Quality Insights Renal Network 4 
A Periodic Newsletter from Quality Insights Renal Network 4 | www.qirn4.org
In This Issue
Alerts and Recalls
Quick Links
QIRN 4 Staff
Executive Director
Quality Improvement Director

Jeannette Shrift
Quality Improvement Coordinator
Paul Gordon
Patient Services Director
Patient Services Coordinator
Data Manager
Office Manager
May 1, 2015 
Our Commitment to You
Quality Insights Renal Network 4 (QIRN 4) is committed to providing valuable resources like this e-newsletter that help improve the quality of renal care in Pennsylvania and Delaware. Please contact us with any questions, concerns or suggestions. 
An Important Message from Medicare
The Medicare Fee-For-Service Program has started a three year prior authorization model for repetitive scheduled non-emergent ambulance transports.  Prior authorization is a process through which a request for provisional affirmation of coverage is submitted for review before a service is rendered to a beneficiary and before a claim is submitted for payment. The goal of this program is to ensure that beneficiaries continue to receive medically necessary care while reducing expenditures and minimizing the risk of improper payments.

The new prior authorization process for repetitive scheduled non-emergent ambulance transports began on December 1, 2014 and applies to independently enrolled ambulance suppliers garaged in the states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.

Medicare covers ambulance services only if they are furnished to a beneficiary whose medical condition is such that other means of transportation could endanger a patient's health. The prior authorization model does not change the Medicare ambulance benefit.

If your patient does not qualify for Medicare transportation services there are state and local services that may be able to help.  Beneficiaries, case managers and care givers may receive help locating other transportation services by contacting Eldercare (1-800-677-1116) or your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) at:
  • New Jersey SHIP: 1-877-222-3737,
  • Pennsylvania SHIP: 1-800-783-7067, or
  • South Carolina SHIP: 1-800-868-9095.
Please note that patients who were previously transported by ambulance may now use public transportation services, so they may need assistance entering and leaving your facility.  

Additional information about the model is available at http://go.cms.gov/PAAmbulance.

If you have specific questions that are not addressed on this website please contact AmbulancePA@cms.hhs.gov.

QIRN 4 Gets Social
QIRN 4 is now on Facebook and Twitter. Check out our social media feeds for news and updates regularly. 

Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter
QIRN 4 Website Gets a New Look
The QIRN 4 website recently received a new look. Please visit the new site and check out valuable information and tools to help you improve the quality of care for your renal patients.

Find your facility name and win a pizza party.
As a fun way to get facilities interacting with the new site, we've "hidden" two random facility names in the Providers section of the website. If you find your facility's name listed in the Providers section, please notify us and let us know. You could win a pizza party for your facility staff, courtesy of QIRN 4.
Mark Your Calendars: Upcoming Events
Save the Date: NRAA Annual Fall Conference  
National Renal Administrators Association (NRAA)
Annual Conference  
October 7-10, 2015
Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista
Orlando, FL

Dialysis Facility Medical Directors Symposium 
The National Renal Administrators Association (NRAA) and the Renal Physicians Association (RPA) will collaborate on a workshop for dialysis facility medical directors. With a shared vision and commitment to patient-centered care, the NRAA and RPA will hold the Dialysis Facility Medical Directors Symposium, October 9-10, 2015, in Orlando, Florida. CMEs will be offered during the workshops for physicians seeking to maintain licensure and certification.
The symposium is part of the 2015 NRAA Annual Fall Conference hosted at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista on October 7-10. To find out more information on the Dialysis Facility Medical Directors Symposium and 2015 NRAA Annual Fall Conference please visit the NRAA Meetings Page. More details coming soon. Registration opens in June.

Save the Date: QIRN 4 Annual Meeting 
QIRN 4 Annual Meeting 
October 27, 2015
Seven Springs, PA

NKF Announces Kidney Walk 2015
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) has announced the Kidney Walk 2015. Watch this video to learn more about the walk and how to register.

Webinar Opportunity: Hepatitis C - Know the Facts - Preventing Seroconversions
Join us for "Hepatitis C - Know the Facts - Preventing Seroconversions" on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. Please register prior to this event by following the instructions below.

