Quality Insights Renal Network 4 
A Periodic Newsletter from Quality Insights Renal Network 4 | www.qirn4.org
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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
August 24, 2015 
Greetings from QIRN 4
Welcome to the August 20 edition of the Quality Insights Renal Network 4 (QIRN4) e-newsletter.  In this issue, take note of updated postable materials, training opportunities, emBRACE Program certification, a contest  and more. We encourage you to contact us with any questions, concerns or suggestions. 
Required Postable Materials Updated to Include New QIRN4 Address
QIRN4 moved to a new location at the end of June, and we have updated that information on all of our required postable materials as well. If you have not already done so, please download the updated materials and post them in your facility. Please contact us with any questions.
QIRN4 Contest Announcement: Hand Hygiene Video
Get your creative juices flowing. QIRN4 is asking your facility to develop a short music video using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Hand Hygiene protocol. The facility with the winning video will receive a tailgate party and the video will be shown during QIRN4's Annual Meeting on October 27th at Sevens Springs Mountain Resort in Seven Springs, PA.  The winning video may also be shared with the entire Network as a fun educational video for staff and patients. The winner will be selected and notified prior to the Annual Meeting.

Contest Rules
  • Make it fun. Videos can be funny, have a catchy original tune, be a parody of an existing song, include lip-syncing to a song, etc. Videos can include one individual or a group from your facility.
  • Keep it professional. All language, music, clothing and dance (if any) must be in accordance with professional behavior.  Due to privacy issues, no patients are allowed to participate or appear in the video. This includes the video background as well. Adhere to CDC protocol.
  • Keep it short. The length of the video must not exceed 4 minutes.
  • Keep it simple. No special equipment is necessary. Shoot this video on your phone, tablet, digital camera or any device that will allow you to upload it to a computer.
  • Submit the video to the Network no later than 5:00 p.m. on September 27th.
Check out the following Hand Hygiene reference documents to help keep you on track.                           If you have any questions, please contact us.
Get Certified through the QIRN4 emBRACE Program
The emBRACE program is a five step Certification Program for dialysis providers to improve patient engagement. Facilities that enroll and complete this program will be recognized by QIRN4 for their exemplary work and best practices. This Network certification will acknowledge the dedication to excel in providing outstanding patient engagement at the facility level. Facilities must complete all steps by October 5, 2015 to receive certification at the QIRN4 annual meeting.

Ready to enroll? For more information, contact QIRN4's Patient Services Director, Paul Gordon at 610-265-2418 ext. 2830. 
Explore Transplant to Host Dialysis Provider Training
Explore Transplant is hosting a Dialysis and Nephrology Provider Training on Thursday, September 17 in Pittsburgh, PA. Download the registration brochure to learn more and register today.
CE Opportunity: National Kidney Disease Education Program
The National Kidney Disease Education Program has updated several modules of its online Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Nutrition Management Training Program.  The Program includes modules on understanding CKD, slowing progression, complications, diet and the transition to ESRD.  CE credits are available.  Learn more.
CMS Releases Pre-Publication Proposed Rule
The Federal Register is scheduled to publish the proposed rule here.

Comment Period:  To be assured consideration, comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. EST on August 25.  Learn more about the specifics for submission of comments.
Living Donor Kidney Transplant Chain is Longest on Record
On August 6 and 7, a living-donor kidney transplant chain that began on December 5, 2013, reached a record milestone of 51 transplants at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). The chain of transplants involved people from 11 states and was started by an altruistic donation from Paula Kok. In all, there have been 102 total surgeries since, which included 51 nephrectomies and 51 transplants. Jayme Locke, MD, surgical director of the Incompatible Kidney Transplant Program in UAB's School of Medicine, said that since Ms. Kok's donation, they have had other altruistic, nondirected donors come forward as well.
CMS Puts ESRD Home Dialysis Policy in Writing
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has added language to its billing guidelines for home dialysis (less than full month) to be consistent with its policy for partial-month, center-based dialysis services.

