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News and Events

See current news.

Free WebEx on patient centered care (2/27/2014)

Network 8 is offering a free Webinar on March 20, focused on patient centered care. The webinar will teach you how to make your facility more patient centered and the impact of patient centered care on patient outcomes and professional satisfaction. This webinar is free and CEUs have been applied for! Please make plans for you and your staff to attend. Click here for more information.

2013 Dialysis Facility Reports have been posted (8/29/2013)

Facilities may submit comments about their Reports from August 29, 2013 (12:01 AM ET) through September 22, 2013 (5:00 PM ET).

Immunization Webinar (1.0 free CEs) (9/8/2014)

The ESRD Network Coordinating Center (NCC) is offering a National Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI) Learning and Action Network Event, "Aiming for 100%: What You Should Know to Increase Your Patient's Willingness to Take the Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccines."

The webinar will be held on September 30, 2014 at 1:00 - 2:00 PM ET and is available free of charge. Registration for the event is online at https://qualitynet.webex.com, National HAI LAN Event: Immunization. Nurses and technicians can receive 1.0 Ces through the Northwest Renal Network (Network 16), provider # CEP 16217, which is certified through the California Board of Registered Nurses.

Please email questions to: Vicky Cash, Assistant Director of Quality Management, at vcash@ncc.esrd.net.

Presentation on "Previewing Your Facility's Payment Year 2015 Performance Data" (8/5/2014)

On July 16, CMS hosted a National Provider Call entitled "Previewing Your Facility's Payment Year 2015 Performance Data". Click here to view the slides from this call.

Presentation on "Dialysis Facility compare Star Ratings System" (8/5/2014)

On July 10, CMS hosted a National Provider Call on the new Dialysis Facility Compare Star Ratings System. The new Star Rating will be publicly reported on DFC starting in October 2014. Click here to view the slides from this call.

Annual meeting registration now open (7/29/2014)

Online registration for the 2014 Network 8 Annual Meeting and Tennessee Renal Symposium is now open on the Tennessee Kidney Foundation website. You can also click here for a copy of the meeting brochure and registration information. We look forward to seeing you in September in Nashville!

New issue of Vaccinate Adults available online (7/15/2014)

New issue of Needle Tips available online (7/15/2014)

Annual Meeting program line-up and hotel information announced (6/30/2014)

Network 8 and the Tennessee Kidney Foundation will combine efforts to produce the 2014 Network 8 Annual Meeting and Tennessee Renal Symposium at the Nashville Airport Marriott on September 24-26. The theme for this year's meeting is Engagement at Work: Partnering with Patients.

Presentations will include, "The Magic of Engagement", "What Is My Patient Saying?", "What Does a Vascular Access Center Do?", "Practicing Social Work in a Business Culture", and "Acceptance and Commitment." Other content with speaker commitments will include sessions on ethics, home therapies, infection control, vascular access & cannulation, adherence issues, social work and spirituality, and wound healing.

A multidisciplinary panel will provide updates on the latest in transplantation, and back by popular demand will be a panel designed to let the audience see the world of ESRD through the eyes of patients. Additionally, a CROWNWeb data workshop will be offered on Wednesday, September 24th from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. prior to the opening reception at 5:30.

Conference faculty will include internationally known speaker, Bruce Lee, Dori Schatell of Medical Education Institute, Dr. Marion Kainer of the Tennessee Department of Health, Leanne Peach, Mary Rzeszut, Mark Meier, Cathi Martin, Jonathan Hartsell, Bobby Inman and many more!

The hotel room block deadline is September 9, 2014. When making reservations, please refer to the Tennessee Kidney Foundation (code TKF) for your special rate of $139.00 per night. Any reservations made after the deadline may result in no room available or a higher room rate. For reservations, call 1-800-228-9290, or dial 615-889-9300 and ask for reservations. You can also make reservations online by clicking here.

Check back soon for our meeting brochure which will include additional meeting details.

ESRD Quality Incentive Program: Reviewing Your Facility's PY 2015 Performance Data - Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM(Americas) Central Time (US & Canada) (6/19/2014)

Description
During this MLN Connects™ National Provider Call, CMS experts will give a presentation on the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Quality Incentive Program (QIP). The ESRD QIP is a pay-for-performance initiative that ties a facility's quality scores to a payment percentage reduction over the course of a payment year (PY). On July 15, 2014, each dialysis facility will have access to a preliminary PY 2015 Performance Score Report (PSR) that "previews" how well it scored on the quality measures that CMS will use for determining any payment reductions.

This MLN Connects Call will focus on the steps dialysis facilities need to take to review the data CMS will use to evaluate performance as part of the PY 2015 program. After the presentation, participants will have an opportunity to ask questions of subject matter experts.

Click here to register.

ESRD Quality Incentive Program: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for PY 2017 and 2018 - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM Central Time (6/19/2014)

Description
During this MLN Connects™ National Provider Call, CMS experts will give a presentation on the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Quality Incentive Program (QIP). The ESRD QIP is a pay-for-performance quality initiative that ties a facility's performance to a payment reduction over the course of a payment year (PY). This MLN Connects Call will focus on the upcoming ESRD Prospective Payment System (PPS) proposed rule with 30 day comment period, which includes rules for operationalizing the ESRD QIP in PY 2017 and PY 2018. A question and answer session will follow the presentation giving participants an opportunity to ask questions of subject matter experts.

Click here to register.

2014 DFR Technical Instructions (6/9/2014)

CROWNWeb Downtime (5/20/2014)

In order to implement some enhancements to CROWNWeb (Release 4.4), the system will undergo three separate maintenance windows beginning May 23, 2014. The maintenance windows will have different impacts and will last for different lengths of time. Please see the information below:

Date and Time Update Actions Estimated Timeframe System Impact
May 23, 2014 (8:00 PM ET) Index Data and Create Table spaces 9 hours Degraded performance during update; system will continue to be available
May 27, 2014 (6:00 PM ET) Deploy Code Release and update Oracle database engine 8-10 hours System will be unavailable
May 30, 2014 (8:00 PM ET) Database partitioning 60 hours System will be unavailable. Expected availability is June 2, 2014 at 6:00 AM (ET)

Music City to host 2014 Network 8 Annual Meeting and Tennessee Renal Symposium (5/16/2014)

We are pleased to announce that Network 8, Inc. and Tennessee Kidney Foundation will be jointly sponsoring the 25th Network 8 Annual Meeting & Tennessee Renal Symposium on September 24, 25, & 26 at the Nashville Airport Marriott. The opening reception will be on the evening of the 24th, and the day and a half program begins the next day. Topics and speakers will be announced at a later date on our website and in a brochure mailing. Please mark your calendar, and check back soon for updates!

CROWNWeb Downtime (4/30/2014)

The QualityNet Identity Management Systems (QIMS) will be unavailable on Thursday, May 1, 2014 beginning at 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM EST. This outage is due to a new version of QIMS being deployed to the production environment. CROWNWeb, DDST and QIMS applications will not be able to be accessed during this event.

FMCNA Advises/Suggests Changes in Disinfection Procedures for 2008T, 2008K2 and 2008K Dialysis Machines (4/18/2014)

New Issue of Vaccinate Adults Available Online (4/3/2014)

New Issue of Needle Tips Available Online (4/3/2014)

"End-Stage Renal Disease Prospective Payment System" Fact Sheet - Revised (3/11/2014)

The "End-Stage Renal Disease Prospective Payment System" Fact Sheet (ICN 905143) was revised and is now available in downloadable format. This fact sheet is designed to provide education on the End-Stage Renal Disease Prospective Payment System. It includes the following information: background, transition period, payment rates for adult and pediatric patients, outlier adjustments, home dialysis, laboratory services and drugs and biologicals, patient deductible and coinsurance, and End-Stage Renal Disease Quality Incentive Program.

CROWNWeb Downtime Scheduled (2/24/2014)

CROWNWeb will be unavailable starting 8:00 PM EST until Midnight on Tuesday, February 25, 2014. This downtime is to allow the engineering team to deploy a new revision of CROWNWeb - 4.3.4.

Extension of Comment Period for CMS Proposed Emergency Preparedness Conditions of Participation (2/20/2014)

CMS has extended the comment period for its proposed rule regarding emergency preparedness conditions of participation (CoPs) and conditions for coverage until March 31, 2014. Please click on this link for CMS's announcement of the extension.

Payment Year 2016 QIP Presentation (2/20/2014)

On January 15, CMS hosted a National Provider Call on the ESRD Quality Incentive Program which provided a detailed view of clinical and reporting measures and the scoring methodology for performance year 2014. Click here to view the presentation.

RPA Announces FREE Toolkit from the Shared Decision-Making Guidelines (2/5/2014)

Shared Decision-Making in the Appropriate Initiation of and Withdrawal from Dialysis: Clinical Practice Guideline, 2nd. Ed.

RPA's revised clinical practice guideline provides 19 new and revised recommendations for initiating, withholding and withdrawing dialysis in adult and pediatric patients with AKI, CKD, or ESRD. The guideline represents consensus expert opinion informed by ethical principles, case and statutory law, and systematic review of research evidence. The complete guideline publication is free to RPA members, and the non-member price has been reduced to $40. Additionally, there are FREE downloads that include the Recommendations Summary and the Toolkit Section of the Shared Decision-Making Guideline.

See http://www.renalmd.org/catalogue-item.aspx?id=682 for more information.

Kidney Allocation System changes announced (1/24/2014)

A focal point for UNOS this year is educating transplant and donation professionals about the changes coming to kidney allocation at the end of 2014. The new kidney allocation policy was designed to improve outcomes for kidney recipients and increase the use of available kidneys. The chair of UNOS' Policy Oversight Committee recently answered questions about the upcoming changes in this interview on her hospital's blog.

UNOS will provide resources that transplant professionals can use to help educate both their patients as well as other medical professionals who work in dialysis and treat kidney disease. All resources will be available online as they are developed, including a brochure for patients explaining what will change. A list of some of the professional education sessions that start later this month may be found through TransplantPro at: http://transplantpro.org/education-on-the-new-kidney-allocation-system-is-a-focus-for-2014/.

If you have specific questions about the kidney allocation system, contact a UNOS Regional Administrator. For questions regarding education and training that will be provided, you may contact UNOS Instructional Innovations at education@unos.org or call Kimberly Taylor, Curriculum Development Instructor, at 804-782-4098.

CROWNWeb Downtime (1/23/2014)

CROWNWeb will be unavailable starting 8:00 PM EST until Midnight on Thursday, January 23, 2014. This downtime is to allow the Engineering team to deploy a new revision of CROWNWeb - 4.3.3.

