Author: IPRO

Be Ready, Be Prepared! Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 9-15, 2021

With the onset of the 2021 hurricane season closely upon us, now is the time to start preparing! The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th. Forecasters are predicting that oceanic and atmospheric conditions in the Atlantic will be favorable for a more active than usual hurricane season in the months ahead. Planning and preparing now can make a big difference in safety and resiliency in the wake of a hurricane. The ability to quickly recover following a hurricane requires a focus on preparedness, advance planning, and knowing what to do in the event of a hurricane.
Prepare Your Staff and Patients: Get the Conversation Started!
One of the most effective ways to share information and motivate people to take steps for personal preparedness is to talk to staff members and patients. Add a preparedness discussion to the weekly huddle, your next staff organizational QAPI meeting, or arrange a lunch and learn session. You can cover the basics in about 15 minutes; but 30 minutes will provide more time for open discussion and/or questions.
Be Prepared! Plan Ahead.
Begin preparing now and know what you’re going to do in the event of a hurricane. Planning ahead gives you more options and better control over situations that could become chaotic at the last moment if you’re not ready. To learn more about how to prepare for a hurricane visit ready.gov/hurricanes. Find out about preparedness drills or exercises in your area at https://www.ready.gov/testing-exercises.
Tips for Planning Ahead

National Nurses Week- May 6-12, 2021

National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6th and ends on May 12th, Florence Nightingale’s birthday. The week was first observed in the US in October 1954 to mark the 100th anniversary of Nightingale’s pioneering work. Twenty years later, in February of 1974, President Nixon proclaimed a National Nurse Week to be celebrated annually in May.

No matter the setting, the situation or the care specialty, nurses across the country work hard every day to keep people as safe and as healthy as possible. They are staunch advocates for their patients, expert and efficient multitaskers, and compassionate caregivers. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, everyday nurses with these remarkable qualities continue to hold our communities together.

The staff at the IPRO ESRD Network Program cannot thank nurses enough for their tireless efforts, sacrifice, dedication and fortitude in caring for patients, care partners, and dialysis families everyday…and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please display the Healthcare Heroes Poster in a common area as a representation of our gratitude, and share the Staff Self-Care Tips and Checklist During the COVID-19 Pandemic with team members to help support their superhero status.

We thank you for everything you do to improve the lives of individuals with end stage renal disease!

World Hand Hygiene Day is May 5, 2021

As described by the World Health Organization (WHO), the SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands global campaign, launched in 2009 and celebrated annually on 5 May aims to maintain global promotion, visibility and sustainability of hand hygiene in health care and to ‘bring people together’ in support of hand hygiene improvement around the world.
For World Hand Hygiene Day 2021, WHO calls on health care workers and facilities to achieve effective hand hygiene action at the point of care. The point of care refers to the place where three elements come together: the patient, the health care worker, and care or treatment involving contact with the patient or their surroundings. To be effective and prevent transmission of infectious microorganisms during health care delivery, hand hygiene should be performed when it is needed (at 5 specific moments) and in the most effective way (by using the right technique with readily available products) at the point of care. This can be achieved by:

COVID-19 Trend Maps Available

The End Stage Renal Disease National Coordinating Center (ESRD NCC), in collaboration with Kidney Community Emergency Response, presents COVID-19 positive case rates among the general population and the ESRD population in maps. Maps are organized by ESRD Network service area and presented in PDF format, both in color and black and white, optimized for printing in grayscale. The ESRD NCC encourages sharing these maps with facilities, transplant centers, and all ESRD patients.

This overview data is meant for general illustrative purposes and should not be construed as the final and most up-to-date detailed analysis, as this includes self-reported data. For the most accurate data related to COVID-19 cases, please go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID Data Tracker webpage at covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#cases_totalcases.

National Living Donor Assistance Center

Many dialysis patients feel discouraged to ask a family member, caregiver or a friend to become their kidney donor as they fear creating a financial burden for them. Luckly, there are new bills and program expansions to help living donors with expenses and other financial challenges. One of these programs is the National Living Donor Assistance Center (NLDAC), which can help with living donor travel expenses, lost wages and dependent care expenses! Although the transplant center usually takes care of the living donor application, dialysis facility staff can help educate dialysis patients about this program for consideration of living donation.
To learn more about NLDAC, consider watching these recorded webinars:

Upcoming Vocational Rehabilitation Educational Opportunity

Each month the Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work program hosts the Work Incentives Seminar Event (WISE), which are free webinars on vocational rehabilitation services for eligible populations. They are held on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Past WISE webinars can be accessed at WISE on Demand. The next webinar will be held:
When: Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Time: 3:00pm – 4:30pm (EST)
Patients may be eligible for additional benefits even if they receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). You can also learn more about work incentives in the the Red Book: A Summary Guide to Employment Supports for Persons with Disabilities Under the SSDI and SSI Programs.
Please also visit the IPRO ESRD Network Program website for additional information and resources about vocational rehabilitation.

World Immunization Week (April 24–30)

During the last week of April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and global public health partners recognize World Immunization Week – a time dedicated to promoting the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against diseases and death. While the world focuses on critically important new vaccines to protect against COVID-19, there remains a need to ensure routine vaccinations are not missed. Immunizations save millions of lives every year and is widely recognized as one of the world’s most successful health interventions. This year’s campaign will aim to build solidarity and trust in vaccination as a public good that saves lives and protects health.
Please promote the importance of vaccines and immunizations to both healthcare providers/professionals and individuals with ESRD with information from the CDC.