Medicare contractors have until September 8, 2015, to implement this change in billing guidelines, per CMS Change Request 9265.

Learn more.
Vaccinations for ESRD Patients
immunization When you are on dialysis, you are at a higher risk of getting sick with diseases such as the flu, Hepatitis B, and pneumonia. Your best protection against these diseases is to receive a vaccination. Most dialysis facilities offer vaccinations, or can work with you to find out where you can get them at little to no cost.

Influenza (flu)
Influenza is more commonly known as the flu, and is an acute virus that attacks the nose, throat, and lungs. The flu has symptoms similar to a cold: fever, aches and pains, weakness, coughing, and breathing problems. However, the flu can lead to pneumonia or death. The best way to prevent the flu is to get the flu vaccine every year.

About the flu vaccine:
  • A flu shot will help protect you for the whole flu season (which can last from October through May).
  • Get a flu shot early in the flu season to give it time to work.
  • Each year the flu virus changes, so you need a new flu shot every year-even if you had the flu last year.
  • A flu vaccine can also help to prevent pneumonia.
Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B (HBV) is a serious liver infection caused by a virus. Since HBV is spread through contact with blood or body fluids, dialysis patients are at high risk.

About the Hepatitis B vaccine:
  • Your doctor will test your blood to see if you need this vaccine. If you had Hepatitis B (and you may not know) you don't need the vaccine.
  • A series of 3 or 4 Hepatitis B shots is needed to protect you. Some people may need additional doses.
Pneumonia is a lung infection. It can be caused by a virus, or by a bacteria. Bacterial pneumonia can develop on its own or can develop after a severe cold or the flu. Pneumonia can cause:
  • High fever
  • Cough, shortness of breath
  • Bacteremia (bacteria in the blood)
  • Meningitis (brain infection)
About the Pneumonia (or Pneumococcal) vaccine:
  • There are two types of pneumococcal vaccines available for adults: PPSV23 and aPCV13.
  • Adults with ESRD need to receive both vaccines initially, and then need to be re-vaccinated in five years.
  • Getting a flu vaccine can help prevent pneumonia, but patients with ESRD need to receive BOTH the flu and pneumococcal vaccines.
Vaccination Resources
Featured Resource: Three Important Reasons for Adults to Get Vaccinated
August is National Immunization Awareness Month. Download this resource to learn important reasons for adults to get vaccinated. We encourage you to print the material and distribute it to patients at your facility. A Spanish version is also available.
MLN Connects National Provider Calls
The audio recording and written transcript for the MLN Connects® National Provider Call on ESRD QIP: Proposed Rule for Payment Year 2019 are now available.

Register today for upcoming MLN Connects Calls:
  • Thursday, August 27: Countdown to ICD-10
  • Thursday, September 3: National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care and QAPI
CMS Extends QIP Preview Period: New Deadline is August 31
Earlier this summer, CMS announced the newest release of the QIP measurement reporting and review system.  This system, which will be known as "ESRD QIP 1.0.0," replaces the DialysisReports.org ESRD QIP interface that was discontinued earlier this year. This new system will allow facility administrators and end users to review their facility's QIP score and ask questions before the QIP score is finalized.
CMS is extending the ESRD Quality Incentive Program's (QIP) ongoing Preview Period for Payment Year (PY) 2016 for an additional two weeks, through 5:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, August 31, 2015.
During the "Preview Period" the facility and network staff can review the QIP scores for Payment Year (PY) 2016 as calculated by CMS, compare the score to your own information, and ask any questions about the scores before the scores are finalized.  
To access the new system you had to have had your access set up in advance.  CMS set up three basic types of user roles for this new QIP system.
  • Facility Viewer - This is where multiple people from a facility can have read-only access to the facility QIP measures. Current CrownWeb user accounts will be mapped to the new system with this Facility Viewer role assigned so you do not need to do anything to access the system in this case.
  • Facility POC ("point of contact") -  This is a new and very important role and one that you need to get established in advance. There will only be one person per facility that can be assigned this role. One person may have this role for many different facilities. This is the only person who will be authorized to make inquiries on a score and will be the main contact for the QIP scores. The facility POC can in fact have multiple facilities tied to their single profile. So if you are an administrator for 10 different facilities (or more) you could now be able to access the QIP scores for all of them. This new role requires a set up in advance and the CMS help desk has staffed up to do this for each facility.
  • Network Viewer - This is where Network staff can see various facility scores. Network staff with access to CROWNWeb will also have their accounts automatically mapped to the new ESRD QIP 1.0.0 system.  You'll need to simply update your QIMS profile on-line to include ESRD QIP to your list of applications.

