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

      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 https://a.co/d/8ajMzqb 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 www.shiphelp.org ) 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

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Our patients do sign a contract stating that they are responsible and need to return any equipment that is loaned to them... As far as getting machines back...usually our NxStage patients CALL US to get the machine out of their home ASAP... but the PD ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      The only possibly good thing for you is that he will be needing supplies.  The new facility hopefully will reach out to you for prior orders or for you to discharge him from your facility so they can admit him. ------------------------------ Jane Sapp ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Over time we have had several patients refuse to return or get their machine ready for shipping.  Two we said we would either come to their home to pick up or charge then rent (empty threat).  One patient we actually went to their home and they refused ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      1 - I don't use Visonex 2 - Agree with Becky.  You need to have an attestation signed by the patient when they take home the cycler that this is RENTED and not our property and not their property so if the therapy is discontinued they must return it.  ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      You can send them to collection, and ultimately get a lien on their property if that's allowable in your state. However likely, chalk it up as a loss. It happens from time to time. You may have property insurance coverage, but likely your deductible ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      hey Amy, 1. we don't u se 2. we have gotten the same letter in the past. We have in turn sent letters to the patients informing them we would bill them for the equipment if they do not return within a time period. On the front end when they start the ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      Hi all. I have two unrelated questions. 1) Does anyone out there use Visionex QMAT and what do you like about it?  Any challenges with the program? 2) Has anyone ever experienced a patient who will not return their peritoneal dialysis machine and how ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      They also sent this link for where they are getting their answer.. https://www.cms.gov/files/document/esrd-measures-manual-v61.pdf ------------------------------ Julie Williams Administrator Branson Dialysis Branson MO (417) 334-8288 ------------- ... More

    • Posted in: Voices Community

      I sent a question directly to CMS to clarify my question and here is a very detailed response - Thought I would share with the RHA world.. From the CMS Resolution Center: Short Description : exclusions are not clear in the technical specifications Close ... More