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Northwest Renal Network

News Bulletins 2009
Part I - January through March

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  Topic Index  

 
    LATER BULLETINS
31 Mar 2009
    New AVF Brochures
31 Mar 2009
    ID Cards for Patients Using Buttonhole Cannulation
31 Mar 2009
    Network AVF Rate Reaches 64%
30 Mar 2009
    Patient Newsletter on Emergency Preparedness
25 Mar 2009
    Resources for State Survey Guidance under New Conditions for Coverage
24 Mar 2009
    Myfortic Medication Guide
24 Mar 2009
    New Labels on Heparin and Prograf
20 Mar 2009
    FDA Warns Against Sharing Insulin Pens or Cartridges
20 Mar 2009
    Advance Directive Resources; National Healthcare Decision Day April 16, 2009
18 Mar 2009
    Free HealthLine Teleconference on Transplantation 101
18 Mar 2009
    March Is National Kidney Month
17 Mar 2009
    State Surveyor Guides for New Conditions for Coverage
17 Mar 2009
    QAPI (Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement) Resources for New Conditions for Coverage
16 Mar 2009
    Class I Recall of Welch Allen AED 10 and MRL JumpStart Defibrillators
16 Mar 2009
    Class I Recall of Baxter Colleague Infusion Pumps
3 Mar 2009
    AAKP Seeks Nominations for Board of Directors
26 Feb 2009
    Genzyme Replacing Renagel with Renvela
17 Feb 2009
    Life Safety Code Component of Conditions for Coverage
16 Feb 2009
    CellCept and Myfortic Medication Guides
11 Feb 2009
    New HIPAA Web Site
9 Feb 2009
    Network Prevalent-Patient AVF Rate Finishes December at 63.9%
9 Feb 2009
    December 2008 Modality Reports Show 4.3% Annual Growth
6 Feb 2009
    Class II Recall of Fresenius CombiSet True Flow HD Blood Tubing
3 Feb 2009
    New Transplant Selection Criteria Web Page
2 Feb 2009
    New Patient Newsletter on Voicing Concerns
30 Jan 2009
    CME/CEU Workshop on New End-of-Life Law February 23 in Seattle
28 Jan 2009
    FDA Announcement on Possible Plavix (Clopidogrel) Interactions
27 Jan 2009
    Summary of Peanut Recalls
24 Jan 2009
    New Conditions Require Notification of Involuntary Discharge and Transfer
21 Jan 2009
    Recall of Nutrition/Energy Bars and Other Products Containing Peanut Butter
17 Jan 2009
    Warnings on Topical Anesthetics
16 Jan 2009
    CROWNWeb Implementation - Important CMS Announcement
15 Jan 2009
    March NW Renal Dietitians Conference Brochure
13 Jan 2009
    NKF Patient Education Symposium in Portland in March
4 Jan 2009
    Warning on Innohep
      EARLIER BULLETINS

  Topic Index  

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March 31, 2009
New AVF Brochures
There are later articles on Vascular Access.
We’ve mailed sample copies of three new AVF brochures to facilities, and placed them on the Network website, in the For-Patients section of our Fistula First page (http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/fist1st/fist1st.htm#patients).   We’ll mail a printed copy to patients who call to ask.   We invite facilities to download them from our website and print them for distribution to their patients.   The first brochure is called simply ArterioVenous Fistula, and it includes advantages and disadvantages of various types of access, a list of frequently asked questions, and other useful information.   It can be found at http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/fist1st/AVFBro.pdf.   The second brochure is the same, but in Spanish – Fístula Arteria Venosa, at http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/fist1st/AVFBroEsp.pdf.   The third is called Caring for & Developing Your New Fistula, and includes some easy-to-do exercises to help a new fistula mature.   Find it at http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/fist1st/AVFCare.pdf.   We created the first two; the third was developed by the Heartland Kidney Network.   There are earlier articles on Vascular Access.

