarly contaminated; these are regulated and legal by state law in all of Networks 16 and 18 except Idaho, and increasingly used for medical purposes.  There is also no suggestion that natural, non-synthetic, non-psychoactive CBD oil made from industrial hemp, which is available throughout the US, is similarly contaminated; however, outside of the regulated marketplace, industrial-hemp CBD oil is unregulated, so the potential for contamination of some kind is always present.

5/2 Grievance Toolkit Webinar

The National Forum of ESRD Networks will present a May 2, 2018 webinar for dialysis facility staff on The Grievance Toolkit: Fostering Communication and Improving Quality.  Continuing education credit will be available for nurses, technicians, and social workers.  Find more information and register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/417211176479162113.  Find copies of the Toolkit in English and Spanish at http://esrdnetworks.org/resources/toolkits/patient-toolkits/dialysis-patient-grievance-toolkit-1.

3/20 New Medicare Card Call

On March 20, 2018 from 11am to noon Pacific Time, CMS will host a Special Open Door Forum to give providers an opportunity to ask questions about the New Medicare Card Project.  Use this call to get answers to your questions, so you are ready to accept the new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier starting April 1, 2018.  For more information see https://www.cms.gov/medicare/new-medicare-card/nmc-home.html.  Address questions to NewMedicareCardSSNRemoval@cms.hhs.gov.

Participation Instructions: participant dial-in number: 800-837-1935; Conference ID #: 4588156.  TTY Communications Relay Services are available for the Hearing Impaired; dial 7-1-1 or 800-855-2880.

A transcript and audio recording will be at https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Outreach/OpenDoorForums/PodcastAndTranscripts.html a few days after the call.

New Medicare Cards News

CMS has updated and expanded their NMC website for providers, at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/Providers/Providers.html to include information on how remittance advices with HICNs or MBIs will be handled.  They’ve also published an NMC Mailing Strategy document, at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/NMC-Mailing-Strategy.pdf.  New cards will be mailed to Alaska, California, and Oregon between April and June 2018, and to Idaho, Montana, and Washington in July 2018 and beyond.

They’ve also published Guidance on how to talk to patients about their new cards, with suggested language to use to keep everyone on the same page and avoid confusion, at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/New-Medicare-Card-Messaging-Guidelines-July-2017.pdf.  The NMC Overview web page at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/index.html has also been updated.

IHS ESRD Reduction

Over the last two decades the US Indian Health Service has reduced kidney failure from diabetes by more than half among Native Americans, using a suite of seven protocols that are summarized at https://wire.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/systems-approach-slashes-kidney-failure-among-native-americans .

11/14 NW18 JBF San Diego Benefit

The John Brockington Foundation will present their 16th Annual Pro Athletes for Life Gala November 14, 2017 in San Diego.  The event celebrates organ and tissue donation and the San Diego kidney and transplant communities, with proceeds to the Foundation’s patient education and patient assistance funds.  For more information on the event and the Foundation, see http://www.johnbrockingtonfoundation.org/ .

CDC Sepsis Resources

In honor of International Infection Prevention Week (October 15-21, 2017), CDC’s Get Ahead of Sepsis program has published four new resources:

For CDC’s page on Get Ahead of Sepsis, see https://www.cdc.gov/sepsis/get-ahead-of-sepsis/ .  For information about International Infection Prevention Week, see http://professionals.site.apic.org/iipw/ .