Important NHSN Reminders for Outpatient Hemodialysis Facilities (1/10/2014)

  • 2013 Dialysis Event data must be reported by April 15, 2014
  • Beginning January 2014, outpatient dialysis facilities will be required to report 12 months of dialysis event data into NHSN. Outpatient dialysis facilities will have three months after the end of the quarter to submit data to NHSN. For example, Q1 data (January - March 2013) will be due on June 30, 2014.
  • The 2014 Outpatient Dialysis Center Practices Survey will be available with the NHSN release scheduled for January 25, 2014. The 2014 Survey cannot be entered into NHSN until after the NHSN release scheduled for January 25. Please do not attempt to complete the Dialysis Survey until after January 25, 2014.
  • The 2014 Outpatient Dialysis Center Practices Survey should be based on data from the first week of February 2014 and must be completed before the first week of May 2014 in order to continue reporting.

Temporary Facility Closure - DaVita Memphis North (1/7/2014)

As of 1/7/2014, DaVita Memphis North is temporarily closed due to flooding from burst water pipes. Patients are being routed to other dialysis units in Memphis. If you are a dialysis patient and need to locate an alternative dialysis center, please call the DaVita Patient Hotline at 1-800-400-8331.

CROWNWeb Downtime (12/18/2013)

CROWNWeb will be unavailable starting 8:00 PM EST until Midnight on Thursday, December 19, 2013. This downtime is to allow the Engineering team to deploy two new revisions of CROWNWeb - 4.3.1 and 4.3.2.>

CROWNWeb Downtime (12/16/2013)

CROWNWeb will be unavailable starting 6:00 PM EST on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 through 2:00 AM EST on Wednesday, December 18, 2013. This downtime is to accommodate the deployment of a new version of NwHIN 2.1, CROWNWeb 4.3 and a COGNOS Upgrade.

Network 8 Weather Alert: Winter Storm Information (12/6/2013)

Winter storms are expected to impact a large portion of Network 8 through the weekend. Tennessee and Northwest Mississippi are expected to see significant ice accumulations, a mix of wintery precipitation, and strong winds that can cause power outages, downed trees, and dangerous driving conditions.

Network 8 would like to encourage patients and providers to monitor your local news and weather, remain aware of updated advisories, and review your emergency response plans.

The following are useful links that may be beneficial to patients and providers:

If you are a patient in need of assistance, click here for a list of End Stage Renal Disease toll-free phone numbers.

After the storm, facilities should contact the Network at 601-936-9260 to advise if your facility is not operational, or if you are unable to locate any of your patients.

RPA Invites Applications for Patient Safety Improvement Award (12/6/2013)

Have you been working to improve kidney patient safety? Submit your patient safety best practices today to be considered for RPA's 2014 Patient Safety Improvement Award. The award, presented at the RPA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, is given to nephrology practices that not only successfully improve patient safety in the dialysis facilities where they provide renal replacement therapy but also promulgate the goals of the RPA ESRD Patient Safety Initiative.

Best practices should address 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
  • To be considered for the 2014 ESRD Patient Safety Improvement Award, best practices must be submitted by January 24, 2014.

Notice from CMS: End-Stage Renal Disease Quality Incentive Program Payment Year 2016 Final Rule - Registration Now Open (12/5/2013)

CMS will host an MLN Connects Call™ on the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Quality Incentive Program (QIP) on Wednesday, January 15, 2014.

Call agenda:

  • ESRD QIP legislative framework and how it fits in with CMS strategies to improve quality
  • Changes reflected in the final rule based on public comments
  • The final measures, standards, scoring methodolgy, and payment reduction scale that are applied to the PY 2016 program
  • How the PY 2016 program compares to PY 2015
  • Where to find additional information about the program
  • Questions and answer session

Registration will close at 12:00 p.m. ET on the day of the call or when available space has been filled. Click here to register.

New issue of Vaccinate Adults available online (11/26/2013)

New issue of Needle Tips available online (11/26/2013)

CMS Finalizes Quality Incentive Program Policies for End-Stage Renal Disease Prosepective Payment System for Payment Year 2016 (11/25/2013)

CROWNWeb Maintenance (11/13/2013)

CROWNWeb will be unavailable beginning at 8:00PM EST through 11:00PM EST on Thursday, November 14, 2013 to accommodate deployment releases for CROWNWeb 4.1.7/4.1.7.1.

New continuing education courses from Medical Education Institute (10/11/2013)

The purpose of Kidney School Continuing Education courses is to educate renal professionals about the medical and psychosocial impacts of end-stage renal disease, as well as patients' experience of coping with this chronic condition.

Each module is approved for 1 contact hour of CE credit; there is a fee of $10 per contact hour. Click here for more information.

Announcing A New Webinar Event - Outbreaks of Bloodstream Infections Associated with Unsafe Injection and Medication Practices (10/3/2013)

Since 2001, over 35 outbreaks of bacterial bloodstream infections and viral hepatitis related to the use of improper injection and medication handling practices have occurred in the United States. These outbreaks have resulted in hundreds of patients becoming infected and over 100,000 persons being exposed to unsafe injection practices. How can these infections and exposures be prevented?

This program, presented by Marcia Patrick, MSN, RN, CIC, consultant, educator, and part-time surveyor for the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, will review several of these outbreaks and describe how transmission of infection occurred. She will discuss how healthcare workers can identify situations where unsafe injection practices are being performed and what actions they should take to provide a safe healthcare environment. The speaker will also discuss practical strategies that can be used to help ensure that safe injection and medication practices are followed and identify resources that can be used to promote safe injection practices.

Questions will be welcomed from all viewers during a Question and Answer session following the presentation when Marcia Patrick will be joined by Gwenda R. Felizardo, BSN, RN, CIC.

This webinar event lasts approximately one hour and fifteen minutes.

Two Dates for this Special Live Webinar with Extended Q&A Session:

  • Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 12 pm EST
  • Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 2 pm EST

Learn More and Register

Network 8 Weather Alert: Tropical Storm Karen (10/3/2013)

On Thursday, the National Hurricane Center issued a Hurricane Watch for much of the U.S. Gulf Coast, including the coastal regions of Mississippi and Alabama. A Hurricane Watch is generally issued 48 hours in advance of the onset of tropical storm force winds, and it means that hurricane conditions are possible within the specified area. Hurricanes and tropical storms can also produce inland flooding due to heavy rains.

Network 8 would like to encourage patients and providers to monitor your local news and weather, remain aware of updated advisories, and review your emergency response plans.

The following are useful links that may be beneficial to patients and providers:

Following the storm, facilities should contact the Network at 601-936-9260 to advise if your facility received damage or if you are unable to locate any of your patients.

CROWNWeb Downtime (10/1/2013)

Due to the deployment of a QualityNet Identity Management System (QIMS) upgrade, the CROWNWeb and QIMS applications will be unavailable on Thursday, October 3, 2013 beginning at 8:00PM EST through Midnight EST.

New tools for dietitians (9/27/2013)

The National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP) has developed a suite of materials to help dietetic educators teach students and interns about nutritional interventions for chronic kidney disease patients. Click here to read more about these materials.

Network Council Officer results announced (9/26/2013)

Facility representatives at Network 8 facilities have elected a new slate of officers to serve from 2013-2015:

    Karen Bush, LGSW, Chair
    Facility Affiliation: Dialysis Clinic, Inc., Evergreen, Alabama
    Current Position: Social Worker

    Lorrie Haggard, RN, CDN, Vice-Chair
    Facility Affiliation: FMC Winona, Mississippi
    Current Position: Clinical Manager

    Lloyd Smith, RN CEN CCRN, Secretary
    Facility Affiliation: Kidney Center of Cleveland, Tennessee
    Current Position: Nurse Manager

The election process concluded September 24, and the new officers will begin their terms in November. Current officers are Glenda Barnett-Streicher, Brenda Lee, and Deirdre Joseph.

Webinar to focus on Healthcare Acquired Infections (HAIs) (9/16/2013)

Network 8's HAI Learning & Action Network will host a webinar on Preventing Bloodstream Infections in Dialysis Patients on September 19, 10:00-11:00am CDT. Click here to register online.

Dr. Priti Patel, MD, MPH, a medical officer who serves as the Dialysis Activity Leader within the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will present on the topic. In her 11 years at CDC, Dr. Patel has supervised multiple outbreaks of healthcare-related infections and other adverse events in dialysis centers and has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and other scientific publications. Dr. Patel currently leads the CDC's surveillance, prevention, and response activities related to dialysis patient safety. She oversees the Dialysis Event Surveillance system in NHSN and is a co-founder of CDC's Dialysis Bloodstream Infection Prevention Collaborative.

Those unable to attend the live session may check our news page a couple of weeks afterward for a link to the recorded session.

New issue of Vaccinate Adults available online (9/16/2013)

New issue of Needle Tips available online (9/16/2013)

Register Now for Cincinnati Vascular Access Symposium Sept 26 -28 (9/11/2013)

Now is the time to register online for the Cincinnati Vascular Access Symposium 2013, to be held on September 27-28, for physicians, nurses and technicians. There is also a Pre-Course on September 27 designed for dialysis nurses and technicians.

For complete agendas and online registration, visit: http://www.therenalnetwork.org/home/2013CinciHemoWkshp.php

  • September 26: Pre-Course Morning Session: view surgeons in the lab setting reviewing the anatomy of the arm and creation of vascular access through use of cadaver arms (2 credit hours).
  • September 26: Pre-Course AfternooSession: classroom session with emphasis on communication for surgeons, nephrologists and nursing staff (3.5 credit hours).
  • September 27 & 28: Vascular Access Symposium. The Symposium will offer multiple sessions addressing vascular access strategies to improve performance scores for the QIP while improving patient care; reducing catheter complications; best practice discussions to reduce hospital readmissions; and future trends in hemodialysis access (13 credit hours for nurses/technicians, 13 hours of continuing medical education for physicians and advanced practice nurses).
  • Presentations will include:

    Barry Straube, MD, Former Chief Medical Officer of CMS and Director at The Marwood Group - "Who Will Pay the Bill? ACO's, ESCO's, Bundling and Vascular Access"

    Jay Wish, MD, Medical Director, Medical Quality - University Hospitals Case Medical Center - "It's All About Process of Care: Industry, Health Care Providers, Quality Care Organizations, and Patients"

    Marc Glickman, MD, FACS, Vascular Surgeon, Sentara Vascular Specialists - "Promoting AVF Maturation - Surgery versus Angioplasty" and "Acuseal Early Cannulation Grafts"

    Surendra Shenoy, MD, PhD, Professor of Surgery - Washington University School of Medicine - "Developing a Holistic Patient Centered Approach for Individualization of Vascular Access"

    Ken Abreo (LSU) and Monnie Wasse (Emory) will battle it out on Balloon Assisted Maturation.

    The Cincinnati Hemodialysis Vascular Access Symposium 2013 is presented by the University of Cincinnati, Departments of Surgery and Medicine, in partnership with The Renal Network. Drs. Rino Munda and Prabir Roy-Chaudhury, co-chairs.

