COVID-19 Information Hub


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.  


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

    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 


    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


    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

    Mental Wellness





    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




    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 


    Latest Discussions List

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Melinda, We are not testing the unvaccinated staff.  Our policy states the unvaccinated staff/providers wear N95 masks.  Patients wear masks regardless of vaccination status.   Amy ------------------------------ Amy Young Director of Dialysis Wise Health ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Hi Melinda, At University of Vermont Medical Center, we screen patients for COVID. Staff, providers, contractors are supposed to self-monitor for symptoms and not come to work sick. We do not screen visitors. -Jayesh More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Thank you ladies for your very timely and helpful response!! Melinda ------------------------------ Melinda Keto Senior Consultant Healthcare Design Specialists Asheville NC (513) 706-0663 ------------------------------ More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Hi, CDC updated the requirements of screening of asymptomatic healthcare personnel in September of 2022. It clarified that 'screening testing of asymptomatic healthcare personnel, including those in nursing homes, is at the discretion of the healthcare ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Hi Melinda. We were told the same so we updated our policy to include staff and visitor self screening.  Hope this helps. ------------------------------ Amy Young Director of Dialysis Wise Health System Decatur TX (940) 626-1700 -------------------- ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Hello,  An accrediting agency is stating that all outpatient dialysis staff, including porviders, must be screening daily for COVID.  The staff screening includes all the same questions and temp check that is being conducted with patients and visitors. ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Good morning Kate. The reason there is a three minute waiting period is to allow the heparin to circulate throughout the patient's body via their circulatory system. Heparin is bound to a protein (the blood). We are heparinizing the patient in order ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Kate, our policy also states that there is a 3-minute wait after administering heparin before initiating dialysis.  Someone out there may have literature justifying this wait. Thank you. Susan ------------------------------ Susan Senich Director of ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      I would appreciate others sharing their heparin policies.  We currently require  that the initial heparin bolus (if they receive)  is given and allowed to circulate for 2-3 minutes before starting the treatment but am questioning if necessary to wait ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      We learn so much from voices - so many experts in our ESRD world.  Thank you. ------------------------------ Caprice Vanderkolk RN, BS, MS, BC-NE Manager /Administrator Dialysis and Pediatrics Kidney Center Office C2318 2450 ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Thank you for the great suggestions and advice - as I figure things out I will definitely share the morbid details!  At least we are past HUMP day and the ice storm! ------------------------------ Julie Williams Administrator Branson Dialysis Branson ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Something caught my eye here... You mentioned the patient is a nursing home patient. Remember SNF reimbursement can get hairy too, and the SNF's often work with patients/ families to switch insurance to ensure long-term care. That PPO plan, I'm certain, ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Julie, this is odd. If they did switch the patient to one of their Dual plans, you may have a problem. From your thread, I am assuming that MO is still a state where Medicaid pays the Medicare coinsurance. Maybe the patient lost Medicaid eligibility? ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      I tell you one thing that works is naval jelly. Henkel 553472 16OZ Naval Jelly, 16 Fluid Ounce, Fl Oz I work on cars, etc, and this dissolved rust nicely. I'm not sure about stainless steel though, give the directions ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Here is an example.  Patient we have had for 4 years with UHC Dual Complete Choice PPO SNP and MO Medicaid paying as 2nd and patient classified as QMB, patient in Nursing Home.  In November of 2022, her MO Medicaid was updated stating she is no longer ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Julie, I bet you could get assistance through MO Kidney Program's CLAIM counselors. Call 573-882-2506 and ask for Tammy or Valerie. (Every state has a SHIP or Senior Health Insurance Program Assistance office, at ) They can ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Thanks for your response ------------------------------ Wanle Turton RN Manager Deer's Head Center Kidney Dialysis Unit Salisbury MD (410) 543-4000 ------------------------------ More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Julie, as far as I know, UHC Community Plan is a 100% Medicaid product, it is not an MA dual plan. This is probably the issue. We have dual UHC members here and the Community Plan is not involved, even as the secondary. UHC effectively is ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      So in Missouri we are having a problem with a specific UHC Community Plan that is effectively cancelling the patient QMB Medicaid?  This is a disaster for us because now I am only getting 80% on my patients where I used to get at least 100% of Medicare ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      We had a surveyor who was very upset with our rusty stainless steel wall boxes (we are independent but purchased this unit from a hospital based program who has stainless steel everything).   We used CLR to get rid of the rust because we could not find ... More