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:

6/30+ COVID-19 Weekly Webinars

A number of organizations have been hosting weekly webinars on COVID-19.  This week:

  • ESRD NCC half-hour “Quickinars” for patients and providers.   Find the latest information, recordings of past Quickinars, and register for current presentations at https://esrdncc.org/quickinars.
      • Tuesday, June 30, 2020, 2-2:30 pm PDT, Quickinar for patients on Surviving and Coping with the Aftermath of COVID-19.
      • Wednesday, July 1, 2020, noon-1:15 pm PDT, Quickinar for providers on Dialyzing Patients in Skilled Nursing Homes During COVID-19.  Co-sponsored by CMS.  1 CEU available.
  • This week’s CMS Stakeholder Engagement Call:

For recordings of past CMS events, see https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Outreach/OpenDoorForums/PodcastAndTranscripts.

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:

6/23+ COVID-19 Weekly Webinars

A number of organizations have been hosting weekly webinars on COVID-19.  This week:

  • ESRD NCC half-hour “Quickinars” for patients and providers, 2-2:30 pm PDT.   Find the latest information, recordings of past Quickinars, and register for current presentations at https://esrdncc.org/quickinars.
      • Tuesday, June 23, 2020 Quickinar for patients on Kidney Patient Financial Help: Before, During, and After COVID-19.
      • Wednesday, June 24, 2020 Quickinar for providers on COVID-19 Dialysis Unit Strategies.
  • This week’s CMS Stakeholder Engagement Calls:

For recordings of past events, see https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Outreach/OpenDoorForums/PodcastAndTranscripts.

6/25 DPC Webinar on Bone Minerals

Dialysis Patient Citizens will present a June 25, 2020 webinar on Bone Mineral Disorder: Calcium, Vitamin D, and Phosphorus and its interactions with Kidney Disease and DIet.  Find more information at https://www.dpcedcenter.org/education-webinar/bone-mineral-disorder-calcium-vitamin-d-and-phosphorus/ and RSVP at https://www.dpcedcenter.org/news-events/education-webinars/signup/.

UM-KECC Survey: Life Goals and Care Team

The University of Michigan KECC is conducting an ESRD Patient Reported Outcomes Quality Initiative Project Patient Life Goals Study, and seeks dialysis patients at least 18 years old to answer a new Survey that asks about your individual life goals and your dialysis facility care team.  Life goals are personal goals that you think are important to achieve, such as having the ability to go to work, go to school, travel, or spend time with family.  The Study aims to improve the odds that your care team will consider your individual life goals in the treatment planning process.  Find an introductory letter and the Survey at https://redcapproduction.umms.med.umich.edu/surveys/index.php?s=DT4N3P48AC.  There’s an easy-to-miss check box at the bottom of this page, which you have to check before the Survey questions appear.  The Survey doesn’t seem to specify an expiration date.

Summer 2020 Network Patient Newsletters

ESRD Networks 16 and 18 have prepared their Summer 2020 patient newsletters.  Major articles and sidebars for summer include:

  • COVID-19: a New World for Dialysis Patients.
  • Telehealth: How to connect virtually with your healthcare providers. 
  • Are you up to date on all your vaccines?
  • How to Report Patient Grievances.
  • How to Get Our Newsletter! and Join Our Blog!
  • Introduction to The KidneyHub.org Mobile Tool (Network 16).
  • Invitation to Get Involved! in helping the Network improve patient care (Network 18).

Find Network 16 patient newsletters, in English and Spanish, at https://nwrn.org/patients-a-family/ptedres/quarterly-patient-newsletter.html.

Find Network 18 patient newsletters, in English and Spanish, at http://www.esrdnetwork18.org/patients/newsletters/.

HDC Post on Telehealth and Home Dialysis

Home Dialysis Central has published a new blog post called Getting the Most out of Telehealth for Home Dialysis Patients, describing what’s covered and what isn’t by COVID-19-related and other laws and waivers, what current facility policies are likely to be, features to be taken advantage of, and tips for success.  Find the post at https://homedialysis.org/news-and-research/blog/363-getting-the-most-out-of-telehealth-for-home-dialysis-patient.