April is National Donate Life Month
National Donate Life Month (NDLM) was instituted by Donate Life America and its partnering organizations in 2003. Celebrated in April each year, NDLM features an entire month of local, regional and national activities to help encourage Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to celebrate those that have saved lives through the gift of donation.


For the 2016 National Donate Life Month artwork, Donate Life America was inspired by the mighty sunflower. It's difficult to overlook their stature and bright color. A sunflower's orangey yellow hue evokes feelings of optimism, warmth and cheerfulness. Often found in fields, they stand confident, sheltering each other and following the light throughout their lives.
 
 
To see how the IPRO ESRD Network Program team celebrated National Donate Life Month please visit our Facebook page.
 
ESRD News and Alerts
FDA Safety Communication:
  • March 30, 2016- The FDA is recommending consumers, businesses, schools, and healthcare providers stop using OxySure Portable Emergency Oxygen System, Model 615 because of several device malfunctions, including ineffective oxygen delivery, and chemical reactions in the canisters that could cause them to explode. Click here to read the full FDA Safety Communication.
FDA MedWatch:
  • April 5, 2016- An FDA safety review has found that type 2 diabetes medicines containing saxagliptin and alogliptin may increase the risk of heart failure, particularly in patients who already have heart or kidney disease. As a result, FDA is adding new warnings to the drug labels about this safety issue. Read the full announcement here. 
  • April 8, 2016- FDA is requiring labeling changes regarding the recommendations for metformin-containing medicines for diabetes to expand metformin's use in certain patients with reduced kidney function. The current labeling strongly recommends against use of metformin in some patients whose kidneys do not work normally. FDA was asked to review numerous medical studies regarding the safety of metformin use in patients with mild to moderate impairment in kidney function, and to change the measure of kidney function in the metformin drug labeling that is used to determine whether a patient can receive metformin. Visit our website to read the full announcement.
  • April 12, 2016- Dexcom Inc. is recalling the Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems because the audible alarm may not activate in the receiver piece when low or high glucose levels (hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia) are detected. Relying on this product for notification of low or high blood sugar could result in serious adverse consequences, including death as the auditory alarm may not sound and users might not be notified of low or high blood sugar. Click here for the full FDA MedWatch announcement


 
 
Quality Improvement
2016 Network Quality Improvement Activities
All 2016 Network quality improvement activities (QIAs) have been launched. If you have any questions about your inclusion in these activities or requirements related to these, please refer to the Network website.
 
Please note that contracts for each project were distributed. For additional information, or to see if your facility is involved in these activities, please refer to the Network website using the links above. If you are included in these activities and have not received this form, please contact the Network Quality Improvement department at quality@nw1.esrd.net.

A Letter from Baxter Healthcare Corporation
Baxter is temporarily increasing monthly allocation targets for the automated peritoneal dialysis (APD) therapy between May 2, 2016 and June 30, 2016.


Over the past few months, APD patient starts were lower than expected. This temporary allocation increase allows the community to accommodate additional patients on therapy, while maintaining continuity of care for existing patients.


Between May 2, 2016 and June 30, 2016 current customers can start 90% of the average monthly gross gains from January to June 2014 or 2 monthly allocation targets per agreement owner, whichever is greater. The additional targets are being equitably distributed across Baxter's existing customer base. Once this period is over, allocation targets will return to their previous levels.


If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact your Baxter sales representative or Baxter Homecare Services at 1-800-284-4060. To read the full announcement, click here.
Strategies to Improve Access Management in Dialysis Patients
The kidney care community has long focused on the importance of vascular access because there is consensus on the direct link between a patient's vascular access type and overall clinical outcomes and costs of care.  Clinical outcomes and quality of care reached a new level of prominence in 2015 with the late-January launch of the Five-Star Rating System by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.


Vascular access (percentage of arteriovenous fistulas, AVFs, and percentage of catheters in use after 90 days) is a key clinical metric in the Five-Star program and also impacts other metrics (e.g., mortality rates and hospitalizations).