CROWNWeb Downtime Notification (9/10/2013)

Due to the deployment of CROWNWeb 4.1.6 to production, the CROWNWeb application will be unavailable on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 beginning at 8:00PM EST through 11:00PM EST for application updates.

Renal Update registration now open (9/6/2013)

Registration for the John D. Bower Renal Update Conference is now live on Cvent. To register, click here and enter your information. Credit cards are accepted. The tentative agenda is linked here for your review. You will be asked to select the break-out sessions you will be attending at the time you register. CE's have been applied for.

The Network 8 Board of Directors, Medical Review Board, and Council officers will be registered through a different process and will be contacted separately.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call Brenda Dyson at (601) 813-0748.

Network 8 Endorses Renal Update conference (8/26/2013)

The Network 8 board of directors has endorsed Renal Update (the John D. Bower Renal Medicine Conference) to be held in Jackson, Mississippi on November 14-15, as a substitute for the Network's annual meeting.

The meeting is sponsored by the Continuing Health Professional Education Department of the University of Mississippi Medical Center and features a strong clinical program. Due to regulatory issues that could not be resolved in time for planning, Network 8 will not hold an annual meeting this year.

Network Council officers, along with a number of board members and Network staff will attend the meeting. All facility staff who attend the Network 8 annual meeting are cordially invited to join us for this excellent conference.

For registration information, click here and scroll down to the November schedule. The full fee for the 2-day conference registration is $100.00. The conference will be held at The University of Mississippi Medical Center Conference Center at the Jackson Medical Mall, Thad Cochran Center, Jackson, Mississippi.

Topics for the symposium include: "Multidisciplinary Approach to Patient Centered Care", "Who Makes a Good Transplant Patient", "Urgent PD", "ESRD Conditions for Coverage and Addressing Difficult Situations", "Whose Life is it Anyway", "Maintaining Balance: The Ups and Downs of Fluid Management", "Water for Dialysis", "Dual Pathways of Vitamin D", "Hypertension Management", "What Social Workers Need to Know about the State Survey Process", "Access for Dialysis: Prevention and Intervention of Complications", "Influences on Appetite", "Street Drugs Epidemic", "The Impact of the Affordable Care Act", "Emotional Intelligence", and others.

The brochure will be linked to the Network 8 website when it is available.

The conference hotel is The Hilton Jackson at 1001 East County Line Road, (601-957-2800). A special conference room rate of $119 per night is available when you mention Renal Update or UMC Renal Medicine conference.

For shoppers coming to the meeting, the state's largest outlet mall will hold its grand opening the week of the meeting. For a list of retail stores, click here. The development is on the outskirts of Jackson and is in close proximity to Bass Pro Shop and Sam's.

ESRD Quality Incentive Program (QIP) (8/22/2013)

Have a question about the ESRD QIP? Click here for the answer from CMS!

DOPPS to discuss latest data (8/22/2013)

NNI reports that the Dialysis Options and Practice Patterns Study Program will host a web conference Sept. 5 at 3:00 PM to discuss emerging trends in DOPPS Practice Monitor (DPM) data through April 2013.

This web conference will be moderated by Mark Neumann from Nephrology News and Issues. DPM investigators will be available to answer your questions about emerging trends in hemodialysis care.

Continuing education credits will be offered for this session. Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider No. CEP 14961 for 1 contact hour.

Register for this Event.

Downtime for CROWNWeb (8/20/2013)

Due to the deployment of the CROWNWeb Version 4.1.5 to Production, the CrownWeb application will be unavailable on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 beginning at 8:00 PM EST through 11:00 PM EST for application updates.

CMS Announces Closure for Jan. 2013 - Sept. 2013 Clinical Months (8/13/2013)

On Tuesday, August 6, 2013, CMS announced the closure dates for January 2013 to September 2013 clinical months for hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, and vascular access. The CROWNWeb clinical data submission dates for these months are as follows:

Clincial Months: January 2013 - March 2013
Date of Closure of Clinical Submissions: August 31, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. ET

Clincial Months: April 2013 - June 2013
Date of Closure of Clinical Submissions: September 30, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. ET

Clincial Months: July 2013 - September 2013
Date of Closure of Clinical Submissions: October 31, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. ET

The closure dates apply to all facilities, including those entering data through the single user interface, batch submitting organizations, and the National Renal Administration Association Health Information Exchange (NRAA-HIE) participants. Subsequent clinical month closures will be communicated in a future CMS announcement.

CROWNWeb Maintenance Window (8/13/2013)

Due to the deployment of a fix for the LDAP error code 01 being recorded in the LDAP error logs for some user password issues, the QualityNet Identity Management System (QIMS) and the CROWNWeb application will be unavailable on Thursday, August 15, 2013 beginning at 8:00PM EST through 11:00PM EST for application update and testing.

ANNA 2013 Fall Meeting Important Information (8/9/2013)

ANNA will be hosting its Fall Meeting September 20-22, 2013, at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, New Orleans LA. ANNA's Fall Meeting provides opportunities for nephrology nurses to expand their knowledge, enhance clinical skills and widen professional networks.

For more information about ANNA's Fall Meeting, please go to www.annanurse.org or click here to download the flyer.

Medicare to Adjust ESRD Home Dialysis Claims to Correct Network Reduction (8/5/2013)

In March of 2013, it was discovered that End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Network Reduction amounts were incorrectly calculated. The reduction amount for Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD) and Continuous Cycle Peritoneal Dialysis (CCPD) home dialysis treatments is $1.50 per week, per publication 100-4, chapter 8, section 110, "Reduction in Medicare Program Payment to Fund ESRD Network." This results in a daily network reduction rate of approximately twenty one cents per treatment, rather than the fifty cents per treatment deducted from impacted claims.

Medicare Administrative Contractors will adjust the impacted claims. Providers do not need to take any action or request a reopening or review of their claims. The adjustments will impact ESRD home dialysis claims with process dates from January 1, 2013 through May 6, 2013. All adjustments are to be completed by September 6, 2013.

CROWNWeb Maintenance Window (7/30/2013)

The CROWNWeb application will be unavailable on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 beginning at 8:00PM EST through 11:00PM EST for application update and testing.

ESRD Quality Incentive Program: Two Upcoming MLN Connects National Provider Calls - Register Now (7/25/2013)

Wednesday, August 7; 3-4pm ET - Reviewing Your Facility's Payment Year 2014 Performance Data

Wednesday, August 14; 3-4:30pm ET - ESRD Quality Incentive Program Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Payment Year 2016

To Register: Visit the MLN Connects Upcoming Calls web page. Space may be limited, register early.

Target Audience: Dialysis clinics and organizations, nephrologists, hospitals with dialysis units, billers/coders and quality improvement experts.

CMS will host two MLN Connects Calls on the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Quality Incentive Program (QIP). The ESRD QIP is a pay-for-performance initiative that ties a facility's quality scores to a payment percentage reduction over the course of a payment year.

The first call will focus on the steps dialysis facilities need to take to review the data CMS will use to evaluate performance as part of the payment year 2014 program.

The second call will focus on the proposed rule for operationalizing the ESRD QIP in payment year 2016. This proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on July 8. The public will have until August 30, 2013, to submit their comments about the content of the rule. CMS encourages every dialysis facility and ESRD stakeholder to carefully review the proposed rule and participate in the comment period.

On July 29, 2013, CMS will make available to each facility a preliminary payment year 2014 Performance Score Report (PSR) that "previews” how well it scored on the quality measures CMS will use for determining any payment reductions. CMS encourages every dialysis facility to carefully review its PSR before CMS makes the information available publicly at the end of 2013.

Facilities will have from July 29 through August 29, 2013 to complete this important review. Also during this period, facilities will have an opportunity to ask questions about how their scores were calculated, and also have the ability to submit one formal inquiry if they find or suspect an error in the score calculations.

Agenda for August 7 call:

  • How to access and review facility's PSR
  • How CMS calculated a facility's ESRD QIP performance score using quality data
  • What the performance score means to a facility's PY 2014 payment rate
  • Duties and responsibilities to make ESRD QIP performance data transparent to patients
  • Where to access help and get additional information
  • Agenda for August 14 call:

    • ESRD QIP legislative framework
    • Proposed measures, standards, scoring methodology, and payment reduction scale for PY 2016
    • Methods for reviewing and commenting on the proposed rule
    • Question and answer session

    Continuing education credit may be awarded for participation in certain MLN Connects Calls. Visit the Continuing Education Credit Information web page to learn more.

CROWNWeb Downtime (7/16/2013)

The CROWNWeb application will be unavailable from 8 p.m. until midnight Eastern Time on Tuesday, July 16 to allow for system maintenance.

New Continuing Education Offering (6/27/2013)

Help, I Need Dialysis! is a new 5 hour CE offering from MEI Research. Click here to for information.

Webinar to focus on Healthcare Acquired Infections (HAIs) (6/5/2013)

Network 8's HAI Learning & Action Network will host Part 2 of Surveillance of HAIs in Outpatient Dialysis Using the NHSN Dialysis Events Module on June 20, 10:00-11:00am CDT. Click here to register online.

This webinar will provide an overview of the basics of capturing data for the NHSN dialysis events module. It will also cover common errors in identifying and reporting dialysis HAI events and summary (denominator data) and how to prevent these errors.

Dr. Marion Kainer, MD, MPH, with the Tennessee Department of Health and a member of the HAI LAN workgroup, will present on the topic. Dr. Kainer is nationally known through her investigative work in partnership with the CDC last year when she traced the outbreak of fungal meningitis to contaminated injections originating from a single compounding pharmacy. She has worked extensively with the NHSN and is dedicated to helping dialysis facilities achieve the rates of improvement that hospitals have experienced through surveillance and improved procedures.

Those unable to attend the live session may check our news page a couple of weeks afterward for a link to the recorded session.

Print and Save Copies of the 2728 and 2746 forms (6/3/2013)

Although CROWNWeb provides a way to electronically submit data directly to CMS, CMS also requires dialysis facilities to retain a print copy of the signed and dated CMS-2728 and CMS-2746 forms at the facility level to assist with data validation efforts.

  • Submit the electronic version of the form to CMS using CROWNWeb.
  • Send the original, signed hardcopy of the form to the Social Security office servicing the claim (CMS-2728 forms only).
  • Store a copy of the completed, signed form in the patient's medical records file in accordance with the medical record archival rules in effect in your state.
  • For instructions on printing forms, please visit the links below:

    Printing a CMS-2728 Form:
    http://projectcrownweb.org/assets/crownweb_online_help/cw/patients/print_a_cms-2728_form.htm

    Printing a CMS-2746 Form:
    http://projectcrownweb.org/assets/crownweb_online_help/cw/patients/print_a_cms-2746_form.htm

    New issue of Needle Tips available online (5/23/2013)

    New issue of Vaccinate Adults available online (5/23/2013)

    CDC study highlights protocols that cut infections in half (5/15/2013)

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released results of its Dialysis Bloodstream Infection Prevention Collaborative showing a 32 percent decrease in overall bloodstream infections and a 54 percent decrease in vascular access-related bloodstream infections after CDC prevention guidelines were used. Click on this link to learn more about how the use of simple tools can produce dramatic improvements in patient safety.

