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COVID-19 News & Updates


Please find the COVID-19 updates and educational opportunities offered in November, listed below.

Updates for Patients
Educational Opportunities for Patients

Updates for Staff
Educational Opportunites for Staff

COVID-19 Updates

For Patients
November 30 NRAA Sends Letters to CMS, CDC Urging Prioritization of Patients with ESRD in COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
The National Renal Administrators Association (NRAA) recently announced they have sent a letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS) and to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), strongly urging for the prioritization of patients with End-Stage Renal Dialysis (ESRD) and the dialysis facility staff who provide their care, when considering COVID-19 vaccine distribution. 
 
Learn more
Access all the latest NRAA COVID-19 news
 
November 23 Quality Insights Renal Network 5 Wishes Everyone a Happy, Safe, and Healthy Holiday Season!
ESRD NCC Shares New Resources on COVID-19 Screening Fatigue


Are your patients experiencing COVID-19 screening fatigue?  The End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Network Coordinating Center (NCC) has shared new resources developed by ESRD Networks 7, 15, 16, 17, and 18, which include tools to help keep patients engaged in their care for COVID-19. Both resources:

  • Provide tips for helping patients overcome COVID-19 screening fatigue

  • Help identify patients’ potential exposure to COVID-19

  • Discuss how to improve response and engagement with COVID-19 screenings.

Patient Resource: What is COVID-19 Screening Fatigue?

Professional Resource: Tips to Overcoming COVID-19 Screening Fatigue

 
Download and share these resources. For additional COVID-19 resources, visit www.kidneycovidinfocenter.com
 
November 16 CMS Takes Steps to Ensure Medicare Beneficiaries Have Wide Access to COVID-19 Antibody Treatment
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced Medicare beneficiaries can receive coverage of monoclonal antibodies to treat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with no cost-sharing during the public health emergency (PHE).  CMS has received an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to cover monoclonal antibody infusions using bamlanivimab, with no cost to Medicare beneficiaries. 
 
CMS anticipates this will allow for a broad range of providers and suppliers, including freestanding and hospital-based infusion centers, home health agencies, nursing homes, and entities with whom nursing homes contract, to administer this treatment in accordance with the EUA, and bill Medicare for administration of these infusions.
 
Read Full Press Release
Dialysis Patient Citizens & Consumers’ Checkbook Release a Patient Tool to Compare Medicare Coverage Options
 
Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) has announced they have partnered with Consumers’ Checkbook to develop a comparison tool to assist patients with the new options available with the Plan Year 2021 Medicare Open Enrollment process.   Many dialysis patients will for the first time be able to choose from a wide-array of Medicare Advantage plans.  While these new health plan choices offer patients the prospect of saving money, and of having more closely coordinated care, patients may find they need assistance with choosing a plan with premiums, benefits, and in-network providers that fit their individual needs. 
 
Access New Comparison Tool
 
November 9 CMS Finalizes Transformative Medicare Payment Changes to Support Innovation in Kidney Care and Incentivize Dialysis in the Home
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has finalized policies to expand the End-Stage Renal Disease Prospective Payment System, Payment for Renal Dialysis Services Furnished to Individuals With Acute Kidney Injury, and End-Stage Renal Disease Quality Incentive Program.  Changes include a new policy that allows certain new and innovative equipment and supplies used for treatment of home End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients to qualify for an additional Medicare payment.
CMS is expanding eligibility for the transitional add-on payment adjustment for new/innovative equipment and supplies, that was introduced last year, to now include coverage of qualifying new dialysis machines when used in the home. The final rule encourages the development of new and innovative home dialysis machines that give Medicare beneficiaries with ESRD more home dialysis treatment options that can improve their quality of life.
 
