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

      This looks like it's going to be a great and timely presentation. There are so many times when I have seen patients and families have different perspectives on the care that should be continued OR discontinued. I really think we owe it to our patients ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Don't miss July's Webinar Wednesday presentation! Enhancing Patient Autonomy and Avoiding Unwanted Care through Advanced Care Planning July 13, 2022 | 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET This session will review an approach to encourage patients and their ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Having survived an audit of MCP, the answer is definitely YES you should have a note to verify every face to face (or telemedicine) encounter since we bill by the number of these visits per months.  In our clinic, we do 4 rounds and they are performed ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      There should be a complete assessment of the patient documented by the physician or Extender. If the Extender does it, it may be subject to the 85% payment rate from CMS or other payers. So it's always best the physician does the complete assessment ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Hi Kate, For the physician to include the visit in their MCP charge, there should be a note that outlines the encounter with the patient and any pertinent data relating to the patient that the provider reviewed. Best, ------------------------------ ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      If the physician or midlevel sees the patient during dialysis but does not write any new orders, does there have to be a note to correlate with visit to meet requirements to get paid or can they just sign off that saw them?  Thank you for any input. ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      I asked my home program dietitian for her input...see below "I've had 2 patients on IPN over the years. Albumin did not really improve but that is not a good marker as it is an inflammatory marker. Both patients did well and other markers ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Hello, We have 1 patient on IPN and it hasn't changed his albumin level much. ------------------------------ Alisha Thiel Home Dialysis Manager Sanford Health Fargo ND (701) 234-8426 ------------------------------ More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      It has been a few years back but we tried Proplete IP made by Pantec. We did not see any change in Albumin levels for our PD patients. We use oral Liquacel for them now and maintain about 40% of our patients >3.7 even with the use of this the numbers ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Our clinic has been having difficulty reaching Kt/V  for our PD population with higher BMIs. Wondering if anyone has experience using an adjusted weight, to account for being unable to dialyze adipose tissue, and ideal weight?  KDOQI 2006: ------------------------------ ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Just wondering if any home therapy programs are using IPN for their PD patients to improve albumin levels?  If so, how have your outcomes been? ------------------------------ Angie Kroth Fort Smith Regional Dialysis Center Fort Smith AR (479) 755-6700 ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      CMS issued a  Calendar Year 2023 ESRD Prospective Payment System (PPS)  proposed rule (CMS-1768-P) to update Medicare payment policies and rates for renal dialysis services. See a  summary of key provisions . Proposals include:  Rebase and revise ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      We have 2 vendor options.  RPC of course has all of your test strips for the water room and if you buy in bigger quantities, the price is better.  Metro also has hardness test strips. FYI - We use Total Quality Medical for water room supplies like our ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Hach low range water hardness strips. In oregon, we have great water and don't even use softeners in our acute program. More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Hello, When it comes to total hardness strips to test the RO water, which brand do you all use?? Thanks ------------------------------ Trudy Rister Director of Renal Dialysis Services Lady of the Sea Dialysis Center Cut Off LA (985) 632-4900 ------ ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Hi Julie, Trisodium 4% Citrate comes in bags. Our IP pharmacy draws it up per unit dose under the hood in pharmacy for our blocks. We get ours from Fresenius Kabi. Take care, Jackie Confidentiality Notice: This e-mail message, including ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Julie, I will chase it down for you. Confidentiality Notice: This e-mail message, including any attachments, is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      thanks Jackie.  That would be very helpful. ------------------------------ Julie Williams Administrator Branson Dialysis Branson MO (417) 334-8288 ------------------------------ More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      We use this product Julie, I'm happy to find out for you where we purchase it from. Confidentiality Notice: This e-mail message, including any attachments, is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged ... More

    • Profile Picture

      sodium citrate

      Posted in: Voices Community

      Hello RHA!  I am hoping to get information on where I can purchase Sodium Citrate 4% for injection into catheters.  I contacted our usual RHA vendors but they don't carry the 4% in an injectable syringe.  Anything help would be enormously appreciated. ... More