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 .

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 .