View CMS Fact Sheet
View Final Rule
Dialysis Patient Citizens & Consumers’ Checkbook Release a Patient Tool to Compare Medicare Coverage Options
 
Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) has announced they have partnered with Consumers’ Checkbook to develop a comparison tool to assist patients with the new options available with the Plan Year 2021 Medicare Open Enrollment process.   Many dialysis patients will for the first time be able to choose from a wide-array of Medicare Advantage plans.  While these new health plan choices offer patients the prospect of saving money, and of having more closely coordinated care, patients may find they need assistance with choosing a plan with premiums, benefits, and in-network providers that fit their individual needs. 
 
Access New Comparison Tool
 
November 2 CMS Issues 4th COVID-19 Interim Final Rule & Acts to Ensure Coverage of Life-Saving COVID-19 Vaccines & Therapeutics
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is taking steps to ensure all Americans, including the nation’s seniors, have access to the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost, when it becomes available. CMS has:
  • released a comprehensive plan with proactive measures to remove regulatory barriers and ensure consistent coverage and payment for the administration of an eventual vaccine (Interim Final Rule with Comment Period IFC-4);
  • released a set of toolkits for providers, states and insurers to help the health care system prepare to swiftly administer the vaccine once it is available; and,
  • is taking action to increase reimbursement for any new COVID-19 treatments that are approved or authorized by the FDA.
Read Full Press Release
View Toolkits (in the COVID-19 Vaccine Information for you box; mid-page)
Read the Full Interim Final Rule (IFC-4)
 

 

For Staff
November 30 NRAA Sends Letters to CMS, CDC Urging Prioritization of Patients with ESRD in COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
The National Renal Administrators Association (NRAA) recently announced they have sent a letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS) and to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), strongly urging for the prioritization of patients with End-Stage Renal Dialysis (ESRD) and the dialysis facility staff who provide their care, when considering COVID-19 vaccine distribution. 
 
Learn more
Access all the latest NRAA COVID-19 news
 
November 23 Quality Insights Renal Network 5 Wishes Everyone a Happy, Safe, and Healthy Holiday Season!
 
November 16 Project ECHO Requests Feedback on HHS/ASPR COVID-19 Clinical Rounds Series
Since March 24th Project ECHO has presented a collaborative HHS/ASPR web series called COVID-19 Clinical Rounds, hosting more than 85 sessions with more than 36,000 participants.  They are requesting feedback in a very brief, 4-questions survey to assess the impact of the COVID-19 Clinical Rounds series. If you attended any of these webinar events, please take a quick minute to extend your feedback to them at the link below.  Thank you in advance.
 
HHS/ASPR COVID-19 Clinical Rounds Participant Survey
 
November 9 CMS Finalizes Transformative Medicare Payment Changes to Support Innovation in Kidney Care and Incentivize Dialysis in the Home
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has finalized policies to expand the End-Stage Renal Disease Prospective Payment System, Payment for Renal Dialysis Services Furnished to Individuals With Acute Kidney Injury, and End-Stage Renal Disease Quality Incentive Program.  Changes include a new policy that allows certain new and innovative equipment and supplies used for treatment of home End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients to qualify for an additional Medicare payment.
CMS is expanding eligibility for the transitional add-on payment adjustment for new/innovative equipment and supplies, that was introduced last year, to now include coverage of qualifying new dialysis machines when used in the home. The final rule encourages the development of new and innovative home dialysis machines that give Medicare beneficiaries with ESRD more home dialysis treatment options that can improve their quality of life.
 
View CMS Fact Sheet
View Final Rule
COVID-19 Reporting Moving to NHSN; CDC Offers Training THIS WEEK!!
COVID-19 reporting is moving to NHSN, starting THIS MONTH!  To assist facilities that will need to report the data manually, the CDC is offering training opportunities, where NHSN subject matter experts will provide an overview of the enrollment process, data collection form, and the Outpatient Dialysis COVID-19 Module website.  There are two dates available THIS WEEK; both trainings will be identical in content.
 