Registration Instructions:
  1. Click or Copy and Paste this URL to your web browser:  https://qualitynet.webex.com
  2. Locate the "Hepatitis C - Know the Facts - Preventing Seroconversions"
  3. Click on "Register" and enter the appropriate information. Click Submit.
  4. Once approved, you will receive a confirmation email with the meeting information and the registration ID that will be used to log into the WebEx portion of the meeting. Please note, this email may go to your spam or junk folder. It will come from the email address messenger@webex.com.
Please join the event 15 minutes prior to the start time to ensure the automatic system set-up has been properly established.
Attendee Instructions:
  1. Click or Copy and Paste this URL to your web browser:  https://qualitynet.webex.com
  2. Locate the "Hepatitis C - Know the Facts - Preventing Seroconversions" event and click "Join" (located to the right of the event title)
  3. Enter your name and email address as prompted
  4. Enter the password: QIRN3
  5. The automatic system set-up should start at this point. If a dialogue box appears, click run. Please note, the automatic system set-up does take a few minutes to complete.
  6. Dial in to the teleconference. The number is 866-951-1151. The access code is 6534308.
If you have any questions or problems accessing the web portion of this meeting, please call the General Dynamics Information Technology WebEx Helpline at 540-347-7400 x390.

Online Catheter BSI Webinar
A recording of the webinar on Eliminating Blood Stream Infection in Patients with a Dialysis Catheter: A Matter of Life and Death, presented on April 14 by the ESRD Network Coordinating Council, is now available online.  CEs will be available for watching the recording.  Learn more.

Essay Contest: Giving Hope to Folks with CKD
The Renal Support Network presents its 13th Annual Essay Contest on the theme "How have you used your experiences to give hope to others with kidney disease?"  First prize is $500.  Entries are due by August 1, 2015Learn more.

ESRD Patient Orientation Packet (NEPOP)
NEPOPs are the ESRD Patient Orientation Packet that ESRD patients receive containing orientation materials relative to their plan of care. NEPOPs are distributed through a collaborative effort among the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Networks and the Network Coordinating Center (NCC). Download packet information here.

Free CEU Opportunities Through Medscape
Medscape provides thousands of accredited courses across a wide range of topics, making it easy to complete CE credits for licensure. Learn more about these free opportunities.

NHSN Monthly Education Spotlight: Tracking Infections in Outpatient Dialysis Facilities
A leading cause of death among hemodialysis patients, second only to vascular disease, bloodstream and other types of infections are a significant threat to patient safety.

Learn more about tracking infections in outpatient dialysis facilities here

Vascular Access Monthly Education Spotlight: Finding the Best Place for My Access
Kidney patients have the important responsibility of reviewing each of their treatment choice options. Patients should talk with their practitioners or dialysis care team to help decide which is the best choice for them.

If hemodialysis is the best option, a vascular access will need to be made. This is necessary so blood can be cleaned by the dialysis machine.

Learn more about finding the best place for your access (page 6) here. A Spanish version is also available.

Online Patient Conference Calls
The American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) has announced a new patient education conference call in its HealthLine series:
  • Can We Slow the Progression of Kidney Disease? - A variety of ways that may help slow the progression of kidney disease, such as managing risk factors, understanding your condition and the importance of diet and exercise.  May 19, 2015, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. PDT.  
View recordings of previous HealthLine presentations.
Submit Your Emergency Preparedness Articles
Our focus at QIRN 4 is to "Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare." If you have any disaster preparedness articles or links, please e-mail your information to dknight@nw4.esrd.net so it may be posted in our bi-weekly newsletter. 
ESRD NCC Information Exchange
The ESRD Network Coordinating Center (NCC) provides centralized coordination and support for the Medicare ESRD Network program. Each month, the ESRD NCC distributes an e-newsletter, known as the Information Exchange, that compiles the most important information from numerous ListServs and publications related to renal health. 

To sign up to receive this informative newsletter, please contact the ESRD NCC at ncc@ncc.esrd.net or visit the ESRD NCC Web site. You can also check the QIRN 4 website for updates that include material from the Information Exchange.

This bi-weekly e-newsletter will serve as our primary method of communicating important news and updates. We encourage you to visit our Web site for the most up-to-date information or to contact us with questions, comments or suggestions.

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Quality Insights Renal Network 4
 630 Freedom Business Center, Suite 116
King of Prussia, PA 19406
800-548-9205 (patients only) 
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