    Webinar to focus on Healthcare Acquired Infections (HAIs) (5/9/2013)

    Network 8's HAI Learning & Action Network will host a webinar on Surveillance of HAIs in Outpatient Dialysis Using the NHSN Dialysis Events Module on May 16, 9:00-10:00am CDT. Click here to register online.

    This webinar will provide an overview of the basics of capturing data for the NHSN dialysis events module. It will also cover common errors in identifying and reporting dialysis HAI events and summary (denominator data) and how to prevent these errors.

    Dr. Marion Kainer, MD, MPH, with the Tennessee Department of Health and a member of the HAI LAN workgroup, will present on the topic. Dr. Kainer is nationally known through her investigative work in partnership with the CDC last year when she traced the outbreak of fungal meningitis to contaminated injections originating from a single compounding pharmacy. She has worked extensively with the NHSN and is dedicated to helping dialysis facilities achieve the rates of improvement that hospitals have experienced through surveillance and improved procedures.

    Those unable to attend the live session may check our news page a couple of weeks afterward for a link to the recorded session.

    Opportunity to earn CEUs (5/3/2013)

    Mid-Atlantic Renal Coalition, ESRD Network 5, is hosting two educational webinars focused on improving patient care. These web based educational sessions provide a convenient opportunity for dialysis facility staff to earn continuing education credits without having to leave the facility.

    May 21, 2013 at 12 noon, ET, Kathi Niccum, Patient Services Director from The Renal Network, Inc. will present "The Patient Whisperer: Compassionate Care for Challenging Situations." Click here to register on line.

    June 18, 2013 at 12 noon, ET, Lynda Ball, Vascular Access Specialists from Fresenius Medical Care will present "Buttonhole Cannulation Technique." Click here to register on line.

    Online Training for Surgeons, Interventionalists, and other Renal Clinicians (4/29/2013)

    There will be two webinar sessions available for Hemodialysis Access Planning, Creation and Maintenance Coordination. The first webinar will be on June 13, 2013 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. EST. Click here to register for the June 13 webinar. The second webinar will be June 19, 2013 from 700-9:00 p.m. EST. Click here to register for the June 19 webinar.

    Payment Year 2015 QIP Presentation (4/24/2013)

    On March 13, 2013, CMS hosted a National Provider Call on the ESRD Quality Incentive Program which provided a detailed view of clinical and reporting measures and the scoring methodology for performance year 2013. Click here to view the presentation.

    Important QIP information: NHSN data entry deadline has been extended (4/8/2013)

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have jointly agreed to grant a one-time extension to the CMS ESRD QIP deadline for reporting of CY2012 dialysis events to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).

    The purpose of this extension is to enable facilities that enrolled in NHSN after December 31, 2012 an opportunity to complete their dialysis event reporting requirements for the QIP PY2014. All facilities now have until 11:59 pm Eastern Daylight Time on April 30, 2013 to report to NHSN three consecutive months of data for CY2012.

    New Continuing Education Resource (4/1/2013)

    Medical Education Institute, Inc. (MEI) has recently launched a new continuing education website for dialysis professionals. To view available courses and fee information, click here.

    Important reminder about the 2013 CAHPS requirement (3/27/2013)

    Administration of the In-center Hemodialysis Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (ICH CAHPS) survey is one of the current ESRD Quality Incentive Reporting Measures.

    During calendar year 2013, according to the QIP Payment Year 2015 Final Rule:

    • In-Center hemodialysis facilities must attest that they have administered the ICH CAHPS survey via a third party to adult patients.
    • To earn the maximum 10 points on this measure each facility must attest to successfully administering the survey via CROWNWeb.
    • No points will be awarded to eligible facilities that do not make the attestation via CROWNWeb.

    To view the CMS slide set for the 2015 Final Rule, go to: http://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Outreach/NPC/National-Provider-Calls-and-Events.html and filter on ESRD. The presentation date is 3-13-2013.

    For more information on this specific reporting measure, go to: http://www.dialysisreports.org/pdf/esrd/public-measures/ICHCAHPS-2015-FR.pdf

    To see a sample CAHPS survey, go to: https://www.cahps.ahrq.gov/hemodialysis/

    If you need more information about the Quality Incentive Program OR contact information for CAHPS vendors, please send an email to smcmaster@nw8.esrd.net or to cmagee@nw8.esrd.net.

    New ESRD Core Survey information available (3/20/2013)

    The CMS Survey and Certification website has recently been updated with new ESRD Core Survey information and materials. Click here to view the following.

    Newly developed materials:

    • Outline of ESRD Core Survey Process: 4-page list of tasks in the ESRD Core Survey process (Version 1.0) NEW
    • ESRD Core Survey Process Triggers: 2-page list of tasks in the ESRD Core Survey that lead surveyors further investigate or cite (Version 1.2) NEW
    • Evidence of Recognizing and Addressing (ERA) Interdisciplinary Clinical Care of the Individual Patient: 2-page description of sample findings, what to look for, and why it is important (Version 1.0) NEW

    Revised materials:

    • End Stage Renal Disease Facilities V-Tags & Identifiers: 3-page list of V-Tags and ASPEN identifiers along with Condition statements from the Interpretive Guidance (Version 1.5) REVISED
    • Infection Control/Requirements for Isolation Room or Area: 2-page description of V-tags and descriptors plus requirements for all facilities, existing facilities and new facilities (Version 1.4) REVISED
    • Water System Flow Diagram/ Critical Water and Dialysate Requirements: 2-page summary of the ANSI/AAMI RD 62 water and dialysate requirements and a diagram of a typical water system (Version 1.1) REVISED
    • Helpful Web Sites for ESRD Surveyors: 2-page listing of recommended Web sites inside and outside CMS (Version 1.9) REVISED
    • Dialysis Lab Tests At a Glance: 2-page listing of common blood tests for people on dialysis, to include normal values, expected values in someone with kidney disease, and signs/symptoms if values are too high or too low (Version 1.4) REVISED
    • Components of Immediate Jeopardy/Guidelines for Citations: -2-page flow chart and guidelines to help the surveyor determine the level of citation (Version 1.1) REVISED

    BONENT Great Lakes Seminar (3/19/2013)

    The Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology is hosting a one-day seminar on April 7, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio offering 7.5 continuing education credits. Click here for more information.

    MARC 2013 Virtual Council Meeting (3/19/2013)

    The next webinar in MARC's ( ESRD Network 5) 2013 Virtual Council Meeting series, "Adherence: Strategies for Helping Patients to Meet Goals" is scheduled for Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 12:00 noon, ET. Don't forget to register! $25 covers continuing education credits for everyone in the facility that participates in the webinar. Registration materials are attached, or register on line by clicking here.

    NHSN 2012 QIP Deadline Fast Approaching (3/12/2013)

    The Quality Incentive Program (QIP) measures for calendar year (CY) 2012 included NHSN reporting. To earn the maximum 10 points on the NHSN Dialysis Event measure, a facility (or their corporation) must:

    • Enroll in the NHSN and complete the required training during or prior to CY 2012 and
    • Report at least three consecutive months of dialysis event data collected during CY 2012 by March 31, 2013

    If your facility has not yet completed this data entry, please make it a priority to do so now.

    Also, the NHSN software will now accept your January 2013 survey. If the Network can assist in any way, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    The February 2013 issue of Vaccinate Adults has just been placed online (2/21/2013)

    The February 2013 issue of Needle Tips is now online (2/21/2013)

    CMS provides guidance on facility data submission (2/4/2013)

    Although CMS emphasized January 31, 2013 as the target submission date for September 2012 - December 2012 CROWNWeb patient/clinical data, facilities with outstanding data for any incomplete month that cannot meet this date will still be able to submit data in CROWNWeb.

    CMS will keep all clinical months (May 2012 - December 2012) open in CROWNWeb until further notice. CMS is assessing when to close data submissions for the various clinical months and will provide advance notice to facilities prior to closing.

    For January 2013 CROWNWeb data, CMS has established February 28, 2013 as the target submission date. Facilities should submit all data for January 2013 by 11:59 PM ET on February 28th. CMS continues to evaluate the status of data submissions, and will provide information on upcoming submission target dates in the future.

    CMS-2744 Annual Facility Survey

    Dialysis facilities can begin the CMS-2744 Annual Facility Survey process in CROWNWeb, if all patient/clinical data has been entered for 2012. CMS is currently establishing a submission schedule for the CMS-2744, and will announce timelines for the submission of this form in the upcoming weeks.

    Surgeon WebEx now available (1/24/2013)

    The NCC would like to announce that the Surgeon WebEx from December 2012 entitled, "Maximizing Successful AV Fistula Creation and Function: Strategies and Techniques" is now available for viewing on our website.

    The link for this presentation is as follows: http://fistula.memberpath.com/Home/SurgeonTrainingDecember2012.aspx.

    You can also visit www.fistulafirst.org and follow the link found under the "What's New" section in the upper right corner of the main page.

    CROWNWeb training opportunities (1/22/2013)

    TUESDAY, JANUARY 22, 2013 AT 2:00 EASTERN

    CROWNWeb webinar on vascular access reporting. This course offers an opportunity to take a detailed step-by-step look at the process of entering Vascular Access clinical data in the CROWNWeb system. Additionally, users will learn to search for and manage Vascular Access data in CROWNWeb, run reports on the data for their facility, and learn solutions to commonly-asked questions about Vascular Access clinical data in CROWNWeb. Click here to register.

    THURSDAY, JANUARY 24, 2013 AT 2:00 Eastern

    Join CMS and the CROWNWeb Outreach Communications, and Training (OCT) team on Thursday, January 24, 2013 as they address questions and feedback received during the December 2012 Town Hall event. Topics to be discussed include Facility Attestations, Patient Attributes History, Multiple Hospitalizations, Multiple Infections, and newly available training materials. Click here to register.

    NANT announces March meeting program agenda (1/22/2013)

    The National Association of Nephrology Technicians/Technologists 30th Annual Symposium in Las Vegas March 11 – 14, 2013 offers more than 17 contact hours plus 7 more with Monday pre-symposium workshops. Click here for the complete symposium brochure.

    Important Notice - Deadlines approaching for QIP compliance! (1/11/2013)

    Please be aware that attestations for Mineral Metabolism monitoring and In-Center Hemodialysis CAHPS Survey administrations must be completed by January 30.