View and/or Register for the CDC’s COVID-19 NHSN Training Opportunities
 
November 2 CMS Issues 4th COVID-19 Interim Final Rule & Acts to Ensure Coverage of Life-Saving COVID-19 Vaccines & Therapeutics
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is taking steps to ensure all Americans, including the nation’s seniors, have access to the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost, when it becomes available. CMS has:
  • released a comprehensive plan with proactive measures to remove regulatory barriers and ensure consistent coverage and payment for the administration of an eventual vaccine (Interim Final Rule with Comment Period IFC-4);
  • released a set of toolkits for providers, states and insurers to help the health care system prepare to swiftly administer the vaccine once it is available; and,
  • is taking action to increase reimbursement for any new COVID-19 treatments that are approved or authorized by the FDA.
Read Full Press Release
View Toolkits (in the COVID-19 Vaccine Information for you box; mid-page)
Read the Full Interim Final Rule (IFC-4)
COVID-19 Reporting Moving to NHSN; CDC Offers Training
COVID-19 reporting is moving to NHSN, starting THIS MONTH!  To assist facilities that will need to report the data manually, the CDC is offering training opportunities, where NHSN subject matter experts will provide an overview of the enrollment process, data collection form, and the Outpatient Dialysis COVID-19 Module website.  There are two dates available NEXT WEEK; both trainings will be identical in content.
 
View and/or Register for the CDC’s COVID-19 NHSN Training Opportunities
 


COVID-19 Educational Opportunities

For Patients
November 30 CMS COVID-19 Quickinar Event
Exploring the Immediate and Long-Term Effects of COVID-19
(Patient Event – Featuring Network 5’s own Patrick and Tina Gee!!)
Tuesday, December 1, 2020 | 4:00 PM ET
Register
Looking ahead:

DPC Presents: Coping During the Holidays in the Pandemic
Thursday, December 17, 2020 | 2:00 PM ET
Register
View Flyer
Follow these instructions on the day of call at 2:00 PM ET
 
November 23
 
Looking ahead:

DPC Presents: Coping During the Holidays in the Pandemic
Thursday, December 17, 2020 | 2:00 PM ET
Register
View Flyer
Follow these instructions on the day of call at 2:00 PM ET

CMS COVID-19 Quickinar Event
Exploring the Immediate and Long-Term Effects of COVID-19
(Patient Event – Featuring Network 5’s own Patrick and Tina Gee!!)
Tuesday, December 1, 2020 | 4:00 PM ET
Register
 
November 16 CMS COVID-19 Quickinar Event
Patient Screening for COVID-19: Why Your Responses are Important  (Patient Event)
Tuesday, November 17, 2020 | 4:00 PM ET
Register
Ticket to Work: Online Work Incentive Seminar Event (WISE)
Debunking the Three Biggest Myths about Disability Benefits and Work
Wednesday, November 18, 2020 | 3:00 PM ET
Register
DPC Presents: Looking out for the Caregiver
Thursday, November 19, 2020 | 2:00 PM ET
View Flyer
Follow these instructions on the day of call at 2:00 PM ET
 
November 9
Looking ahead:
DPC Presents: Looking out for the Caregiver
Thursday, November 19, 2020 | 2:00 PM ET
View Flyer
Follow these instructions on the day of call at 2:00 PM ET
 
November 2
CMS COVID-19 Quickinar Event
Celebrating the Holidays Safely During COVID-19  (Patient Event)                                      Tuesday, November 3, 2020 | 4:00 PM ET
Register
Looking ahead:
DPC Presents: Looking out for the Caregiver
Thursday, November 19, 2020 | 2:00 PM ET
View Flyer
Follow these instructions on the day of call at 2:00 PM ET
 

 

For Staff
November 30 HHS/ASPR COVID-19 Clinical Rounds
 
EMS: Complacency - COVID Breach in a Rural Fire District
Monday, November 30, 2020 | 12:00 PM ET
Register 

Critical Care: Medical Operations Coordination
Tuesday, December 1, 2020 | 12:00 PM ET
Register

Emergency Department: Monoclonal Antibodies
Thursday, December 3, 2020 | 12:00 PM ET
Register

If you miss a HHS/ASPR COVID-19 Clinical Round session, recordings of past events are available online.
Looking ahead:
 
