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May 7, 2008 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has sent an e-mail blast following up on the recent End-Stage Renal Disease Open Door Forum.
CMS is offering members of the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) provider community and other ESRD stakeholders a venue to submit questions about the newly published ESRD Conditions for Coverage (CfCs). Our goal is to provide responses that will help inquirers understand the new requirements. We are requesting that members of the ESRD renal community submit questions pertaining to the ESRD CfCs to the CMS ESRD_Final_Rule_Rollout mailbox at ESRD_Final_Rule_Rollout@cms.hhs.gov beginning May 12, 2008. Please submit only questions that pertain to the CfCs, as we will only answer these questions, and on a rolling basis. We will also try to communicate the questions and answers in the most efficient manner back to stakeholders. Our goal is to be as timely as possible with responses, but we cannot commit to a prescribed schedule.

Questions pertaining to ESRD payment, claims processing, Network activity, and survey and certification issues should be directed to your usual contact within CMS. Please contact Lynn Riley at 410-786-1286 or Lauren Oviatt at 410-786-4683 with questions about this announcement.

April 15, 2008 - The Conditions for Coverage for End-Stage Renal Disease Facilities has been published in the Federal Register (116-page pdf file).

April 4, 2008 - The first CMS End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) focused Open Door Forum of 2008 is scheduled for April 17, 2008, 2:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).
(Please dial in at least 15 minutes prior to call start time.)

Conference Leader(s): Barry Straube/Lynn Riley/Natalie Highsmith

The focus of this ESRD ODF will be on the ESRD Conditions for Coverage Rule that was released on April 3, 2008. The final regulation will enhance the quality of care available to more than 336,000 Medicare beneficiaries with End-State Renal Disease (ESRD) who receive dialysis treatment from over 4,700 Medicare-approved renal dialysis facilities across the U.S. The regulation reflects important clinical and scientific advances in dialysis technology and standards of care practices since it was originally published in 1976.

The rule features important updates to the minimum standards that dialysis facilities must meet in order to participate in the Medicare program, such as:
  • Updating facility requirements that will strengthen patient infection control procedures;
  • Requiring defibrillators in every dialysis facility to respond rapidly to a heart attack;
  • Protecting beneficiaries’ rights during grievance and discharge procedures;
  • Prescribing minimum qualifications for patient care technicians (PCTs); and
  • Instituting a facility-level quality assurance and performance improvement (QAPI) to help facilities plan programs for improving the quality of patient care.
For more information about the new rule, please visit http://www.cms.hhs.gov/CFCsAndCoPs/13_ESRD.asp.

Open Door Forum Participation Instructions:

There are 2 ways to participate, by phone or in person.

1. To participate by phone:

Dial: 1-800-837-1935 & Reference Conference ID: 30068679

(Persons participating by phone are not required to RSVP.)

TTY Communications Relay Services are available for the Hearing Impaired. For TTY services dial 7-1-1 or 1-800-855-2880 and for Internet Relay services click here http://www.consumer.att.com/relay/which/index.html. A Relay Communications Assistant will help.

2. To participate in person:

To participate in person at the Hubert H. Humphrey Building: Your RSVP for Building Security Clearance is required. The RSVP deadline is April 15, 2008, 2:00 PM EDT. To RSVP, send your name, organization and telephone number to ESRDODF-L@cms.hhs.gov. Be sure to enter “ESRD” in the subject line.

Upon entry into the building, you will be required to show your Government issued photo identification, preferably a valid driver's license, and are subject to baggage or vehicular search before entering the complex.

Please arrive no later than 1:30 PM.

ADDRESS:
Hubert H. Humphrey Bldg.
200 Independence Avenue S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201

Map & Directions: http://www.hhs.gov/about/hhhmap.html

ENCORE: 1-800-642-1687; Conf. ID# 30068679

Encore is a recording of this call that can be accessed by dialing 1-800-642-1687 and entering the conference ID, beginning on Monday, April 21, 2008. The recording expires after 3 business days.

For Forum Schedule updates, Listserv registration and Frequently Asked Questions please visit our website at www.cms.hhs.gov/opendoorforums/


April 3, 2008 - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a press release announcing that it has released a display copy of a Final Rule which establishes new conditions for coverage that dialysis facilities must satisfy to be certified under the Medicare program. News item from Medicare Update.

Article from Reuters. (link is no longer available)

The Final Rule is a 625-page pdf file.

News summary from Kaiser Network.

These regulations are effective in 180 days and will serve as minimum standards that dialysis facilities must meet in order to meet to be certified under the Medicare program. These conditions for coverage are part of the Medicare survey and certification process.

Among the changes, the update includes:
  • updated infection control and water quality guidelines
  • defibrillator requirements
  • fire standards
  • expanded patient rights
  • a patient discharge policy
  • patient assessment and care plan requirements
  • technician training requirements
  • increased medical director responsibilities

Fact Sheet from CMS.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Gary Peterson,
 
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