COVID Precautions Poster Available: A High Risk Person Lives Here

The IPRO ESRD Network Program is excited to share a new patient-developed resource to help keep individuals safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. This resource is intended for patients to display the color 11 X 17 poster size English | Spanish sign on their front door, entry hallway, and/or window to provide precautionary guidance and educational reminders to visitors entering their home. The tool was designed to be particularly useful for individuals living in multi-generational homes and/or shared residences. The design layout has also been adaptable for print in black/white on 8 1/2 X 11 letter size to increase accessibility for patients.

April is National Donate Life Month

Celebrated in April each year, National Donate Life Month (NDLM) features an entire month of local, regional and national activities to help encourage Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to celebrate those that have saved lives through the gift of donation.
Here are some important facts about donation from the 2021 Donation and Transplantation Statistics from the Donate Life America Donor Designation Report and the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN):
  • More than 39,000 transplants brought renewed life to patients, families, and communities.
  • 7,000 people die each year because the organs they need are not donated in time.
  • 85% of patients on the waiting list are waiting for a kidney. The average waiting time is 3 to 5 years.
  • More than 165 million people are registered organ, eye and tissue donors.

95% of Americans support donation, but only 60% are registered — help bridge the gap! By registering to be an organ, eye and tissue donor in the National Donate Life Registry, you are helping to save lives and give hope to the more than 100,000 people in the United States currently waiting for lifesaving organ transplants. Any adult age 18 or older can register – regardless of age or medical history.

Implementation of Changes in the ESRD PPS and Payment for Dialysis Furnished for AKI in ESRD Facilities for CY 2021

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a Medical Learning Network (MLN) Matters article #MM12188 on Implementation of Changes in the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Prospective Payment System (PPS) and Payment for Dialysis Furnished for Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) in ESRD Facilities for Calendar Year (CY) 2021.  The MLN Matters article is for ESRD facilities that bill Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) for services they provide to Medicare patients.  The article tells about the Calendar Year (CY) 2021 rate updates and policies for the ESRD PPS and implements payment for renal dialysis services furnished to Medicare patients with Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) in ESRD facilities. Learn about rate and policy updates, and make sure billing staff are aware of these changes.

Kidney Care Choices (KCC) Model

Update: The Kidney Care Choices (KCC) Model’s first Performance Year start date will now be January 1, 2022. CMS looks forward to sharing additional information when available.

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is announcing the Kidney Care Choices (KCC) Model start date for the first Performance Year will be delayed from April 1, 2021 to January 1, 2022. This change applies to all four options within the KCC Model: the CMS Kidney Care First (KCF) Option, and the three Comprehensive Kidney Care Contracting (CKCC) Options. Participants and stakeholders will be notified of any updates via listserv, as information becomes available. Updates for the KCC Model will also be posted to the KCC webpage.

Outreach and Education Resources for Partners During the Pandemic

As COVID-19 vaccines begin rolling out across the country, CMS is taking action to protect the health and safety of our nation’s patients and providers and keeping you updated on the latest COVID-19 resources from HHS, CDC and CMS.

With information coming from many different sources, CMS has compiled resources and materials to help you share important and relevant information on the COVID-19 vaccine with the people that you serve. You can find these and more resources on the COVID-19 Partner Resources Page and the HHS COVID Education Campaign page. We look forward to partnering with you to promote vaccine safety and encourage our beneficiaries to get vaccinated when they have the opportunity.

Promoting COVID-19 Vaccines in Your Community

CDC has designed a COVID-19 vaccine toolkit to help your organization educate community members about COVID-19 vaccines, raise awareness about the benefits of vaccination, and address common questions and concerns. It is full of free digital resources, templates, posters and ideas for how to work within your community to help promote the COVID vaccine.

HOW CAN YOU GET STARTED?

Know the COVID-19 Vaccine Resources that are Available to You

Arabic | Spanish | Korean | Russian | Simplified Chinese | Tagalog | Traditional Chinese | Vietnamese

Use the COVID-19 Resources to Share your Messages

  • Adapt the key messages to the language, tone, and format that will resonate with your community. You know what works in your community.
  • Customize this template letter and send or email it to your community members to introduce your COVID-19 vaccine educational activities.
  • Print copies of the posters and use them as handouts or to hang in highly visible places in your community.
  • Organize a COVID-19 vaccine presentation for your community members and promote it via digital and community communication channels. If your community has internet access, organize a virtual presentation. If it does not, organize an in-person presentation following COVID-19 safety precautions. Ask if your local health department can provide a speaker if you do not have a health educator on staff.
  • Continue to educate your community via articles, blog posts, and CDC social media posts or retweet and share CMS Medicare social media messages on Twitter and Facebook.
  • Invite community members to wear stickers once they have been vaccinated and post vaccination selfies on social media.

Communicate with Your Community

  • Send an introductory letter to encourage your branches, chapters, or affiliates to review and use the toolkit materials, or a letter to members of your organization.
  • Drop the newsletter content into your e-newsletters or listservs to distributed and share information widely on COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Use the COVID-19 Vaccine Basic slide deck for virtual town halls or other informational meetings within your communities. You can use all or part of the set or also include your own organization’s information. Slides are also available in Spanish.
  • Share these key messages about COVID-19 vaccine to educate your communities. These key messages are also available in a printable PDF version.
  • Use the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to help answer questions about COVID-19 vaccine in your communities. FAQs also available in a printable PDF version.
  • Share credible and accurate COVID-19 vaccine information from the Myths & Facts page.
  • Encourage your community members who are vaccinated to enroll in v-safe an after vaccination health checker.

Questions? Please e-mail us: Partnership@cms.hhs.gov