CMS COVID-19 Quickinar Event
Home Dialysis During COVID: Lessons Learned and Round Two (Provider Event)
Tuesday, December 9, 2020 | 3:00 PM ET
Register
 
 
American Society of Nephrology (ASN) 2020 Diabetic Kidney Disease Collaborative Roundtable Series
 
New Approaches to Transform Outcomes for Kidney Disease and Heart Disease in Patients with Diabetes
Clinical experts will review the latest guidelines for both kidney disease and heart disease, and discuss the most recent trials and promising therapies.  A roundtable of experts from nephrology, cardiology, and endocrinology will consider implications for diabetes, kidney and heart disease treatment in 2021.
 
Thursday, December 10, 2020 | 4:00 PM ET
Register
 
November 23 CMS COVID-19 Quickinar Event
Navigating the Holidays During COVID-19: Tips for Professionals 
Tuesday, November 24, 2020 | 3:00 PM ET
Register
**Continuing Education credit for CMS COVID-19 Quickinar Events is extended by the ESRD NCC. Please contact the ESRD NCC with questions or for technical assistance at nccinfo@hsag.com.
Looking ahead:
 
American Society of Nephrology (ASN) 2020 Diabetic Kidney Disease Collaborative Roundtable Series
 
New Approaches to Transform Outcomes for Kidney Disease and Heart Disease in Patients with Diabetes
Clinical experts will review the latest guidelines for both kidney disease and heart disease, and discuss the most recent trials and promising therapies.  A roundtable of experts from nephrology, cardiology, and endocrinology will consider implications for diabetes, kidney and heart disease treatment in 2021.
 
Thursday, December 10, 2020 | 4:00 PM ET
Register
 
November 16 HHS/ASPR COVID-19 Clinical Rounds

EMS: Patient Care & Operations
Monday, November 16, 2020 | 12:00 PM ET
Register


Critical Care: Update on Convalescent Plasma
Tuesday, November 17, 2020 | 12:00 PM ET
Register

Emergency Department: Javits Center - Alternate Care Sites Revisited
Thursday, November 19, 2020 | 12:00 PM ET
Register

If you miss a HHS/ASPR COVID-19 Clinical Round session, recordings of past events are available online.

DPC Presents: Looking out for the Caregiver
Thursday, November 19, 2020 | 2:00 PM ET
View Flyer
Follow these instructions on the day of call at 2:00 PM ET
Looking ahead:
 
CMS COVID-19 Quickinar Event
Navigating the Holidays During COVID-19: Tips for Professionals 
Tuesday, November 24, 2020 | 3:00 PM ET
Register
**Continuing Education credit for CMS COVID-19 Quickinar Events is extended by the ESRD NCC. Please contact the ESRD NCC with questions or for technical assistance at nccinfo@hsag.com.
 

American Society of Nephrology (ASN) 2020 Diabetic Kidney Disease Collaborative Roundtable Series
 
New Approaches to Transform Outcomes for Kidney Disease and Heart Disease in Patients with Diabetes
Clinical experts will review the latest guidelines for both kidney disease and heart disease, and discuss the most recent trials and promising therapies.  A roundtable of experts from nephrology, cardiology, and endocrinology will consider implications for diabetes, kidney and heart disease treatment in 2021.
 
Thursday, December 10, 2020 | 4:00 PM ET
Register
 
November 9 CDC Offers NHSN Training: Outpatient Dialysis COVID-19 Module
With COVID-19 reporting moving to NHSN, the CDC is offering training for facilities that will need to report the data manually.  NHSN subject matter experts will provide an overview of the enrollment process, data collection form, and the Outpatient Dialysis COVID-19 Module website. 