The kidney care community has long focused on the importance of vascular access because there is consensus on the direct link between a patient's vascular access type and overall clinical outcomes and costs of care.


To read the full article in Nephrology News and Issues, click here.

Free Webinar: Effective Communication and Coordination of Care
The Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program will be holding the next installment of its free "Sharing Knowledge, Improving Health Care" learning series on Tuesday, May 3, 2016, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. EDT.
 
The virtual training session is open to for beneficiaries, families, providers, practitioners, partners and Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIO), and will feature guest presenters Traci Archibald, CMS, Jane Brock, MD, Telligen and Angela Lucente Prokop, Southwestern Pennsylvania Area Agency on Aging.
 
For more information please see this webpage. Register for the training here.


Nephrology Nurses to Gather in Louisville
Nurses seeking to enhance their nephrology practice and make new professional connections will gather during Derby Week for the American Nephrology Nurses Association (ANNA) 47th National Symposium in Louisville, KY.
 
The meeting, which is a premier education event for the nephrology nursing specialty is slated for May 1-4, 2016, and will be held at the Marriot Louisville and Kentucky International Convention Center. Along with a wide variety of education sessions and networking opportunities, the attendees will enjoy the most energized week of the year  in Louisville as well as Derby-inspired special events.
 
Visit the ANNA Symposium website for more information and to register for this event.
 
Patient Services
New Approaches to the Challenging Patient
Whether you are a medical director, facility administrator, social worker, or admissions specialist working in a dialysis facility, it's likely that at some point a packet of information on a new patient has come across your desk and caused you great concern...
 
Click here to read the full article titled "In search of a dialysis unit: An innovative approach in addressing patient placement challenges", written by Evan Smith, LMSW, MBA, Patient Services Director for the IPRO ESRD Network Program published in Nephrology News and Issues.
Network Patient Advisory Committee- Watch Our New Video!
The IPRO ESRD Network Program is excited to announce the release of a new informative video about the Patient Advisory Committee (PAC). This video discusses how patients can get involved in the PAC and what being a PAC member means. The IPRO ESRD Network of New England's Patient Advisory Committee (PAC) is comprised of ESRD patients, transplant recipients, care partners, and family members.



Click here to view our new PAC Volunteer Video presented by IPRO.


For more information about the Patient Advisory Committee visit our website!

 
Data Management
CMS Uses CROWNWeb for Reporting Depression and Pain
An article published in Renal & Urology News discusses depression and pain assessment documentation in CROWNWeb and provides an overview of the decision tree users should use when reporting pain assessments and follow-up data to CROWNWeb.


Click here to read the full article in Renal & Urology News.

 

For more information about Quality Incentive Program (QIP) and CMS measures, visit www.cms.gov.

 

 
Registration Now Open: Network Technician Meeting
This year IPRO ESRD Network of New England will be hosting an educational meeting for technicians in the New England region. The meeting will be one full day with one location option.This educational meeting will be focused around technicians and will provide 7.8 continuing education units (CEUs) as well as an opportunity to learn and collaborate with others from the area.
  • Where: Sheraton Hotel in Portsmouth, New Hampshire
  • When: Thursday, June 2, 2016, 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Click here to register! 
This program has been submitted to the National Association of Nephrology Technicians/Technologies (NANT) and has been approved for 7.8 CEUs.  


For more information including topics for the day and registration information please visit our website at esrd.ipro.org/events/


 


 
Upcoming Meeting & Events
April 27- May 1, 2016- The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) 2016 Spring Clinical Meetings at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, MA.
 
May 1- May 4, 2016- ANNA National Symposium, Nephrology Nursing event at the Marriot Louisville & Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, KY.
 
Tuesday, May 10, 2016- Vascular Access Webinar, presented by the IPRO ESRD Network Program
 
Thursday, May 19, 2016- Renal Roulette 2016, hosted by Southern New England Chapter of ANNA at Mohegan Sun Casino, Cabaret Theater, Uncasville, CT.
 
Thursday, June 2, 2016- Educational Technician Meeting, hosted by IPRO ESRD Network of New England at the Sheraton Hotel in Portsmouth, NH.


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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