NW16/OR Medicare Wildfire Assistance

CMS has prepared a press release summarizing the steps that Medicare has taken in Oregon to help make health care available to wildfire victims, including opening special enrollment periods to allow out-of-season initiations or changes to Medicare coverage, various kinds of assistance to healthcare facilities, and help to displaced dialysis patients.  Find the press release at https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cms-offers-comprehensive-support-oregon-due-wildfires.

9/24 DPC Webinar in Spanish on Blood Sugar

Dialysis Patient Citizens will present a September 24, 2020 Spanish-language webinar on Manejando Mi Glucosa En Sangre Cuando Tengo Enfermedad Renal (Managing My Blood Glucose When I Have Kidney Disease), covering carbohydrates and their effect on blood glucose, how much carbs to eat, and how to avoid high and low blood glucose extremes.  Find more information below, and register for this and future DPC webinars at https://www.dpcedcenter.org/news-events/education-webinars/.

Upcoming DPC webinars include:

  • Things to Know About Medicare Advantage’s First Open Enrollment for Dialysis Patients – October 22, 2020,
  • Looking Out for the Caregiver: Understanding the People Who Care for Dialysis Patients – November 19, 2020,
  • Coping with the Holidays – December 17, 2020.

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.

Winter 2020 Patient Newsletters

We’ve published our Patient Newsletters for Winter 2020.  They feature articles on treatment options, flu shots, grievances, access to care, how to stay informed by the Network, and how to help the Network improve patient care.  Find them at:

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.

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.

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 .