COVID-19 Information Hub

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We are following the developments of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and the monitoring by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  We will continue to collect and share information and resources on this page to support our renal healthcare professionals and facilities.  


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CDC Resources


CDC Situation Summary 
This is a rapidly evolving situation and CDC will provide updated information as it becomes available, in addition to updated guidance. Updated daily.

CDC Information for Healthcare Professionals 
Includes information and guidance for persons under investigation (PUI), clinical care, infection control, protective equipment, and home care guidance. 

Nursing Home COVID-19 Data Dashboard - updated 1/20/21


    CDC Information and Resources for Hemodialysis Facilities and Patients 



    CDC Information for Healthcare Facilities 
    Resources for clinics and healthcare facilities to prepare and respond to the community spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). 


    Additional CDC Resource Links
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    CMS Resources


    CMS Current Emergencies Website 
    Visit this page to keep up with the important work CMS is doing in response to Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

    CMS - Re-Opening Healthcare Facilities 

    CMS - Coronavirus Waivers & Flexibilities 

    CMS Relief for Quality Reporting Programs - CROWNWeb and QIP info included
    • Nursing Home Five Star Quality Rating System Updates - FAQ - 4/24/20
    • Announcement - 3/22/20
    • Provider Enrollment Relief FAQ - 3/23/20
    • The NRAA government affairs team has outlined details included in reference to CROWNWeb and QIP reporting:
      • For 2019, deadlines for October 1, 2019 -December 31, 2019 (Q4) data submissions are optional. If Q4 data is submitted, it will be used to calculate payment (where appropriate). If Q4 data is not able to be submitted, then 2019 performance will be calculated based on data from January 1, 2019 - September 30, 2019 (Q1 - Q3) and available data.
      • For 2020, CMS will not count data from January 1, 2020 through January 30, 2020 (Q1 - Q2) for performance or payment programs. Therefore, facilities do NOT need to submit data for this time period.

    CMS New Targeted Plan for Healthcare Facility Inspections - 3/23/20

    CMS Clinical and Technical Guidance for Health Care Facilities


    Medicare and Other Coverage Guidance

    Medicaid and Childrens' Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Resources

    CMS Coronavirus (COVID-19) Partner Toolkit
     - updated 3/19/20
    CMS has developed this toolkit to help you stay informed on CMS and HHS materials available on the COVID-19. Please share these materials, bookmark the page, and check back often for the most up-to-date information. 

    CMS Podcasts and Transcripts 
    Page to listen to the audio files and read transcripts for the COVID-19 Stakeholder calls.

    For CMS Issued Materials on Medicare Telehealth - Click Here 

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    Telehealth Guidance


    As you know, telemedicine and virtual care has become a key resource in the COVID-19 strategy. CMS and private payers have taken significant steps in recent days to provide coverage, privacy and payment guidance on the use of telemedicine (including phone calls).  The NRAA team has assembled the following list of resources:

    Press Releases

    The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) released an Express message that includes: 

    CMS Issued Materials on Medicaid & CHIP Telehealth:

    CMS Issued Materials on Medicare Telehealth: 


    HIPAA:  Effective immediately, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will exercise enforcement discretion and waive penalties for HIPAA violations against health care providers that serve patients in good faith through everyday communications technologies, such as FaceTime or Skype, during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency. 


    Telehealth Legal Resources 


    Practice Guidelines & Additional Telehealth Resources

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    Other Resources


    Agency Updates 

    CARES Act 
    Attestation Portal is Open - 4/16/20 
    • Providers who have been allocated a payment from the initial $30 billion general distribution must sign an attestation confirming receipt of the funds. 
    HHS Announces Immediate Infusion of $30 Billion into Healthcare System - 4/9/20

    Other Resources

    Transportation and Cleaning 
    resources received from Kidney Community Emergency Response (KCER)


    Training Materials

    National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center (NETEC)
    Collaboration between Emory University, University of Nebraska Medical Center/Nebraska Medicine and the New York Health and Hospital Corporation, Bellevue Hospital Center. 

    NETEC offers a variety of online training and resources including: 

    Online Training - World Health Organization (Free, must create an OpenWHO account)


    Infection Prevention 

    CDC Resources 

    Other Resources
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    Mental Wellness


    FOR EVERYONE

    FOR COMMUNITIES

    FOR FAMILIES AND CHILDREN

    FOR PATIENTS

    The Coalition for Supportive Care for Kidney Patients has developed communication tools and resources to help clinicians respond to patients who are feeling stress, vulnerable, and scared during this pandemic.