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March 31, 2009
ID Cards for Patients Using Buttonhole Cannulation
There are later articles on Vascular Access.
The Network has created a pocket ID card for patients who use the buttonhole technique to carry, to inform other healthcare providers.   The AVF brochure mailing included a form that facilities can fax back to us to order copies of the card.   We’ve added the form to our “On Course with Cannulation” page at http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/fist1st/ffcannu.htm.   You can also download the form directly, from http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/fist1st/cannu/BHID.pdf.   There are earlier articles on Vascular Access.

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March 31, 2009
Network AVF Rate Reaches 64%
There are later articles on Vascular Access, on Quality Improvement, on Conditions for Coverage, and on Survey & Certification.
Congratulations are in order: the Network prevalent-patient AVF rate for January 2009 was 64.3%, and for February 64.0%, well on our way toward the goal of 66%.   The new Conditions for Coverage expect each facility to strive for the goal that 65-66% of their prevalent hemodialysis patients use an AVF, as outlined on the Measures Assessment Tool or “MAT” at http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/CfC/MAT.pdf (see Tag V633).   Currently, facility AVF rates range from 29% to 83%, so some facilities have a ways to go toward meeting this goal.   The February rate for long-term catheters was 8.8% for the Network as a whole, well within the goal of 10% or less.   At individual facilities, however, this rate varies from 0% up to 40%, and surveyors will expect all facilities to strive to bring this rate down to 10% or less.   There are earlier articles on Vascular Access, on Conditions for Coverage, on Quality Improvement and on Survey and Certification.

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March 30, 2009
Patient Newsletter on Emergency Preparedness
There are later articles on Emergency Preparedness and on Network Consumer News.
The new issue of Network Consumer News is on emergency preparedness.   If your dialysis facility hasn’t provided one to you, let us know.   This issue includes an emergency preparedness crossword puzzle, and a feedback form, “Tell Us What You Think,” to help us know/learn whether our new format is helpful.   You can find a copy of this issue at http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/P/NCN/NCNv2.4.pdf in the two-page edition, and http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/P/NCN/NCNv2.4big.pdf in the large-print edition.   The crossword puzzle is at http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/P/NCN/crossword.pdf and the feedback form at http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/P/NCN/TellUs.pdf.   For earlier issues of Network Consumer News, see http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/P/NCN.htm.   There are earlier articles on Network Consumer News and on Emergency Preparedness.

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March 25, 2009
Resources for State Survey Guidance under New Conditions for Coverage
There are later articles on Conditions for Coverage, on Survey and Certification, and on Water Treatment.
We've mailed to all Network dialysis facilities a selection of short documents that provide detail about what State Surveyors will look for under the new Conditions for Coverage.   You can download all of those documents, plus additional documents that were not mailed, from the menu at http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/CfC/Survey.htm.   We've also linked to several of these documents from relevant portions of other menus on the Network website.

The first two documents listed below were mentioned in an earlier bulletin (http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/news_bulletins09A.htm#ssa3e), but have been updated since that bulletin was issued (March 17).   If you downloaded documents from that bulletin, please download them again and discard the earlier copies.

The documents at http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/CfC/Survey.htm include:

Outline of the Basic ESRD Survey Process (updated): http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/CfC/SurveyProcess.pdf.

Measures Assessment Tool or MAT (updated): http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/CfC/MAT.pdf.

Infection Control, and
Requirements for Isolation Room/Area: http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/CfC/MAT/TanIsolation.pdf.

Correlation Grid for Patient Assessment and Plan of Care, and
Timelines for Patient Assessment and Plan of Care: http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/CfC/MAT/LilacCMPA.pdf.

AAMI RD 52: Monitoring Guidelines for Water Purification Equipment and Distribution Systems and Dialysis: http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/CfC/MAT/BlueAAMI.pdf.

Chemical Contaminant Levels in Water Used to Prepare Dialysate, and
Water System Flow Diagram: http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/CfC/MAT/BlueWater.pdf.

Personnel Requirements, and
National Commercial Dialysis Technician Certification Organizations: http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/CfC/MAT/GoldStaff.pdf.