    • DaVita facilities have received the following notification from Corporate:
      • "As a Batch Submitting Organization, DaVita will be submitting these attestations as a batch upload during the month of January on behalf of all DaVita facilities. There will be no action you will need to take to respond to the two attestation questions in CROWNWeb."
    • DCI facilities will enter the attestations at the individual clinic level according to our communication with DCI Corporate.
    • Fresenius facilities have been instructed to wait for direction on completing the attestations according to our communication with FMC. This direction will come from FMCNA Clinical Services on or near January 25th.
    • Non-LDO facilities need to be sure to log on to CROWNWeb and complete these attestations as soon as possible to avoid missing the January 30 deadline.
      • NHSN Patient Safety Component-Outpatient Dialysis Center Practices

        • Per the NHSN "The Annual Survey you must complete has been revised. Print new survey from the NHSN Forms webpage for your facility and component. Do not enter survey data into NHSN until after February 16, 2013.
        • For your convenience, you can access the Annual Survey form here.
        • Finally, if your facility has not yet posted the 2013 Performance Score Certificate from the DialysisReports.org website, please do this now. Certificates were available for download and posting on December 13 and should have been posted by December 20. All Network 8 facilities were sent a blast fax reminder on December 19th and all faxes were confirmed as received. The correct certificate has an expiration date of December 31st, 2013 on the bottom right of the second page. **Both an English and Spanish version of the certificates are available. Next year, both versions will be required postings; you should post the Spanish version now if you have patients are Spanish-speaking only**

    Patient-centered care webinar offers credit hours (1/10/2013)

    The Mid-Atlantic Renal Coalition is hosting a webinar entitled “Moving Forward with Patient and Family Centered Care” on February 26. In accordance with CMS’ new ESRD Network program focus, this presentation will provide tips to help facilities promote the health and well-being of individuals and families. The $25.00 facility registration fee will cover 1.5 CE credits for each participant. Click here for more information. You may also register online by clicking here.

    CMS announces new ESRD Network Program scope (1/10/2013)

    PCT seminar hosted by BONENT in February (1/7/2013)

    BONENT is holding the second Regional Education Seminar in Orlando at the Florida Hotel on February 17, 2013. Early registration is through 17 January at a reduced rate. Click on this link to view the conference brochure on the BONENT website for more details about the meeting.

    Let's Talk About (1/7/2013)

    Let's Talk About is a series of 3-minute multimedia movies designed to help start a conversation between patients and the care team about key health topics. Get patients involved in important choices about their care with this new FREE resource! Each movie is available in English and Spanish. The newest movie addresses fluid management; the two additional movies discuss vascular access and dialysis treatment options. Click here for these valuable patient teaching tools!

    Using the Correct CMS Certification Number (CCN) for NHSN (12/10/2012)

    CMS has asked us to emphasize to all facilities the importance of using your correct provider number (CCN) when enrolling, training, and submitting NHSN data to CDC. Also, when CDC develops reports for your facility, make sure the CCN is correct on those reports. Using an accurate CCN will enable your facility to get credit in the Quality Incentive Program, which affects payments to your facility.

    Your CCN begins with your state code. For example, if you are in Alabama, your 6-digit CCN begins with 01. In Mississippi it begins with 25, and in Tennessee it is 44. If you are one of the very few facilities that also has a second approved CCN, you may register and report data with either one. Please contact Kristi Durham at 601-936-9260 if you need guidance on any of this information.

    It's National Influenza Vaccination Week! (12/3/2012)

    Each year, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized in the United States, due to complications from the flu. The flu also can be deadly: CDC estimates that from the 1976-1977 season to the 2006-2007 flu season, flu-associated deaths ranged from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people. To help protect yourself from this potentially deadly disease, the CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. Get your flu vaccine today!

    Click here to view the CDC poster, and visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/nivw/ for more information.

    AVF webinar for surgeons (11/8/2012)

    This WebEx is open to all surgeons (general, vascular, etc.) and nephrologists. The purpose of this WebEx is to demonstrate best practices related to AV Fistula creation. The objectives are as follows: review FFBI data; a presentation an AV Fistula creation; discussion of special considerations before, during and after the AVF placement; and finally, discuss case studies including a prevalent patient and an early AVF placement (CKD-stage 4; diabetics - CKD- stage 3).

    This presentation will have guest speakers - Dr. David Fox, Attending Vascular Surgeon from Lennox Hill Hospital and Dr. Joseph Vassalotti, Chief Medical Officer for the National Kidney Foundation. Please click here for more information.

    New issue of Vaccinate Adults available online (10/18/2012)

    New issue of Needle Tips available online (10/16/2012)

    NNI to present QIP webinar on October 23 (10/11/2012)

    Nephrology News & Issues editor Mark E. Neumann will moderate a webinar on the CMS Quality

    Incentive Program featuring a panel discussion on the topic "The QIP: 2012 and What Lies Ahead." The presentation is scheduled from 1:00-2:00 p.m. CDT and will offer one hour CE credit for nurses. For more information and to register for the program, follow this link.

    Continuing Education Opportunity for Patient Care Technicians (10/11/2012)

    Is your CCHT re-certification nearing renewal? Do you need Continuing Education hours? Nephrology Clinical Solutions offers an on-line, self-paced program that awards 10.3 contact hours on successful completion. The fee for this course is $100. Click here for more information.

    Continuing education hours announced for Annual Network Meeting (9/17/2012)

    Join us October 3-5 at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Alabama for a well-rounded set of practical topics that will help you do your work with more confidence and satisfaction. Contact hours have been approved as follows: 10.83 hours for nurses and PCTs, 11.0 hours for social workers, and 15 hours for dietitians. Click here for a copy of the meeting brochure and registration information.

    CDC Releases New Dialysis Audit Tools and Checklists (9/4/2012)

    As many of you know, CDC has been coordinating a Dialysis Bloodstream Infection Prevention Collaborative. Recently, collaborative participants have demonstrated a 31 percent decrease in bloodstream infections and a 53 percent decrease in access-related bloodstream infections when CDC prevention guidelines are implemented.

    Now, CDC has expanded its offering of checklist and audit tools for dialysis facilities. This will provide all facilities - not just those formally engaged in the CDC Collaborative - with the simple tools needed to establish and engage in their own prevention efforts.

    Additionally, there are two new postings on CDC's Safe Healthcare Blog that discuss how these new resources have been used in one dialysis facility and how the use of these resources by the Dialysis Bloodstream Infection Prevention Collaborative has resulted in a substantial decrease in bloodstream infections.

    See CDC's Dialysis audit tools, protocols and checklists: http://www.cdc.gov/dialysis/collaborative/tool-resources/index.html

    Download CDC's dialysis checklists portfolio: http://www.cdc.gov/dialysis/PDFs/collaborative/checklist-Portfolio.pdf

    Download CDC's dialysis audit tools portfolio: http://www.cdc.gov/dialysis/PDFs/collaborative/audit-tools-Portfolio2.pdf

    New issue of Vaccinate Adults available online (8/22/2012)

    NHSN demonstration available (8/20/2012)

    The CDC has just announced the availability of the "NHSN Demo" for practice and training purposes. According to the CDC, "Individuals can register to use NHSN Demo for a single day, or instructors can reserve the NHSN Demo for hands-on training in a classroom setting".

    For more information about NHSN Demo, including registration, please see: http://www.cdc.gov/nhsn/NHSN_Demo.html

    If you have any questions about NHSN Demo, please send an email to nhsn@cdc.gov and specify "NHSN Demo" in the subject line and/or text of your email.

    New issue of Needle Tips available online (8/16/2012)

    Network 8 Annual Meeting registration opens (8/10/2012)

    We are pleased to announce that conference and hotel registration information is now available for the 2012 Network 8 Annual Meeting. The theme for this year's meeting is "Center, Home, and Transplant: Maintaining Quality and Safety in Every Setting," and it will be hosted at the Wynfrey Hotel in Birmingham, Alabama. Presentation topics include preventing medical errors, addressing mental health issues in the dialysis facility, legal and ethical end of life challenges, National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) , alternative modalities, preventing burnout, and others.

    Click here to view the brochure with the full meeting agenda and hotel and conference registration information. To reserve a hotel room at our special meeting rate before September 20, click here.

    We hope to see you there!

    New 5-Diamond Patient Safety Program website (8/2/2012)

    The 12 End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Networks participating in the 5-Diamond Patient Safety Program are pleased to announce the launch of a new 5-Diamond Patient Safety Program website, located at http://5diamondpatientsafety.org. The new site serves as a cohesive, central place for all participating Networks and facilities to access information and materials to implement the program.

    Click here to read the full press release.

    Continuing Education Course (6/12/2012)

    CDC has created a new continuing education course "Infection Prevention in Dialysis Settings" for outpatient hemodialysis healthcare workers, including technicians and nurses. The 1-hour self-guided training course features a flash-based slide presentation and audio narration. The course reviews the following topic areas:

    • Infections that patients can get from dialysis
    • Infection control recommendations for outpatient hemodialysis healthcare workers, and
    • Educating your patients and their caregivers.

    Click here for course information.

    Birmingham Wynfrey Hotel at Galleria to Host 2012 Annual Network 8 Conference and Council Meeting (6/6/2012)

    Network 8, Inc. is pleased to announce that the 2012 Annual Network 8 Conference and Council Meeting will be held October 3 - 5 at the Wynfrey Hotel in Birmingham, AL. The theme for this year's meeting is "Center, Home and Transplant: Maintaining Quality and Safety in Every Setting". Additional details will be added soon. Please check back for updates!

    Introduction to Renal Nutrition Webinar by Network 5 (5/22/2012)

    Registration materials are now available for the next webinar in Network 5's educational series "Gain a Web of Knowledge with MARC in 2012". The May 31 webinar is entitled Introduction to Renal Nutrition and will be presented by Devorah Shcupper, MSRN, LD/N from 10:00 AM - 11:00 PM Central Time. Registration is $25 per facility with one CE credit available for each participant. Click here for more information on registering for the webinar.

    New issues of Vaccinate Adults and Needle Tips available online (5/22/2012)

    NKDEP announces launch of redesigned website (4/25/2012)

    The National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP), an initiative of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), launched its redesigned website (www.nkdep.nih.gov) in March. In addition to improved navigation, the new website contains updated and expanded content for people at risk for and diagnosed with kidney disease, as well as health care professionals and partners. The website also features a new, patient-tested Spanish-language micro-site with information about kidney disease and guidance for people diagnosed with kidney disease.

    New edition of Network News (4/12/2012)

    CMS Quality Incentive Program measures for 2013 and 2014 (4/2/2012)

    CMS developed the ESRD QIP to be the nation's first pay-for-performance quality incentive program as mandated by the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA) section 153(c). The program is designed to provide the ESRD community with the opportunity to enhance the overall quality of care that ESRD patients receive. For details on how quality is being measured and how payments may be affected, click on this link.