    Additional Communication Tools for Patients and Families


    FOR PROVIDERS AND HEALTHCARE WORKERS


    FOR FIRST RESPONDERS 



    PAST EVENTS

    PCSS Clinical Roundtable - Taking Care of Yourself Using Mindfulness and Other Techniques = 4/23/20

    Managing Your Healthcare Providers' Mental and Physical Wellness in the Time of COVID-19 - 4/29/20
    Presented by Sepsis Alliance 

    CDC: Psychological First Aid: Addressing Mental Health Distress During Disasters - 4/22/20
    Hosted by CDC Emergency Partners Information Connection (EPIC)
    Presentation Slides 

    Managing Your Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic - 4/7/20
    Presented by Society of Critical Care Medicine
    Recording Available Here 

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    Latest Discussions List

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      When I meet with patients about their advanced directive intentions for dialysis, I explain that other organizations will want to know lots of different choices, i.e. feeding tubes, antibiotics, intubation, and so on, but that for our clinic we want to ... More

    • Profile Picture

      RE: QAPI Tool

      Posted in: Voices Community

      Hi Nikki! 2018 is the most up to date version we have. I was thinking about working on a new one this year. I am more than willing to set up some time over webex (or whatever platform works) and help walk you though  the tool. Also - if you go to Tools ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Webinar Wednesdays presents: Safety In Home Dialysis:  Engaging Stakeholders to Prevent Non-infectious Complications June 23, 2021 at 1:00 pm ET Presented by: Danilo Concepcion and Peggy Bushey In-home dialysis presents unique challenges in patient ... More

    • Profile Picture

      RE: QAPI Tool

      Posted in: Voices Community

      I have the 2018 version of the QAPI too that I would like to implement. Is this the newest version? Also, are there materials available that can help explain the tool in more detail? ------------------------------ Nikki Villagomez Commonwealth Health ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Amy- depending on who the payor is, the best bet may be to arrange a combination of home-care and home-hemo, whereby a certified ESRD Home Hemo facility can provide training to a homecare nurse to be the "caregiver" under ESRD rules. This type of patient ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      It can be overwhelming if there is only one RN that gets tagged with the Nursing part so we try to evenly divide the patients between the RNs.  Since all RN's cannot attend our care plan meetings, either the Facility Manager or the Charge nurse attends ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Any of my Dallas Fort Worth facility friends have experience providing outpatient dialysis services to complex patients with trachs?  We were contacted by a rehab hospital out of Houston about accepting a complex patient who is total care and not cognitively ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Our N/P are both 10+ year dialysis nurses and have also worked in palliative care and this is the document they created that they think helps them have the ACP discussion with the patients/family. ------------------------------ Julie Williams Administrator ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Kate,  Here is a link to a fillable version posted on our external website. https://www.gundersenhealth.org/app/files/public/feef4364-2f49-4544-9ca1-fa7cf585424f/Advance-Care-Planning-Power-of-Attorney-for-Healthcare.pdf ------------------------------ ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      I think that is a great idea I think we will try. Currently we do both teleconference at chairside. The idea of 2 meetings to give family time to think is fabulous. Thank you Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone Get ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      I currently work in a Home Program, but was implementing some of these steps while I was in-center. We actually utilize ZOOM for our POC's. The RN, SW and Dietitian contact the patient in the week prior to the actual POC mtg. (phone call or face to ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Amy, You are not alone; we have the same issues. In our programs we have used our LCSW to be the auditor who in turn emails the team member who is behind in documentation and a reminder of the date scheduled for the meeting. Even with these reminders ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      I am curious how other dialysis clinics handle care plans.  To me, it seems only logical that the charge nurse of each shift should be responsible for initiating their care plans regardless if the plans are annual plans or unstable plans.  It has always ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      We have found that when it comes to Advanced directives and Code Blue, the simplest policy is the best from the liability perspective.  Our Code Blue is just BLS only and most states have a "sample" advanced directive you can use if you don't want to ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      the 90989 is the code for the Physician's part of the training, it is not billable by the dialysis unit.  90989 is for "completed" course so for the home hemo patient, they must successfully finish the training and perform dialysis at home.  There is ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Hello, we recently started a HHD program and trying to have a better grasp on the charges and CMS reimbursement. It looks like dialysis training cpt is 90989 is $2486. Is this for the entire course? Then we are interested in knowing what the HHD CPT is ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Wondering if anyone has an advanced directive and code policy that are willing to share.  Thank you. ------------------------------ [Kate] [Kern] RN BSN CNN] [Dialysis Director] [Tri-State Dialysis] [Dubuque) (Iowa) [563 589 4035] ------------------ ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Day on the Hill 2021  Virtually on May 18-19, 2021  **Deadline extended till Tuesday, April 27 at 5:00 pm ET** The Renal Healthcare Association plays a vital role in shaping healthcare policy for dialysis and ESRD patients, and comprehensive ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      So what you're considering is generally referred to as a "Central Feed System", and as with most things, the space needed is generally a function of the volume you're trying to produce/ hold/ use.  You'll want to look into local workplace (OSHAA) and ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      We use a distribution system in one clinic and jugs in the other. We mix the bicarb in the clinic that uses jugs in a tank and then dispense to the jugs. The clinic with the distribution system has a space about 7 ft X 10 ft. The bags of bicarb we use ... More