Administration Updates
New Year, New Agreement
All ESRD Networks have been given a 5-year contract by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The contract is effective from January 1, 2016 to November 30, 2020. Subpart U Medicare Regulations require all ESRD facilities to participate in Network activities and pursue Network goals, including quality improvement activities, as set forth by 42 CFR Part 494.180.V772 (i) of CMS regulations. A new Agreement of Participation will be sent to facility Medical Directors for signature in a separate communication.

Emergency/Disaster Reporting Requirements
Regional, local, and facility level events that impact operations of dialysis facilities, or patient access to treatment during normal operating hours,must be reported to both the Network and the State Department of Health within 24 hours of the event. This includes any inclement weather, which alters patient treatment schedules.

The Network is required by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to track the status of facility operations and patient access to treatment during emergency events. 

For more information please visit the Network website or contact the IPRO ESRD Network of New England Patient Services Department for reporting requirements at 203-285-1213.

Patient Services
Reviewing Grievance Logs
In 2016, the Network will be working on a CMS-driven quality improvement activity (QIA) to review and foster the development of robust and complete grievance logs at the facility level. By  improving the consistency of these logs, facility staff can improve provider/patient relationships and be better prepared for a state survey. 

Trending on Facebook

The End Stage Renal Disease Network of New England Facebook page is an interactive community where patients, care partners, and professionals can learn and share information about ESRD.


Check out our most popular posts last month at

  • December 9: High blood pressure (hypertension) and Kidney Disease
  • December 11: The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has marked December 6-12th as National Influenza Vaccination Week
  • December 16: Give Back this Holiday Season: Donate Life America
  • December 29: Hero Boyfriend Gives his Girlfriend a Kidney for Christmas


Patients Speak
The End Stage Renal Disease National Coordinating Center (ESRD NCC), in partnership with the Kidney Patient Advisory Council (KPAC) of the National Forum of ESRD Networks, is pleased to announce the release of the Patients Speak video.

The Patients Speak video was inspired by a request for the KPAC to present a meaningful and patient-centered session at the Forum's 2015 Creating a Culture of Quality Conference. The KPAC collected a sample of comments submitted by ESRD patients, reflecting on their lives with dialysis. During the conference, these thoughts and experiences were read aloud by a panel of KPAC representatives and recorded.
The Patients Speak video can now be viewed by clicking here.

Quality Improvement
2016 Quality Improvement Activities
The IPRO ESRD Network of New England Quality Improvement Department would like to thank you for your efforts in 2015. All projects from 2015 have concluded and no further reporting is required at this time.
The Network looks forward to collaborating on initiatives in 2016. We will be reaching out to you about developing projects in the coming weeks and months. The following is a list of the CMS-driven quality improvement activities for 2016:
  • Facility Grievance Improvement Project
  • ICH CAHPS Quality Improvement Activity (QIA)
  • Vascular Access- Long-Term Catheter (LTC) Focused
  • 2 Healthcare Associated Infection Reduction Projects- Increasing Vaccinations (Hepatitis B and Pneumococcal Pneumonia focused) and Blood Stream Infection Reduction
  • Population Health Focused Pilot Project- Focus TBD
  • Quality Incentive Program (QIP) QIA- Reducing Hypercalcemia Focused
  • National Health Safety Network (NHSN) Improving Data Quality QIA 
These initiatives will be launched between January and April of 2016. Please confirm that your facility contact information, especially e-mail information, is updated in CROWNWeb to ensure that you receive all communications about these projects in a timely manner. Thank you in advance for your participation in Network activities.
Call for Public Comment
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has contracted with the University of Michigan Kidney Epidemiology and Cost Center (UM-KECC) to develop quality measures related to Vascular Access and Access to Transplantation. Measure specifications for four measures have been posted on the CMS site for public comment. The public comment period begins January 6, 2016 and closes on February 5, 2016.
Topics Include Vascular Access and Access to Transplantation.


The CMS public comment page is located here. Please submit all comments to no later than February 5, 2016.
For more information contact Jordan Affholter, Research Area Specialist Associate for the University of Michigan, Kidney Epidemiology Cost Center.

