Right to Self-Cannulate

Home Dialysis Central  has published a thorough summary of the right that a patient has to “be informed about and participate, if desired, in all aspects of his or her care” [42 CFR 494.70(a)(5)], including self-cannulation.  A facility that denies a competent patient the right to be trained to self-cannulate is vulnerable to state survey citation tags V456, V512, and V585.  Find the summary at http://homedialysis.org/news-and-research/blog/214-self-cannulation-a-patient-right-and-cms-expectation-for-interested-and-trained-patients .

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:

Grievance Toolkit in Spanish

The National Forum of ESRD Networks has created a Spanish version of its new Dialysis Patient Grievance Toolkit.  Find it at http://esrdnetworks.org/resources/toolkits/patient-toolkits/dialysis-patient-grievance-toolkit-1 .  It joins the catalog of Forum Medical Advisory Council (MAC) and Patient Toolkits, which now include:

  • Home Dialysis
  • Transitions of Care
  • Medical Director
  • QAPI
  • Medication Reconciliation
  • Catheter Reduction
  • Assurance of Diabetes Care Coordination
  • Vaccination

Find them all, along with the MAC Speaker’s Bureau Brochure, at http://esrdnetworks.org/resources/toolkits/mac-toolkits-1 .

HIPAA FAQ re Loved Ones

The HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has issued a new FAQ clarifying that the HIPAA Privacy Rule permits disclosures to loved ones regardless of whether they are recognized as relatives under applicable law.  The FAQ, while applicable in a variety of circumstances, was developed in large part to address confusion following the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting about whether and when hospitals may share protected health information with patients’ loved ones.  In particular, the FAQ makes clear that the potential recipients of information under the relevant permissive disclosure provisions of the law are not limited by the sex or gender identity of the person.  

In tandem, OCR is updating its existing Guidance on several provisions within the HIPAA Privacy Rule that recognize the integral role that a spouse often plays in a patient’s health and health care.  Consistent with a recent Supreme Court decision, OCR is issuing updated guidance that makes clear that the terms marriage, spouse, and family member include, respectively, all lawful marriages (whether same-sex or opposite-sex), lawfully married spouses and the dependents of all lawful marriages, and clarifies certain rights of individuals under the Privacy Rule.

Find the Guidance and a link to the FAQ at https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/special-topics/same-sex-marriage/index.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 .