    CMS extends Phase III testing of CROWNWeb (2/29/2012)

    In a communication released on February 29, CMS announced an extension of the Phase III Pilot for at least three additional weeks. CMS based the decision on findings during the Pilot and on feedback provided by users.

    This extended Pilot period will allow Pilot facilities to use the CROWNWeb system and provide critical feedback to CMS. It will also provide CMS with additional time to optimize CROWNWeb's readiness for the upcoming national release. CMS plans to provide an additional update to the community following the extended testing period.

    New Issues of Vaccinate Adults and Needle Tips Available Online (2/8/2012)

    Third edition of Fistula First Newsletter, The Gold Standard, is now available (2/3/2012)

    Click here to view the The Gold Standard, and please feel free to share this newsletter with your patient care staff, medical staff or any others who may be interested.

    CMS to discuss 2013/2014 payment rule in February Open Door Forum (1/26/2012)

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will hold a Special Open Door Forum (ODF) on February 2 from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. CDT to discuss the final rule for the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Quality Incentive Program (QIP) for Payment Years (PY) 2013 and 2014 and the related baseline data for PY 2014. The ODF will provide an overview of quality measures, scoring methodologies, and payment reductions. This Special ODF is designed specifically for dialysis facilities, providers, beneficiaries and their families, and advocates in an effort to increase awareness and understanding of the PY 2013/2014 final rule. Click here to read more.

    CDC encourages January action on Center Practices Survey (1/11/2012)

    During 2012, most dialysis facilities are expected to enroll in the CDC’s National Health Safety Network (NHSN), a web-based application to document infection rates. Part of NHSN enrollment requires completion of the Outpatient Dialysis Center Practices Survey.

    Since that survey includes questions about the first week of January 2012, it is easiest for facilities to complete the survey now, even if you will enroll in NHSN later this year. Facilities can complete the survey on paper and keep a copy until they are ready to enroll in NHSN.

    Everyone is busy this month, but if you will set aside a few minutes to take advantage of this time-saving opportunity, it should minimize the time required to collect the information and simplify enrollment. Most of the questions are either Yes/No or multiple choice. Click on the link in the first paragraph to access the survey.

    Facility questions about the survey can be directed to nhsn@cdc.gov.

    Patient Education Tool: 'Patient's Guide to Hand Hygiene' Flyer (12/20/2011)

    Kimberly-Clark, as part of its healthcare-associated infections website, provides a free, downloadable flyer for patients on hand hygiene.

    Download the Kimberly-Clark Patient's Guide to Hand Hygiene flyer (pdf) for use in your facility.

    CMS Announces Phase III Dates (12/20/2011)

    CMS has announced that CROWNWeb Phase III will begin on January 17, 2012 and run through February 29, 2012. All Phase III facilities should begin the registration process as soon as possible. Facilities not participating in Phase III, will register for CROWNWeb beginning January 30, 2012. For additional information visit the Network 8 CROWNWeb page.

    Network 8, Inc. Merges with Alliant Health Solutions (12/1/2011)

    Network 8, Inc. has announced its merger with Alliant Health Solutions effective December 1, 2011.

    "In coming together, both companies will benefit from the wealth of expertise that each has to offer, but the real benefactor will be the patient," said Network 8 Executive Director, Jerry Fuller. As a subsidiary of Alliant Health Solutions, Network 8 will retain its identity, with current staff continuing operations from its offices in Jackson, Mississippi.

    "Network 8 and Alliant share a common focus on improving the health care of the populations we serve," said Dennis White, Alliant President and CEO. "The dedicated professionals across both companies strive every day to make health care better, and moving forward together we will strengthen and extend the reach of our services."

    "Maintaining our autonomy is a core value for us," according to Fuller. "Network 8 will retain its identity to those we serve, and we will continue to provide the same kinds of services to patients and providers as before. We will maintain our current board and staff, and at the same time, we will benefit from an infusion of new ideas from a larger organization."

    Click here to read the full press release.

    Encourage flu vaccination! (11/22/2011)

    Patient Safety Tool: 'Get the Flu Vaccine, Not the Flu' poster from CMS available here.

    New resource from the FFBI! (11/22/2011)

    A new series of informational videos illustrating the AV fistula physical examination are now available on the FFBI website. Learning to perform a complete and proper physical examination of an arteriovenous fistula is a basic skill necessary for everyone involved in the care of dialysis patients. These animated videos will clarify the basic concepts of this important procedure using simple and valuable educational tools. You can access the video series by clicking on the “AVF Physical Examination Made Easy" link in the "What's New" section of the FFBI website homepage, http://www.fistulafirst.org/Home.aspx, and scrolling down to the series of five video links.

    These videos were developed by Dr. Tushar Vachharajani and are being shared on the FFBI website with the permission of Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Presently, the videos can be viewed only on a PC.

    New Issues of Vaccinate Adults and Needle Tips Available Online (11/8/2011)

    Second edition of Fistula First Newsletter, The Gold Standard, is now available (11/1/2011)

    Click here to view the The Gold Standard, and please feel free to share this newsletter with your patient care staff, medical staff or any others who may be interested.

    July 2011 AVF rates by region (9/28/2011)

    The July 2011 AVF rates have been analyzed by region. Click here to view.

    New patient-centered medication safety poster (9/28/2011)

    A new patient-centered poster addressing medication safety has been developed by the FDA and AHRQ. Click here to view.

    ANNA Fall Meeting (9/6/2011)

    Free cannulation workshop (8/31/2011)

    A free cannulation workshop will be held in Cleveland, MS on September 13. 2.1 CEU's will be available. Click here to view the brochure.

    New "Ask the Experts" edition of IAC express now available (8/26/2011)

    Click here to view frequently asked questions about vaccination issues related to healthcare personnel.

    Newest issue of IAC Express is now available (8/23/2011)

    New Issue of Immunization Action Coalition (8/16/2011)

    The newest issue of Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) Express is now available. Topics this week include information related to Vaccine Information Statements as well as various tools related to National Immunization Awareness Month. Click here to view.

    June 2011 Vascular Access Charts Available (8/12/2011)

    Visit our Vascular Access web page to view June 2011 Vascular Access outcomes charts.

    Program line-up announced for October annual meeting (8/4/2011)

    Network 8 and the Tennessee Kidney Foundation have announced a strong educational line-up of topics and speakers for this year's annual educational symposium to be held October 12-14 in Nashville at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel. The theme for this year's annual meeting is "Empowering, Engaging and Improving: Everybody Wins!"

    Presentation topics include fluid management, deciding who should do home dialysis, care for the challenging patient, new rules for the transplant wait list, discipline-specific factors in bundling, motivational interviewing, and a fresh look at what it means to empower ESRD patients. A patient panel will describe what made their individual life journeys challenging or successful.

    There will also be breakout sessions by disciplines. Dietitian breakouts will include: Evidence Based Practice Guidelines for CKD MBD: KDOQI and KDIGO and Phosphorous Additives. Nurse's breakout sessions will include: Clinical Management as a Tool for Success and QAPIs and RCA 101. The Social Work breakout sessions will both be an introduction to the STI - Treatment for Depression.

    Conference faculty will include Dr. Tom Peters, Dr. Robert Lockridge, Linda McCann, Linda Browning, Dr. Sean Harvey, Dr. Ralph Atkinson, Lutricia Taste, Janeen Long, Dr. Tom Golper, Judy Weintraub, Melissa McCool, Diana Hlevovy, Dr. Jeffrey Hymes, Glenda Barnett-Streicher, Sheila McMaster, and Chris Lovell.

    In keeping with the "Everybody Wins!" theme of this year's event, all attendees are invited to show off their favorite sports teams at Casual Friday's session by wearing their team's jerseys, t-shirts or team colors.

    The historic Millennium Maxwell House Hotel is conveniently located minutes from popular downtown attractions and features free airport shuttle and free parking.

    Check back soon for our meeting brochure which will include additional meeting details.

    New Issues of Vaccinate Adults and Needle Tips Available Online (8/2/2011)

    FDA Approves Vaccines for the 2011-2012 Influenza Season (7/26/2011)

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced on July 18 that it has approved the 2011-2012 influenza vaccine formulation that will protect against the three virus strains that surveillance indicates will be most common during the upcoming season.

    Vaccinations are needed every year since the protection received the previous year diminishes over time, and they are recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older.

    According to the news release, "...influenza vaccination of health care personnel is also important to protect themselves, their patients, their family, and the community from influenza. The FDA urges health care organizations to encourage their members to follow CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations to get vaccinated."

    The Network 8 MRB has set an influenza vaccination goal of 90% for ESRD patients and 100% for ESRD health care personnel. Click here to read the full FDA news release.

    Presentation Available from Open Door Forum to Explain Quality Incentive Program (7/15/2011)

    CMS hosted a special Open Door Forum for ESRD facilities to explain the process of reviewing and approving your facility's performance data. Click here to view the slides from this presentation.

    CMS hosting Open Door Forum to explain Quality Incentive Program (7/8/2011)

    CMS has announced that it will host an Open Door Forum webcast on July 14 to discuss the Quality Incentive Program (QIP).

    According to CMS, "This ODF will provide informative insights about the Program, and assist dialysis facilities and other renal quality stakeholders in preparing for QIP payment adjustments, which will begin January 2012 for impacted facilities."

    The webcast will also discuss the Performance Score Report (PSR) and how to preview it beginning July 15. Network 8 has sent each facility's Master Account Holder a packet of information describing how to set up a web account that will allow the facility to view its PSR.

    To learn more and to register for the webcast, click on this link.

    Introductory Edition of the Fistula First Newsletter, The Gold Standard (7/6/2011)

    Click here to view the first edition of the The Gold Standard, a newsletter developed by the Fistula First Breakthrough Initiative (FFBI).

    FDA Safety Announcement: Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agents (ESAs) In Chronic Kidney Disease: Drug Safety Communication - Modified Dosing Recommendations (7/5/2011)

    Free Cannulation Workshop (6/23/2011)

    A free (including lunch) cannulation workshop will be held in Memphis, TN on July 21. Brian LaMendola will be presenting and CEs have been applied for through ANNA. Registration is now open. To register, visit http://www.qsource.org/upcomingevents.htm and click on the link for the CKD Cannulation Workshop.

    Great job! (6/17/2011)

    Thanks to all Network 8 facilities that continue to work toward improving AVF rates. We are thrilled to report that Network 8 reached the CMS assigned target of 54.7% as of January and rates continue to improve. Click here to see both Network-wide and state level outcomes.

    Millennium Maxwell House Hotel to host the 2011 Network 8 Annual Meeting and Tennessee Renal Symposium (5/24/2011)

    Network 8 and the Tennessee Kidney Foundation announce the jointly-sponsored 2011 Network 8 Annual Meeting and Tennessee Renal Symposium at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville on October 12, 13, & 14. Topics and speakers will be announced at a later date on our website and in a brochure mailing.