Dialysis Lab Tests At A Glance: http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/CfC/MAT/PinkLabs.pdf.

ESRD Facilities V-Tags & Identifiers: http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/CfC/MAT/GreenVTags.pdf.

Principles of [Survey] Documentation Overview: http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/CfC/MAT/CoralDocs.pdf.

  There are earlier articles on Survey and Certification, on Conditions for Coverage, and on Water Treatment.

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March 24, 2009
Myfortic Medication Guide
There are later articles on CellCept/Myfortic.
Novartis has completed the Myfortic Medication Guide for patients, which the FDA asked it to prepare, and pharmacists will dispense it with the medication by May 15, 2009.   A copy can also be found at http://www.fda.gov/cder/foi/label/2008/050791s004lbl.pdf.   For more information see http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/safety/2009/safety09.htm#CellCept.   There are earlier articles on CellCept and Myfortic.

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March 24, 2009
New Labels on Heparin and Prograf
There are later articles on Prograf/Tacrolimus and on Heparin.
The FDA has announced safety labeling changes for Heparin Sodium and Prograf (tacrolimus).    For details see http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/safety/2009/feb09.htm.   There are earlier articles on Heparin.

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March 20, 2009
FDA Warns Against Sharing Insulin Pens or Cartridges
There are later articles on Insulin-Related Recalls.
The FDA has warned patients and providers that insulin pens and insulin cartridges should never be shared between patients.   Even if needles are changed, the pen reservoir can still harbor and communicate serious disease pathogens, including HIV and Hepatitis.   For details see http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/safety/2009/safety09.htm#Insulin.   There are earlier articles on Insulin-Related Recalls.

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March 20, 2009
Advance Directive Resources; National Healthcare Decision Day April 16, 2009
There are later articles on Advance Directives.
The Mid-Atlantic Renal Coalition has assembled a comprehensive summary of resources on advance directives for end of life, in support of National Healthcare Decision Day, which occurs on April 16, 2009.   Find a copy at http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/N/NHDD2009.pdf.   There are earlier articles on Advance Directives.

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March 18, 2009
Free HealthLine Teleconference on Transplantation 101
There are later articles on Patient Education and on Transplantation.
The AAKP HealthLine, a series of patient education conference calls, is presenting a call on “Renal Transplantation 101,” on March 31, 2009.   The call will cover the waiting list, candidacy, referral and evaluation, and management of kidney function to slow disease progression.   For details on this call, see http://www.aakp.org/events/HealthLine/Upcoming-Calls/march-2009/.   For more information about HealthLine in general, see http://www.aakp.org/events/HealthLine/index.cfm.   There are earlier articles on Patient Education and on Transplantation.

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March 18, 2009
March Is National Kidney Month
March is National Kidney Month.   For some of the relevant information releases, see the websites for AAKP at http://www.aakp.org/press/press-releases/2009-Press-Release/National-Kidney-Month/index.cfm, NKF at http://www.kidney.org/kidneydisease/kidneymonth/, and the Renal Support Network at http://rsnhope.org.  

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March 17, 2009
State Surveyor Guides for New Conditions for Coverage
There are later articles on Conditions for Coverage and on Survey and Certification.
We’ve added to the Network website a copy of the outline that State Surveyors will use when surveying dialysis facilities under the new Conditions for Coverage.   Find it at http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/CfC/SurveyProcess.pdf, along with a copy of the Measures Assessment Tool (MAT) or checklist they will use, at http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/CfC/MAT.pdf.   We’ve also added links to these new pages from http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/CfC/CfC.htm, our overview Conditions for Coverage page.   There are earlier articles on Conditions for Coverage and on Survey and Certification.