Remember that NRAA hosted three webinars for both members and non-members on Tuesday, June 30, 2015; Monday, July 20, 2015; and Monday, August 3, 2015.  NRAA members can access a recording of one of the presentations on the member resources section (login required).

QIP 1.0.0 Training Materials Now Available
In conjunction with the ESRD NCC, CMS hosted special training calls on July 7 and July 14, 2015, to train the dialysis community on a new user system for the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Quality Incentive Program (QIP). 

Materials from these trainings and related system guidance can be found in the left-hand navigation box of the "ESRD Facilities" page on www.QualityNet.org. Additionally, the ESRD NCC has posted both session recordings under "Renal Professionals" on this page
Too Few Kidney Dialysis Patients Referred for Organ Transplant, Study Finds
A recent study indicated that although kidney transplant is considered the best hope for patients with ESRD, approximately three quarters of ESRD patients aren't evaluated for a possible transplant within the first year of dialysis. Read more about this study from a recent article on www.philly.com. 
Emergency Preparedness Resources

National Preparedness Month: America's PrepareAthon!  

September is National Preparedness Month. This year, we are asking you to take action by making a plan with your community, your family, and for your pets. Plan how to stay safe and communicate during the disasters that can affect your community. We ask everyone to participate in America's PrepareAthon! and the national day of action, National PrepareAthon! Day, which culminates National Preparedness Month on September 30. To participate, form a team for your facility and join the America's PrepareAthon! event.  


2015 Weekly Hazard Themes for National Preparedness Month


Week 1: September 1 - 5 (Flood)

Week 2: September 6 - 12 (Wildfire

Week 3: September 13 - 19 (Hurricane

Week 4: September 20 - 26 (Power Outage) 

Week 5: September 27 - 30 (Lead up to National PrepareAthon! Day on September 30)

Additional Resources  

America's PrepareAthon! - Alerts and Warnings 

America's PrepareAthon! - Safeguarding Valuables 

Wildfire Resources (English) 

Wildfire Resources (Spanish) 

Mark Your Calendars: Upcoming Events
ANNA Fall Meeting 2015  
The American Nephrology Nurses Association (ANNA) will be hosting its annual Fall Meeting October 10-12, 2015 at the J.W. Marriott in Austin, Texas. The ANNA Fall Meeting provides opportunities for nephrology nurses to expand their knowledge, enhance clinical skills and widen professional networks. ANNA is also pleased to offer a special $20 discount code for nurses within QIRN4.

For more information about the ANNA Fall Meeting, please visit www.annanurse.org or download our informational flyer.
National Kidney Foundation Walks Near You 
The National Kidney Foundation's Kidney Walk is the nation's largest walk to fight kidney disease. Held in nearly 100 communities, the event raises awareness and funds lifesaving programs that educate and support patients, their families and those at risk.

Check out these upcoming walks in Pennsylvania and Delaware:

Sunday, October 11: Wilmington Kidney Walk

Sunday, October 11: Philadelphia Kidney Walk

Saturday, October 24: Chester County Kidney Walk 
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: QIRN4 Annual Meeting 
QIRN4 Annual Meeting 
October 27, 2015
Seven Springs, PA

**Don't miss the chance to hear our headline speaker Lori Hartwell, founder of the Renal Support Network.**   
Submit Your Emergency Preparedness Articles
Our focus at QIRN4 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 QIRN4 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
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800-548-9205 (patients only) 
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