    The hotel is conveniently located 5 minutes from downtown and offers free parking, free downtown shuttle, and free airport transportation. Shopping, restaurants, and the 2nd Avenue Entertainment District are just minutes from the hotel.

    Mark your calendar and plan to join us for this stimulating educational symposium in Music City!

    Patient hotlines for locating a place to dialyze (4/29/2011)

    Dialysis patients who were affected by the recent storms in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee and who cannot reach your dialysis unit should call Brenda Dyson at Network 8 at 877-936-9260. Also, for a list of corporate hotlines and other disaster-related information, click here.

    How to apply for disaster assitance (4/29/2011)

    If you or your family suffered a loss during the recent storms in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, click here for information on how to apply for federal assistance. You can register your claim by phone, or online if you have access to a computer with internet access.

    AAKP Annual Convention (4/14/2011)

    The American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) announced its 38th Annual Convention is taking place at the Little Rock Peabody Hotel in Little Rock, AR from Aug. 26 - 28, 2011.

    AAKP created its Annual Convention to provide kidney disease patients, as well as their friends and family members with the opportunity to discuss their concerns and share their experiences while learning about important issues affecting their health care. In addition to a variety of social events, it is the largest national convention where kidney patients can interact on a person-to-person basis with fellow patients and health care professionals. During this three-day event, attendees participate in educational topics for those with chronic kidney disease (CKD) to long-term dialysis and transplant recipients. Participants also learn about various treatments for each stage.

    New this year, a public policy forum at the William J. Clinton Presidential Center where invited national policy, medical and academic experts will discuss and debate the following topics: preventative medicine and health considerations among minority communities who are disproportionately impacted by chronic kidney disease (CKD); disease prevention; potential technology or pharmaceutical advances related to kidney disease, heart health and transplantation; and much more.

    We encourage you to join us and become an active participant in your health care team by learning all you can about your condition, treatment options, food and nutrition and health care management. Click here to view the official AAKP Convention Registration Brochure.

    Non-adherent Patient Behavior WebEx Now Available Online (4/11/2011)

    Network 8 hosted a WebEx on April 5 entitled "Balancing Care, Costs, and Challenges in the ESRD Setting: Addressing Patient Nonadherent Patient Behavior." Mark Meier, LICSW was the presenter and provided insight into the challenges and solutions for dealing with nonadherent and disruptive patient behavior. The one-hour WebEx was recorded and can be viewed by clicking here.

    Updated version of Measures Assessment Tool is available (4/8/2011)

    The CDC has released updated guidelines for prevention of catheter-related infections (4/7/2011)

    Replacing a 2002 edition, the new guidelines are titled "Guidelines for the Prevention of Intravascular Catheter-Related Infections" and were published April 1, 2011. You can view the guidelines here.

    Online Kidney Class (3-Part Webinar Series) Starts May 26th (4/7/2011)

    Network 8 is partnering with QSource, Tennessee Kidney Foundation, National Kidney Foundation of West Tennessee, and the Kidney Foundation of the Greater Chattanooga Area to offer a series of webinars on Early Identification, Co-Management and Vascular Access Best Practices for CKD Patients.

    The 3-part Webinar Series will be take place on Thursday, May 26 (CKD Early Identification & Co-Management Best Practices), Thursday, June 2 (Overcoming Barriers to PCP Early Identification & Co-Management), and Thursday, June 9 (Why Fistulas Work). The series has been developed for primary care physicians, residents and fellows in nephrology, internal medicine, cardiology, endocrinology and family practice, hospital discharge planners, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, certified diabetes educators, nurses, technicians and office managers.

    CME and CNEs will be available. For more information, click here to view the brochure. Online registration is available at www.qsource.org/Class

    Medical Education Institute (MEI) has completely redesigned Home Dialysis Central (3/31/2011)

    The updated site, which went live on March 15, incorporates new graphics, new navigation, and user-friendly content organization.

    Click here for:

    • Descriptions and pictures of all types of home dialysis, with pros and cons
    • "Ask the Expert" and patient message boards
    • Find a Clinic" database & coverage maps
    • Patient stories from each type of treatment
    • Original, referenced, easy to read " Life@Home" articles
    • Professional tools, like the MATCH-D and a how-to manual to teach self cannulation

    March 2011 Vital Signs Fact Sheet from the CDC (3/23/2011)

    About 37,000 bloodstream infections happen each year to kidney dialysis patients with central lines. For more information on how to reduce central line infections, click here to view the March 2011 Vital Signs Fact Sheet from the CDC.

    Updated Survey and Certification FAQ (3/21/2011)

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) Survey & Certification (S&C) Group has just released the Memo and Updated Listing of Frequently-Asked-Questions (FAQs) regarding survey and certification issues. Click here to view the memo and click here to view the FAQs.

    CDC resource page for health-care associated infections in (3/14/2011)

    Network 8 WebEx scheduled for April 5 at 1:00 CST (3/14/2011)

    There has been an increase in the number of facilities contacting Network 8 for assistance with educating and dealing with nonadherent and disruptive patient behavior. In response to your needs, we will host a free WebEx on April 5 at 1:00 CST entitled "Balancing Care, Costs, and Challenges in the ESRD Setting: Addressing Nonadherent Patient Behavior". Please click here to view the flyer and register for the event. Make plans for you and your staff to attend!

    Version 1.7 of the Measures Assessment Tool (MAT) used by state surveyors has now been posted (3/4/2011)

    Atlas of Dialysis Vascular Access is now available (2/22/2011)

    The Atlas of Dialysis Vascular Access is now available! If a picture is worth a thousand works, this atlas is truly priceless. Provided by the Fistula First coalition, the Atlas can be viewed immediately by clicking here . Additionally, the Atlas is now available on CD from Network 8 by request. To request a copy for your facility, please complete this order form and fax to Network 8. Orders will be filled on a first come, first served basis.

    Now available online: Fistula First Comprehensive Fistula Construction and Management Program for Surgeons: "How to Make Fistulas that Work" (2/22/2011)

    In November, the 2010 Fistula First Comprehensive Fistula Construction and Management Program for Surgeons: "How to Make Fistulas that Work" was held in Chicago, IL. As you know, a skilled vascular surgeon, who is able to create a functional arteriovenous fistula utilizing the most current placement techniques, is vital to the quality of dialysis patient care. This day-long, intensive symposium was designed to provide access surgeons with the tools for successful surgical approaches to fistula creation and care, and is now available on the Hypertension, Dialysis and Clinical Nephrology (HDCN) website (www.hdcn.com) and linked to from the FFBI website (www.fistulafirst.org).

    AAKP sponsors free webinar on bundling (2/7/2011)

    The American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) announces the upcoming HealthLine program titled, Understanding the New ESRD Bundling Payment System: How will this change affect me and my dialysis treatments? This free educational conference call and webinar takes place March 31, 2011 from 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. ET. Topics covered by conference call speaker Jay Wish, MD, include:

    • How dialysis treatments and other dialysis services were previously paid for;

    • An explanation of what a Bundled Payment is and what services it will and will not include (ex. dialysis treatments, medications, lab tests, etc.);

    • How will dialysis patients be affected financially and treatment wise;

    • How does the Bundled Payment System affect home dialysis patients (hemodialysis/peritoneal dialysis) and;

    • How to ensure you still receive quality care.

    Click here for more information or to register.

    National Kidney Foundation 2011 Spring Clinical Meetings (2/3/2011)

    The National Kidney Foundation 2011 Spring Clinical Meetings will be held April 26-30, 2011 at MGM Grand, Las Vegas. These meetings present a unique opportunity for busy renal health care providers to learn new developments related to all aspects of nephrology. It is designed for kidney doctors in the private sector and academia, fellows and residents with a special interest in kidney disease, general internists, pharmacists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses and technicians, social workers, and renal and clinical dietitians. Visit www.nkfclinicalmeetings.org to register today!

    The January 2011 issue of Vaccinate Adults has just been placed online (1/12/2011)

    New issue of Needle Tips available 1-6-11 (1/6/2011)

    Free workshop on the Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment of Peripheral Arterial Disease in CKD (11/1/2010)

    Vascular Access Centers of Memphis along with Network 8, Inc. and QSource is pleased to offer a free workshop on the Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment of Peripheral Arterial Disease in CKD patients. The workshop will offer 2.25 CEs and will be held on Tuesday, November 16th from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. CT. Lunch and Registration will begin at noon. Click here to view the brochure.

    For more information please call Brenda Dyson at the Network 8 office at (601) 936-9260.

    NKDEP and Fistula First Partner to Encourage Early AV Fistula Placement (11/1/2010)

    In partnership with CMS' Fistula First Breakthrough Initiative, the National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP) has produced a series of videos to help providers talk with patients about arteriovenous (AV) fistula placement, the best option for vascular access during hemodialysis treatment. These eight short video clips address some of the most common patient questions providers may receive about AV fistula placement, such as the need for placing an AV fistula before hemodialysis and why it is the preferred option. The videos are meant to promote conversation about dialysis preparation earlier in the chronic kidney disease (CKD) process. They can be viewed on NKDEP's website at www.nkdep.nih.gov/professionals/providereducation/index.htm, and are part of larger video series demonstrating how providers can respond to patient questions related to CKD.

    Free webinar offered for technicians (10/7/2010)

    NANT is hosting a free webinar series beginning October 14 for technicians, and the deadline to register is October 12. To participate in the webinar series, you just need access to a computer. Instructions will be sent to you after you register online at www.nant.biz.

    Contact hour certificates will be sent after the session via email.

    August 2010 issue of Needle Tips (8/18/2010)

    This issue brings you a broad range of influenza vaccination resources that will help you protect patients during the 2010-11 season. In addition, you will find all the other timely information you expect from Needle Tips.

    Click here to view the August 2010 issue of Needle Tips.

    Unbundling the bundle: The impact of payment reform on the renal community (8/11/2010)

    On July 26, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released the final rule on its new payment model for dialysis services. The 1,000+ page report details the major changes in how patient care will be reimbursed, starting Jan. 1. In this one-hour webinar, we will help break down the complexity of the new payment bundle and offer commentary from industry representatives on how it will impact the provider community and patients.

    Click here to register for this free webinar on August 25!

    Tennessee Renal Symposium to be held in Chattanooga, TN on August 31, 2010 (8/4/2010)

    Network 8 has joined with the Kidney Foundation of the Greater Chattanooga area and Qsourse in sponsoring the 20th annual Renal Symposium in Chattanooga, TN. The conference this year will feature a cannulation workshop by Lynda Ball and several additional speakers. The afternoon session has been planned to include both patients and renal professionals.

    Click here to view the brochure.

