DFC Toolkits

Medicare has published a Dialysis Facility Compare Social Media Toolkit brochure in three versions (for patients or consumers, for dialysis facilities, and for physicians) and two languages (English and Spanish).  They provide graphic and text suggestions for sharing and promoting DFC on social media.  Find copies of them at:

4/20 Feedback to CMS

CMS will hold an Open Door Forum feedback session April 20, 2017 in Baltimore MD, with virtual attendance available, on the CMS Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) program, which includes the ESRD Networks.  CMS will be seeking input from stakeholders and the general public about how to implement QIO program goals of maximizing program efficiency while continuing to improve quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries.  For details and registration see https://register.mitre.org/CMS_Special_Session/ .

4/12 CMS Feedback Webex

The CMS Quality Improvement and Innovation Group is hosting a session with Medicare beneficiaries, families, caregivers, and advocates to gather information about healthcare quality improvement integration, gaps, and ideal outcomes, on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at 2pm EDT, which is 11am PDT.  You can join the Webex at https://mitre.webex.com/mw3100/mywebex/default.do?service=1&siteurl=mitre&nomenu=true&main_url=%2Fmc3100%2Fe.do%3Fsiteurl%3Dmitre%26AT%3DMI%26EventID%3D242824642%26UID%3D0%26Host%3DQUhTSwAAAAPoyDgLCLfLHjFHMF3xlLgEaTGbwbt46gcB7K653b4OYK3brFSWysdXI47I6qwFjY4ppqs-YZaENcrmcI4mHSBk0%26FrameSet%3D2%26MTID%3Dm346742cc4264be6c6281a1ac541e94d5 , meeting number or access code 634 491 197, password QIO12SoW.  Or you can call in to 877-668-4490.

You can get Webex help at http://help.webex.com/ .  The CMS QIIG is at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/QualityImp rovementOrgs/Current.html .

1/11 New CfC: 3rd-Party Payment

CMS has published a new rule in the Federal Register pertaining to Conditions for Coverage for ESRD Facilities – Third Party Payment.  Comments can be made until January 11, 2017.  The new Conditions will be effective January 13, 2017.  Because CMS has determined that current practices can significantly harm patients, they have shortened both the public comment period and the effective date of the rule.  Find the new rule at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/12/14/2016-30016/medicare-program-conditions-for-coverage-for-end-stage-renal-disease-facilities-third-party-payment .

Choosing a Facility

We’ve added the November Monthly Patient Bulletin to the Network 16 website.  This issue is all about selecting a facility for dialysis, with an emphasis on Medicare’s Dialysis Facility Compare website, https://www.medicare.gov/dialysisfacilitycompare/ .  If you haven’t gotten a copy of the Monthly Patient Bulletin, you can find one at https://www.nwrn.org/patients-a-family/ptedres/mon.html .

11/1 SSN Removal Call

On November 1, 2016 CMS will hold an Open Door Forum conference call on the removal of Social Security Numbers from Health Insurance Claim Numbers (HICN).  HICNs will be replaced by randomly created Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers (MBIs) starting in 2018.  For more information see https://nwrnbulletins.wordpress.com/2016/09/29/mbi-replaces-hicn/ .  

The call well be held at 11am PDT, 800-837-1935, conference ID 98745631.  For TTY services, dial 800-855-2880.  CMS requests that participants dial in at least fifteen minutes before the scheduled start time.  

CMS has also advised that between now and 2018, all patients and facilities should make sure that their mailing addresses are kept current.  MBIs will be mailed to patients, and facilities will have to ask patients for their MBI.  Patient addresses in the Medicare, SSA, and CROWNWeb databases should all agree, with a correct and complete address to which the US Postal Service delivers.

MBI Replaces HICN

Over the next three years, CMS will replace their traditional Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) patient identifiers with a new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI).  New Medicare Cards will be sent to all Medicare beneficiaries starting in April 2018, and all providers will be expected to have modified their software to accept MBIs by then.  Between April 2018 and December 2019, either the HICN or the MBI will be accepted by CMS.  After December 2019, the HICN will no longer be accepted.  

The MBI will have eleven characters, numbers and upper-case letters only.  A 2015 law (MACRA) requires CMS to remove Social Security Numbers (SSN) from Medicare identifiers.  You may encounter the new acronym SSNRI, for the CMS SSN Removal Initiative.  For more information see https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/SSNRI/Index.html and https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/SSNRI/Providers/Providers.html .