10/22 HHS Rule to Facilitate Living Donation

The HHS Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has published a Final Rule on Removing Financial Disincentives to Living Organ Donation, effective October 22, 2020.  The Rule aims to reimburse organ donors more appropriately.  Find the Rule in the Federal Register at https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-09-22/pdf/2020-20804.pdf.  Find a discussion of public comments on the Rule and HRSA response at https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-09-22/pdf/2020-20805.pdf.

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:

9/22+ NCC COVID-19 Webinars

The ESRD Network Coordinating Center will present two webinars in their COVID-19 series:

  • September 30, 2020 webinar for providers on Organ Donation – Impacts of COVID-19.  One CEU is available.

For details and registration, and recordings of earlier NCC COVID-19 webinars and “quickinars,” see https://esrdncc.org/en/covid-19/covid-webinars/.

HRSA Webinars on Minority Organ Donation

The HHS Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) Office of Regional Operations will present a webinar in English and Spanish to recognize Minority Donor Awareness Month (see https://www.hrsa.gov/enews/past-issues/2020/august-6/national-minority-donor-awareness-month and https://www.giftofhope.org/nmdam-2020/).  The focus this year is on the Latinx community.  Both versions are free to attend, but prior registration is required.  All who register will receive a link to a recording of the webinar.

For more information, contact HRSAORORegion7@hrsa.gov.

7/21+ NCC Weekly COVID-19 Webinars

The ESRD National Coordinating Center will present two COVID-19 “Quickinars” this week:

  • July 21, 2020 for patients on COVID-19 Information Overload?  Tips for Keeping Your Head Above Water.
  • July 22 for providers on Making Kidney Transplantation Possible During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Both half-hour sessions begin at 2pm PDT.  Find more information and register at https://esrdncc.org/en/covid-19/covid-quickinars/.

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/.

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.

New USPHS Guidelines for Infection and Transplant

The CDC MMWR has published a document entitled Assessing Solid Organ Donors and Monitoring Transplant Recipients for HIV, HBV, and HCV Infection — U.S. Public Health Service Guideline, 2020., describing advances in infection detection and treatment since the previous 2013 edition, with recommendations for organ procurement organizations and transplant centers.  It doesn’t cover COVID-19 organ damage or transmission.  Find the Guideline at https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/rr/rr6904a1.htm?s_cid=rr6904a1_w.

KDIGO-ISN Video Series

KDIGO has released a series of recorded webinars and other presentations from their collaboration with the International Society of Nephrology, including videos of:

  • Update on CKD Mineral Bone Disorder KDIGO Guidelines 2017
  • Diagnosis and Management of Atrial Fibrillation and Heart Failure in Patients with CKD
  • The Kidney and HIV: Implications for Treatment and Prevention
  • Hepatitis C Guideline Update
  • Dialysis Initiation, Modality Choice, & Prescription
  • Coronary Artery & Valvular Diseases
  • Blood Pressure in CKD
  • Glomerular Disease
  • AKI in 2019: What Has Changed since the KDIGO Guidelines in 2012?
  • Blood Pressure and Volume Management in Dialysis
  • Potassium Controversies
  • Kidney Problems in Oncology
  • Clinical Practice Guideline on the Management of Blood Pressure in CKD
  • Kidney Transplantation and Cardiac Disease
  • Clinical Practice Guideline: Diabetes Management in CKD

They plan to add at least four more this year.  Find them all on the KDIGO-ISN YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm7zHM_wBaPbQxRDJwyvqMg/videos.

4/23 ASN Webinar on Transplant & COVID-19

ASN wil present an April 23, 2020 webinar on Challenges in Transplant Program Operations in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Implications for Patients & Referring Providers at 1:30 pm PDT, in which transplant nephrologists will discuss the impact of COVID-19 on kidney transplant programs, patients awaiting transplant, and post-transplant care.  Register at https://www.asn-online.org/store/webinar.aspx?evt_key=7ff6ab2d-d562-44a2-8716-dd6101805ad3&g2w_key=4655990146176221964.