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 .

Grievance Toolkit

The Kidney Patient Advisory Council (KPAC)  and the Forum of ESRD Networks Medical Advisory Council (MAC) have announced the release of the Dialysis Patient Grievance Toolkit.  This toolkit was written BY PATIENTS and FOR PATIENTS and is intended to help guide dialysis patients through the grievance process.  KPAC acknowledges the help and support of the entire ESRD Network system in creating the Toolkit.  Find it and the other MAC Toolkits at http://esrdnetworks.org/mac-toolkits-1 .

Access to Dialysis; AAKP Meeting

We’ve placed the September 2016 issue of Network Consumer News, the Northwest Renal Network patient newsletter, on the Network 16 website at https://nwrn.org/patients-a-family/ptedres/ncn.html .  This issue covers access to care, involuntary discharge, and Network 16’s grievance process.  This month we’ve included a Spanish edition, a large-print version, a feedback form, and a flyer about the September 23-25, 2016 AAKP National Patient Meeting in Nashville.

For more information on the following details about the AAKP Meeting, see https://www.aakp.org/images/downloads/AAKP_ConvBroch_2016_online.pdf 

  • AAKP is partnering with the Living Kidney Donor Network to present a free September 22, 2016 workshop on Having Your Donor Find You 
  • To arrange for dialysis while in Nashville, schedule it by August 31, 2016
  • To  receive conference rates at the AAKP Meeting hotel, you must reserve your accommodations by August 31, 2016
  • To receive discounted airfare from Southwest Airlines, make reservations by September 7, 2016
  • Continuing Education credits are available for RNs, MSWs, and RDs

NW Poster re Patient Concerns

January’s Network 16 patient poster/flyer has been distributed to facilities.  It covers patient concerns about access to care, grievances, and information about how Northwest Renal Network will respond to any request for assistance.  If you haven’t seen a copy yet, you can find one at https://www.nwrn.org/images/pdf/HelpingNavigateKidneyDisease0116.pdf .  Posters for earlier months are archived at https://www.nwrn.org/patients-a-family/ptedres/mon.html .  If you have questions or suggestions for future Patient Flyers, please contact Network 16 Patient Services Director Lisa Hall at lhall@nw16.esrd.net .