DFC January Update

CMS has announced that new data on the care quality of dialysis facilities is now available on Dialysis Facility Compare (DFC), the website that allows patients and health centers to view and compare quality data about dialysis facilities.  CMS uses this data, organized into a series of measures, to create a 5-Star Rating system that can help patients make educated decisions about where to get their dialysis treatments, as well as to assist them in speaking with their healthcare team regarding their care.

The January revision has updated information for Standardized Transfusion Ratios, Standardized Mortality Ratios, Standardized Hospitalization Ratios, Standardized Readmission Ratios, vascular access types (fistula and catheter), bloodstream infections, hemoglobin management, and the CAHPS survey on in-center hemodialysis patient experience.  The July 2017 DFC data for dialysis adequacy, hypercalcemia, serum phosphorus, and the facility Star Ratings will remain until the next update.

Find DFC at https://www.medicare.gov/dialysisfacilitycompare/#.

If you’re computer-savvy, you can download supplementary DFC data from https://data.medicare.gov/data/dialysis-facility-compare.

AAKP Anemia Questionnaire for Patients

A research study is evaluating a recently developed questionnaire about patient experiences with anemia related to ESRD.  The study, in partnership with AAKP, is being run by ICON, a research consultancy working for Amgen, a biotechnology company.  If you are 18 or older, on dialysis, have anemia related to ESRD, and interested in participating, complete these three steps:

  • Call AAKP representatives Valerie Gonzalez at 813-400-2395 or Tangi Falber at 813-400-2392, who will ask you a few simple questions to see if you qualify
  • Patients who qualify will be asked to have their nurse or physician record their most recent hemogloblin level on a doctor’s note provided to you
  • Complete an online survey

Patients who complete the survey will receive $100.

Patient Education Jan-Feb 2014

Links to previous bulletins about upcoming patient education opportunities:

Don’t neglect the library of recorded AAKP HealthLine webinars on treatment choices, transplant, patient-centered care, coping and depression, sexuality, diet and nutrition, diabetes, hypertension, and anemia.

Patient Newsletter on Facility Performance

The latest Network Consumer News has been mailed to facilities for distribution to patients.  If you haven’t gotten one, ask your facility, or contact the Network (http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/contact.htm).  This issue includes a summary of CMS’s Performance Score Card, notes on Medicare Part D open enrollment, the Affordable Care Act, and New ESRD technologies under development.k  There’s also a Word Search puzzle, and a large print version of the newsletter.  You can find online copies of all of this at http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/P/NCN.htm.