    Cannulation Workshop to be held in Cleveland, MS on August 17 (8/2/2010)

    Network 8 and the Vascular Access Centers will be sponsoring two 2-hour training sessions on cannulation. These will be held on the afternoon of August 17th from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. or from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. A dinner and tour of the new Vascular Access Center in Cleveland, MS will be held from 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.

    Click here to view the brochure.

    Beau Rivage to Host 2010 Annual Network 8 Conference and Council Meeting (7/28/2010)

    Network 8, Inc. and the Mississippi Kidney Foundation will jointly sponsor the 2010 Network 8 Annual Council Meeting on October 13-15, 2010 at the Beau Rivage Hotel in Biloxi.

    The meeting theme is Reforming ESRD: Changes, Challenges, Choices. The keynote address, "Bundled Payment for Dialysis: Potential Impact on Patient Care", will be delivered by Jay Wish, M.D. Some of the other topics include pre-emptive transplantation, emergency preparedness, surviving state surveys, reducing catheters in your facility, managing work overload, CROWNWeb, ethical and practical considerations of DNS in the dialysis setting, nocturnal dialysis and QAPI's.

    Click here to view the brochure with the meeting agenda and hotel and conference registration information.

    Be sure to mark your calendar, and we hope to see you there!

    CrownWeb Phase 3 Pilot Project (6/25/2010)

    CMS has announced Phase 3 of the CrownWeb Pilot Project will begin January, 2011. This phase will incorporate additional facilities and will implement new security measures. If your facility is interested in being considered for Phase III, please email Robert Bain.

    The national rollout of CrownWeb is currently scheduled for May, 2011. To find out more about CrownWeb please visit the Network 8 CrownWeb information page or visit Project CrownWeb.

    Updated ESRD pages on CMS website (6/22/2010)

    The new ESRD page of the CMS Survey & Certification section is now available. Of special benefit, the Conditions of Coverage Interpretive Guidance (IG) contains hyperlinks, allowing the user to skip to any section of the IG directly from the Table of Contents. Click here to view the updated pages.

    Vaccine Supply Information (6/21/2010)

    Information about the supply of Hepatitis A and B vaccines has recently been updated.Click here to view the latest national information about vaccine supplies and guidance for healthcare providers who are facing vaccine shortages or delays.

    Current vaccine delays and shortages (6/16/2010)

    Free Cannulation Camps on July 14th and 15th (6/10/2010)

    Network 8 is co-sponsoring with the Tennessee Kidney Foundation and QSource two cannulation workshops that will be held on July 14 and July 15 in Nashville, TN. The workshops will be live in Nashville, and will be sent by satellite to Memphis and Knoxville concurrently. Participants may register for either day and for any site. Lynda Ball, MSN, RN, CNN, the Quality Improvement Coordinator for the Northwest Renal Network will be the presenter. For more information click here, or call Brenda Dyson at (601) 936-9260.

    Register online at: www.qsource.org/Camp Deadline for registration is July 9, 2010.

    New Issue of Vaccinate Adults Has Been Released (6/9/2010)

    FFBI Publishes Updated AVF Reimbursement Rate (6/9/2010)

    The Fistula First Breakthrough Initiative has created a flyer to publicize the increased reimbursement rate for direct vein to artery fistulas. With the new rate, these AVF types are now being paid at a rate equivalent to grafts. Use this link to view the new fee schedule.

    KDQOL COMPLETE Is Now Available (6/9/2010)

    The new KDQOL COMPLETE is now available for purchase to all facilities. It is an easy-to-use online program that quickly scores, stores, and trends results for the Kidney Disease Quality of Life (KDQOL) survey and complies with new Conditions for Coverage. The results identify patients with psychosocial needs and allow the facility staff an opportunity to provide appropriate interventions to help improve their outcomes. This program can be purchased online by going to their home page at www.kdqol-complete.org.

    Surveyor guidance on PCT certification released (5/16/2010)

    CMS has asked us to help publicize their directive to State Survey Agencies which provides surveyor guidance on PCT certification issues. The directive provides an overview of the kinds of citations that will be issued under the new Conditions for Coverage. CMS also provided Appendix A, a compilation of frequently asked questions, and Appendix B, an optional surveyor worksheet that facilities may find useful in tracking the certification status of PCTs.

    The previous S&C letter dated 4-23-10 and posted 4-26-10 has been revised. Please note that changes are highlighted in red and that the optional survey worksheet is clearly labeled as optional.

    Network Council Meeting Recording Available (3/8/2010)

    The Network Council convened by WebEx on February 25, and a recording of the meeting can be accessed by clicking here.

    New Clinical Measures to Be Added to Dialysis Claims Forms (2/17/2010)

    Effective July 1, 2010, billing offices will be required to include several new codes on billing forms, including vascular access type. Forms that do not include this information will not be processed. Specific clinical measures collected on the revised form will be discussed with facility representatives on the February 25 WebEx.Click here to read about the new expanded billing process.

    NKDEP Announces New Resources (2/16/2010)

    The National Kidney Disease Education Program has announced public release of several resources of special interest to nephrologists, PCPs, and others caring for CKD patients. These include a simplified version of the NKDEP brochure encouraging people to get tested for kidney disease which is now entitled, For People with Diabetes or High Blood Pressure:  Get Checked for Kidney Disease and an updated version of the popular GFR tear-off pad which now includes a section explaining the use of estimated GFR and urine albumin tests and why each is important.Please click here to view a complete description of the materials.

    CMS Reimbursement Information (2/1/2010)

    CMS releases information related to hemodialysis claims processing, effective July 1. According to section I, summary of changes, "This change requires new reporting for dialysis adequacy, infection and vascular access and will allow CMS to implement an accurate quality incentive payment for dialysis providers by January 1, 2012, as required by MIPPA 153c."Click here to view the information.

    Facility Agreements Reinstated Nationwide (1/1/2010)

    CMS has used the new Conditions for Coverage to reinstate the federal requirement for signed agreements between ESRD Networks and dialysis facilities operating in each region. State surveyors will immediately begin asking to see the agreements during inspections of new facilities, and Network 8 will expedite the approval process for any facility anticipating their initial site visits.To download a copy of the Network 8 agreement and instructions, click here.

    CMS Approval of State and National Certification Programs for Patient Care Dialysis Technicians (11/4/2009)

    Click here to view the Survey and Certification memo and appendices released 10-30-09.

    Conditions of Coverage Resources for Providers (10/26/2009)

    The Medical Advisory Council (MAC) of the Forum of ESRD Networks has developed four toolkits to assist facilities in meeting the Conditions for Coverage. The toolkits address the following topics: medication reconciliation, vaccination, catheter reduction, and assurance of diabetes care coordination. They are available for free download. Click here to access the toolkits.

    5 Diamond Patient Safety Program

    In order to encourage patient safety values, Network 8 announces availability of the voluntary 5-Diamond Patient Safety Program. Initially developed and implemented in the Network of New England (NW1) and the Mid-Atlantic Renal Coalition (NW5), this program is designed to assist dialysis units with specific areas of patient safety that may be in need of improvement and consistency. Click here to read about the benefits of participating in this self-paced recognition program.

    Dialysis Facility Reports - Updated Timeline (7/26/2013)

    Please go to DialysisReports.org for updated report release schedule.

    PLEASE NOTE: Payment Year 2014 Performance Score Reports will be made available July 29, 2013; 2013 Dialysis Facility Reports have been delayed and will be made available on August 29, 2013.

    ESRD Quality Incentive Program: Reviewing Your Facility's Payment Year 2014 Performance Data - Registration Now Open (7/11/2013)

    CMS will host an MLN Connects Call on the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Quality Incentive Program (QIP) Wednesday, August 7 from 3-4pm ET. The ESRD QIP is a pay-for-performance initiative that ties a facility's quality scores to a payment percentage reduction over the course of a payment year (PY). This call will focus on the steps dialysis facilities need to take to review the data CMS will use to evaluate performance as part of the PY 2014 program. The target audience is dialysis clinics and organizations, nephrologists, hospitals with dialysis units, billers/coders and quality improvement experts.

    On July 15, 2013, CMS will make available to each facility a preliminary PY 2014 Performance Score Report (PSR) that "previews" how well it scored on the quality measures CMS will use for determining any payment reductions. CMS encourages every dialysis facility to carefully review its PSR before CMS makes the information available publicly at the end of 2013. Facilities will have from July 15 through August 15, 2013 to complete this important review. Also during this period, facilities will have an opportunity to ask questions about how their scores were calculated, and also have the ability to submit one formal inquiry if they find or suspect an error in the score calculations.

    Agenda

    • How to access and review facity's PSR
    • How CMS calculated a facility's ESRD QIP performanc score using quality data
    • What the performance score means to a facility's PY 2014 payment rates
    • When and where to ask questions regarding a PSR, including how to submit formal inquiry
    • Duties and responsibilities to make ESRD QIP performance data transparent to patients
    • Where to access help and get additional information
    • Continuing education credit may be awarded for participation in certain MLN Connects Calls. Click here to visit the Continuing Education Credit Information web page to learn more.

    2013 DFR Technical Instructions (6/25/2013)

    Network 8 is moving to a new office (5/23/2013)

    Effective May 29 our office will relocate to Ridgeland, Mississippi. While our telephone and fax numbers will remain the same, our new mailing and physical address will change to:

    Network 8, Inc.
    775 Woodlands Parkway
    Suite 310
    Ridgeland, MS 39157

    Our phone lines and voice mail will be unavailable on Wednesday, May 29. If you must contact us during that time, please send a fax to 601-932-4446, and we will reply as soon as possible. We look forward to serving you from the new location.

    Contact Hours Approved for Annual Meeting in Nashville (9/23/2011)

    As of September 23, credentialing agency approvals have been received for nurses, dietitians, and social workers as follows:

  • Nurses and PCTs receive 10.25 hours
  • Dietitians receive 14 hours
  • Social workers receive 11 hours
  • TKF executive director, Teresa Davidson, told Network 8 that the exhibit hall is almost sold out and that attendee registrations have increased rapidly in the past week. She said there are still plenty of hotel rooms in the block at $110.00 plus tax, as long as reservations are made by September 27.

    See the conference brochure elsewhere on the website for details.

    Annual Network meeting registration opens (8/19/2011)

    Meeting and hotel registration for the annual Network meeting have been released and are available now in hard copy and on this website. The meeting will be held October 12-14 at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville. Those making hotel reservations online should use code 1110kidney when prompted.

    Network 8 is partnering with the Tennessee Kidney Foundation for the meeting, and TKF will process meeting registration. Click here to view the brochure and registration form.

    The information on this page was reviewed 9/8/2014.

    Adobe Reader download site

     

    Med Watch

     

    5 Diamond Patient Safety Program

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Dialysis Infection Prevention Tools.