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March 17, 2009
QAPI (Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement) Resources for New Conditions for Coverage
There are later articles on Conditions for Coverage and on Quality Improvement.
We’ve also added a summary of the Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement (QAPI) process that the new Conditions for Coverage require, at http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/QI/QAPIProcess.pdf, and a link to it from our overview Quality Improvement page at http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/QI/QI.htm.   The QI page also includes links to useful QAPI tools, including a Root Cause Template at http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/QI/RootCausesOf.doc, a QAPI Template (a list of questions to ask yourself when initiating a QI process) at http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/QI/QITemplate.doc, and a QI Action Plan Template at http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/QI/QIPlan.doc.   The three templates are MSWord documents, so you can download and modify them to fit your own circumstances.   There are earlier articles on Quality Improvement and on Conditions for Coverage.

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March 16, 2009
Class I Recall of Welch Allen AED 10 and MRL JumpStart Defibrillators
There are later articles on Defibrillator Recalls.
The FDA has announced a class I recall of Welch Allen AED 10 and MRL JumpStart external defibrillators because of several problems which could lead to death of a patient in cardiac arrest.   For details see http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/safety/2009/safety09.htm#AED10.   There are earlier articles on Defibrillator Recalls.

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March 16, 2009
Class I Recall of Baxter Colleague Infusion Pumps
There are later articles on Insulin-Related Recalls.
The FDA has issued a Class I recall of "Colleague" brand Single- and Triple-Channel Volumetric Infusion Pumps made by Baxter, model numbers Mono 2M8151 and 2M8153, CX 2M8161 and 2M8163, and CXE 2M9161 and 2M9163, because of potential failures that may lead to serious injury or death.   For details see http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/safety/2009/safety09.htm#Colleague.   There are earlier articles on Insulin-Related Recalls.

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March 3, 2009
AAKP Seeks Nominations for Board of Directors
There are later articles on Patient Meetings and on Volunteering.
AAKP is soliciting nominations to its Board of Directors.   Directors establish goals and policies for AAKP, exercise management oversight, and facilitate funding.   The Board meet three times a year, in addition to conference calls and committee work.   AAKP pays for travel to meetings.   Directors will be elected in July and seated for a two-year term at the AAKP Annual Convention in September in Denver.   Nomination deadline is May 22, 2009.   Candidates may be patients (CKD, dialysis, or transplant), health care professionals, or anyone with a serious interest in the health and well-being of the nation's kidney patients.   Self nominations are encouraged.   For more information, call Emily Carbone at 800-749-AAKP, or see http://www.aakp.org/About-AAKP/board/2009app/.   There are earlier articles on Patient Meetings and on Volunteering.

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February 26, 2009
Genzyme Replacing Renagel with Renvela
During 2009 Genzyme is transitioning patients from its phosphate binder Renagel (sevelamer hydrochloride) to its new product Renvela (sevelamer carbonate). Renvela adds a carbonate buffer to the Renagel formulation.   For details see http://www.renagel.com.

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February 17, 2009
Life Safety Code Component of Conditions for Coverage
There is a later article on Conditions for Coverage.
The Life Safety Code portion of the new Conditions for Coverage became effective February 9, 2009.   The Code requires that dialysis facilities meet the National Fire Protection Association's Ambulatory Health Care Occupancies Life Safety Code, 2000 Edition, with certain exceptions on sprinkler systems, emergency power, and fire drills, and with limited provisions for waivers.   For full details see http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/CfC/LifeSafetyCode.pdf.   There are earlier articles on Conditions for Coverage.

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February 16, 2009
CellCept and Myfortic Medication Guides
There are later articles on CellCept and Myfortic and on Medications.
The FDA is requiring that pharmacists distribute a copy of Roche's new CellCept Medication Guide to all patients filling a CellCept (mycophenolate mofetil) prescription.   The Guide is intended to provide important safety information in language that patients can easily understand.   The FDA is also requiring a Medication Guide for Novartis's Myfortic (mycophenolic acid).   For more details see http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/safety/2009/safety09.htm#CellCept.   There are earlier articles on CellCept and Myfortic.

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February 11, 2009
New HIPAA Web Site
There are later articles on HIPAA.
The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR), which is responsible for enforcing the HIPAA Privacy Rule and the confidentiality provisions of the Patient Safety Act, has reorganized their website, and included much new content.   The new pages, for both consumers and providers, can be found at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/index.html.   There are earlier articles on HIPAA.

