NW18 8/9 POLST Survey

The Coalition for Compassionate Care of California is conducting a survey to better understand the level of interest and engagement in a state-wide electronic Registry of Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST).  POLST is a form that gives seriously-ill patients more control over their end-of-life care, including medical treatment, extraordinary measures (such as a ventilator or feeding tube) and CPR.  Printed on bright pink paper, and signed by both a patient and physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant, POLST can prevent unwanted or ineffective treatments, reduce patient and family suffering, and ensure that a patient’s wishes are honored.  Since it’s designed to be readily available to all healthcare practitioners in any setting or circumstance, electronic availability would promote its purpose.  For more information and a sample of the California form, see https://capolst.org/.  Take the survey, if possible before August 9, 2019, at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3XC2PGX.

6/25 CMS Seeks Comment on Rural Hospital Payment Changes

CMS has proposed that they improve their payments to rural hospitals, in an effort to improve rural health in the US.  While this isn’t directly relevant to ESRD, it will certainly be relevant whenever a kidney patient needs services at a hospital in a rural area.  Find the Proposed Rule and Request for Comment at https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2018-05-07/pdf/2018-08705.pdf, and a Notice of Corrections at https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2018-06-20/pdf/2018-13152.pdf.  Comments are due by June 25, 2019.  For background information see https://www.cms.gov/blog/putting-our-rethinking-rural-health-strategy-action and https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/AcuteInpatientPPS/FY2019-IPPS-Proposed-Rule-Home-Page-Items/FY2019-IPPS-Proposed-Rule-Regulations.html?DLPage=1&DLEntries=10&DLSort=0&DLSortDir=ascending.

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:

8/9+ CW Newsletter, EQRS Training, Town Hall

The August issue of the CROWNWeb Newsletter is now available at http://mycrownweb.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/August_2018_Newsletter_Version_3.4.pdf.  This issue features:

  • Introduction to EQRS
  • August 6-September 5, 2018 QIP Preview Period (including links to handy tools)
  • August 9-10, 2018 EQRS 2.0 training
  • Facility Security Officials
  • May-August 2018 Clinical Closure deadlines
  • August 23, 2018 CROWNWeb Town Hall
  • The usual list of links to important CROWNWeb tools

Fraud Prevention Resources

CMS has published information about helping patients avoid fraud and scams, which may be particularly important with the release of the New Medicare Cards.

Medicare will never call beneficiaries uninvited and ask for personal or private information to get their new Medicare Number and card.  Scam artists may try to get personal information (like their current Medicare Number) by contacting them about their new card.  If your Medicare patient is asked for their information, for money, or someone threatens to cancel their health benefits if they don’t share their personal information, have them call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

The new Medicare Number is also called the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) and is replacing the current Social Security-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) on Medicare health insurance cards.  Medicare will continue to accept the HICN through the transition period; see https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/index.html#target.  Identity theft resources for people with Medicare can be found at https://www.medicare.gov/forms-help-and-resources/identity-theft/identity-theft.html.