Monday, November 9, 2020 | 2:00 PM ET
or
Tuesday, November 10, 2020 | 3:30 PM ET
Register

Both trainings will be identical in content, so you will only need to attend one session. Advance registration is required.  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing webinar access information. The webinar will be recorded; the recording will be available on the Outpatient Dialysis COVID-19 Module website post-event.
HHS/ASPR COVID-19 Clinical Rounds

EMS: Rural Successes and Challenges
Monday, November 9, 2020 | 12:00 PM ET
Register


Critical Care: Crisis Care
Tuesday, November 10, 2020 | 12:00 PM ET
Register

Emergency Department: Patient Care and Operations – All Institute of India Medical Sciences
Thursday, November 12, 2020 | 12:00 PM ET
Register

If you miss a HHS/ASPR COVID-19 Clinical Round session, recordings of past events are available online.

CMS COVID-19 Quickinar Event
Flu Versus COVID-19 Myths (Provider Event)  ** OFFERING 1 CE CREDIT!
Tuesday, November 10, 2020 | 3:00 PM ET
Register
**Continuing Education credit for CMS COVID-19 Quickinar Events is extended by the ESRD NCC. Please contact the ESRD NCC with questions or for technical assistance at nccinfo@hsag.com.
Looking ahead:

DPC Presents: Looking out for the Caregiver
Thursday, November 19, 2020 | 2:00 PM ET
View Flyer
Follow these instructions on the day of call at 2:00 PM ET

American Society of Nephrology (ASN) 2020 Diabetic Kidney Disease Collaborative Roundtable Series
 
New Approaches to Transform Outcomes for Kidney Disease and Heart Disease in Patients with Diabetes
Clinical experts will review the latest guidelines for both kidney disease and heart disease, and discuss the most recent trials and promising therapies.  A roundtable of experts from nephrology, cardiology, and endocrinology will consider implications for diabetes, kidney and heart disease treatment in 2021.
 
Thursday, December 10, 2020 | 4:00 PM ET
Register
 
November 2 HHS/ASPR COVID-19 Clinical Rounds

EMS: Continued PPE Use Issues
Monday, November 2, 2020 | 12:00 PM ET
Register


Critical Care: Diabetes and COVID-19
Tuesday, November 3, 2020 | 12:00 PM ET
Register

Emergency Department: Physician Suicide During the Pandemic
Thursday, November 5, 2020 | 12:00 PM ET
Register

If you miss a HHS/ASPR COVID-19 Clinical Round session, recordings of past events are available online.

Looking ahead:
 
CDC Offers NHSN Training: Outpatient Dialysis COVID-19 Module
With COVID-19 reporting moving to NHSN, the CDC is offering training for facilities that will need to report the data manually.  NHSN subject matter experts will provide an overview of the enrollment process, data collection form, and the Outpatient Dialysis COVID-19 Module website. 

Monday, November 9, 2020 | 2:00 PM ET
or
Tuesday, November 10, 2020 | 3:30 PM ET
Register

Both trainings will be identical in content, so you will only need to attend one session. Advance registration is required.  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing webinar access information. The webinar will be recorded; the recording will be available on the Outpatient Dialysis COVID-19 Module website post-event.


CMS COVID-19 Quickinar Event
Flu Versus COVID-19 Myths (Provider Event)  ** OFFERING 1 CE CREDIT!
Tuesday, November 10, 2020 | 3:00 PM ET
Register
**Continuing Education credit for CMS COVID-19 Quickinar Events is extended by the ESRD NCC. Please contact the ESRD NCC with questions or for technical assistance at nccinfo@hsag.com.
 

DPC Presents: Looking out for the Caregiver
Thursday, November 19, 2020 | 2:00 PM ET
View Flyer
Follow these instructions on the day of call at 2:00 PM ET

American Society of Nephrology (ASN) 2020 Diabetic Kidney Disease Collaborative Roundtable Series
 
New Approaches to Transform Outcomes for Kidney Disease and Heart Disease in Patients with Diabetes
Clinical experts will review the latest guidelines for both kidney disease and heart disease, and discuss the most recent trials and promising therapies.  A roundtable of experts from nephrology, cardiology, and endocrinology will consider implications for diabetes, kidney and heart disease treatment in 2021.
 
Thursday, December 10, 2020 | 4:00 PM ET
Register
 

 

Past Updates and Opportunities