6/12+ Infection Control Tools

  • In mid-June 2019 a series of presentations on Infection Control, offering free CME/CE credits to physicians, nurses, and pharmacists, will expire.  CDC and Medscape produced them in 2017 with the intention that they’d be valid for two years.  The six presentations include Risk Recognition, Environmental Services, Medical Equipment, Nonsterile Gloves, Hierarchy of Controls, and Injection Safety.  Find them at https://www.cdc.gov/infectioncontrol/training/cme-info.html.

MEI Primer on ESRD, SSI, SSDI, and Medicare

The Medical Education Institute has written a blog post on Social Security Policies Related to Medicare: A Primer.  It’s really complicated, so it may be more appropriate for a Social Worker than a patient, but if the Primer is this complex, the Reality must be especially daunting – which makes a Primer all the more valuable.  Find the Primer at https://homedialysis.org/news-and-research/blog/307-social-security-policies-related-to-medicare-a-primer.

CDC and CMS Opioid Guidelines

CDC’s comprehensive resources on Applying CDC’s Guideline for Prescribing Opioids: An Online Training Series for Healthcare Providers can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/training/online-training.html.

CMS has published “Myths and Facts” about their new Medicare Part D Opioid Overutilization Policies that became effective effective January 1, 2019 (https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Prescription-Drug-coverage/PrescriptionDrugCovContra/RxUtilization.html).

Myth: “Medicare is forcing all Part D enrollees to taper prescription opioids below a certain amount.”


    • Prescribers and their patients must carefully consider decisions to taper or stop prescription opioids
    • It can be especially challenging to taper opioid use in patients who have been on high dosages of opioids for many years
    • The intent of the new opioid policies is to address opioid overuse without a negative impact on the patient-doctor relationship
    • Medicare Part D opioid policies are not prescribing limits
    • In general they do not apply to enrollees who have cancer; get hospice, palliative, or end-of-life care; or who live in a long-term care facility
    • The new policies encourage collaboration and care coordination among Medicare drug plans, pharmacies, prescribers, and patients to improve opioid management, prevent opioid misuse, and promote safer prescribing practices.

For More Information see:

5/14+ NHSN Help Desk and Training

Help Desk: NHSN is now using a help desk management system for all NHSN inquiries.  Each message will now be assigned a ticket number for tracking.  When you contact NHSN@cdc.gov, you will receive a notification that your incident has been assigned a ticket number and all correspondence on that subject will be tracked by that number.  The appropriate subject matter expert will respond to your message as soon as possible.

Training Needs Assessment: If you have already taken the NHSN Dialysis Event Module Training Needs Assessment, and the survey only allowed you to complete the ‘Demographics’ section, please retake the Assessment, at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DialysisEventTNA, by May 31, 2019.

Training Webinars: NHSN will provide free webinars for new and experienced NHSN users.  CDC subject matter experts will be available to answer your questions about NHSN Dialysis Event Surveillance.

For any of the webinars, Listen-only audio will be available through your computer speakers.  For dial-in audio access, call 303-248-0285 and use Access Code 6393927.  Please contact NHSN@cdc.gov with “Dialysis” in the subject line with any questions.

6/3 EMR Interoperability Comment Period Extension

CMS has announced that the comment period for their Proposed Rules on Interoperability of Electronic Medical Records has been extended to June 3, 2019.  The Proposed Rules are aimed at promoting the ability of different health information technologies to communicate with one another, and at enabling patients to electronically access their health information.  Find the Proposed Rules at https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2019/02/11/hhs-proposes-new-rules-improve-interoperability-electronic-health-information.html.

The extension of the public comment period coincides with release, from the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, of:

For More Information see:

5/22 HSAG Webinar on Dialysis During Disasters

The Health Services Advisory Group will present a May 22, 2019 webinar on Dialysis During Disasters: The KCER Program.  Find more information and register at https://hsagonline.webex.com/mw3300/mywebex/default.do?nomenu=true&siteurl=hsagonline&service=6&rnd=0.7966972207752958&main_url=https%3A%2F%2Fhsagonline.webex.com%2Fec3300%2Feventcenter%2Fevent%2FeventAction.do%3FtheAction%3Ddetail%26%26%26EMK%3D4832534b0000000456969e3e20f1f1940b9e65cd56c9568a782ca4a89f6fee4fd1541f22ca06dc52%26siteurl%3Dhsagonline%26confViewID%3D124175975841833421%26encryptTicket%3DSDJTSwAAAAQNV5M70e-J8VlqfacdON7uct5Kw2Gna-3JdJWrLP2NBw2%26.