Dialysis Access Course- Register Now!
Massachusetts General Hospital is offering a one-day FREE course detailing fundamental knowledge of dialysis access, with the focus on different varieties of dialysis accesses, how to evaluate dialysis access, and the most common clinical presentations for dysfunctional access and access complications. This course will be given by experienced interventional radiologists, nephrologists, and surgeons from Massachusetts General Hospital as well as national-wide well known interventional nephrologists. This course will also provide some hands-on experiences including ultrasound and tunneled lines. It is open to all dialysis personnel.

Nurses can receive 9.5 credit hours and an application has been submitted to NNCC to be able to provide dialysis technicians credit hours also. There is no charge for this course.
Please register if you would like to attend as depending on response space may be limited. Please fill out the form here and fax it to MGH Vascular Access at 617-643-7409 by January 16, 2016.

Submit Your Patient Safety Best Practices
Have you been working to improve kidney patient safety? Submit your patient safety best practices today to be considered for Renal Physicians Association's (RPA) 2016 Patient Safety Improvement Award. The award, presented at the RPA Annual Meeting , is given to nephrology practices that not only successfully improve patient safety in the dialysis facilities but also promote the goals of the RPA ESRD Patient Safety Initiative.

Best practices should address at least one of the following areas:
  • Hand Hygiene
  • Non-adherence to facility procedures
  • Incorrect dialyzer or dialyzing solution
  • Medication omission or errors
  • Patient falls
  • Venous needle dislodgement
Check out the existing best practices to see what your colleagues are doing to improve patient safety. To be considered for the 2016 ESRD Patient Safety Improvement Award, best practices must be submitted by January 29, 2016.

For questions and additional information please contact Amy Beckrich, Project Manager at or 301-468-3515.

Data Management
Important CROWNWeb Information
As of January 1, 2016, all facilities are required to follow the new CMS Data Management Guidelines. If you are a member of a dialysis facility, you are considered a Tier 1 CROWNWeb Data ManagerPlease see page 52 of the document for a one page list of your CROWNWeb responsibilities along with the new due dates for 2016.

CMS-2744 Annual Facility Survey Schedule:
  • February 15, 2016- Deadline for generating the 2744
  • April 1, 2016- Final Due Date for submission of completed 2744 forms to the IPRO ESRD Network of New England for approval
ACTION NEEDED - Performance Score Reports for Payment Year 2016
The final Performance Score Reports (PSRs) and Performance Score Certificates (PSCs) for PY 2016 became available on December 30, 2015. Click here to access your facility's PSR and PSC.
Please note the following:
  • For Payment Year 2016, facilities are required to post their PSCs in the patient waiting area by Friday, January 22, 2016.
  • Once posted, send an email to Krystle Gonzalez, Sr. Data Coordinator, confirming the PSC has been posted, with the subject line containing you CMS Certification Number and "Posted PSC", example: "070025 Posted PSC"
  • Accessing PSCs:
  1. Go to
  2. Log in End Stage Renal Disease Quality Incentive Program QIMS/ CROWNWeb user credentials  
  3. Enter passcode received via email
  4. Once logged in, go to "My Reports" and then "Run Reports"
  5. Click on "Run Reports" again and the click on "View Reports"
  6. Select "Performance Score Certificate"
  7. Provide required parameters and click submit
  8. Go to "Search Reports" and "Select the Report"
  9. Click on Download
  • Technical specifications, measure analyses, and template documents are available here.

If you need further information or assistance, please contact Krystle Gonzalez at Please note due to a large number of emails and phone calls received by the Network, emails will be answered in the order they are received. We request your patience as we respond to emails during this holiday season.  

Upcoming Meeting & Events
Tuesday, January 19, 2016- ESRD QIP: Payment Year 2019 Final Rule Call hosted by MLN Connects regarding the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Quality Incentive Program (QIP) for Payment Year (PY) 2019
Tuesday, January 26, 2016- IPRO ESRD Program Webinar Please follow the instructions attached here to register! 


Wednesday, January 27, 2016- Bringing QAPI to Life: From Tool to Tangible Results hosted by the National Renal Administrators Association's Webinar Wednesdays


Wednesday, April 27- May 1, 2016- The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) 2016 Spring Clinical Meetings at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, MA.

IPRO End-Stage Renal Disease Network of New England, the ESRD Organization for Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, prepared this material under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents presented do not necessarily reflect CMS policy. CMS Contract Number: HHSM-500-2016-00019C.

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