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February 9, 2009
Network Prevalent-Patient AVF Rate Finishes December at 63.9%
There is a later article on Vascular Access.
The Network finished 2008 with an AVF-in-use rate for prevalent patients of 63.9%.   Our goal remains 66%.   We post our AVF progress at http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/fist1st/fist1st.htm#progress.   We'd particularly like to see the Network catheter rate improve.   While the catheter rate for the Network as a whole is below our goal of less than 10% long-term catheters, some facilities still have rates above 30%.   Facility AVG rates of 30-40% and more are also common.   In one study (http://www.nature.com/ki/journal/v60/n4/abs/4492564a.html), diabetic patients using AVG had 41% higher mortality than those using AVF, and those using a catheter had 54% higher mortality.   For non-diabetic patients, mortality was 70% higher among those using a catheter than among those using AVF.   There are earlier articles on Vascular Access.

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February 9, 2009
December 2008 Modality Reports Show 4.3% Annual Growth
There is a later article on Modality Reports.
The December 2008 Modality Reports (patient census) are available at http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/modality/mode1208/modality.htm.   For the Network as a whole, the patient population grew 4.3% over December 2007, though growth in Alaska and Idaho was more than 6%.   For historical data, see http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/modality.htm.   There are earlier articles on Modality Reports.

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February 6, 2009
Class II Recall of Fresenius CombiSet True Flow HD Blood Tubing
The FDA has notified healthcare professionals that they are working with the manufacturer to seek the source of reported variations in the effectiveness of Plavix (clopidogrel sulfate).   Major suspects include genetic variations in metabolism, and interactions with protein pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as Prilosec OTC.   Until further information is available, the FDA advises continuation of clopidogrel treatment and reconsideration of the concurrent use of PPIs.   For full details, see http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/safety/2009/safety09.htm#plavix.

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February 3, 2009
New Transplant Selection Criteria Web Page
There are later articles on Transplantation and on Conditions for Coverage.
To help dialysis facilities meet the new Conditions for Coverage, we've added a new page to the Network website, to collect in one place the Transplant Selection Criteria for all Network transplant centers.   You can find the new page at http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/T/SelectionCriteria.pdf, or through our Clinical Staff page at http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/staff.htm.   There are earlier articles on Conditions for Coverage, and on Transplants.

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February 2, 2009
New Patient Newsletter on Voicing Concerns
There are later articles on Conflict Resolution, on Patient Empowerment and on Network Consumer News.
Copies of the new Network Consumer News on the topic of “Voicing Concerns” have been mailed, including copies of our flyer on The Role of the Northwest Renal Network in Handling Complaints and Grievances, in English (http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/G/ComplaintsGrievances.htm) and en español (http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/G/QuejasProtestas.pdf).   The newsletter can be found at http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/P/NCN/NCNv2.3.pdf in two-page format, and http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/P/NCN/NCNv2.3big.pdf in four-page, large-print format.   There are earlier articles on Complaints and Grievances, on Conflict Resolution, and on Network Consumer News.

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January 30, 2009
CME/CEU Workshop on New End-of-Life Law February 23 in Seattle
There are later articles on End of Life, on Professional Meetings, and on Continuing Education.
The Washington End-of-Life Consensus Coalition and the Washington State Hospice and Palliative Care Organization are jointly sponsoring a CME- and CEU-eligible workshop on Washington's Initiative 1000.   The conference title is INITIATIVE 1000: Implications for practice and opportunity for improving end-of-life discussions.   The Initiative becomes law on March 4, 2009, and allows terminally ill adults to request and self-administer lethal medications prescribed by a physician.   The all-day workshop will be near the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on February 23, 2009.   Space is limited, and the registration deadline is February 15.   For full details, including schedule, faculty, registration instructions, and more information, see http://www.wsma.org/patients/weolcc.html.   There are earlier articles on Continuing Education, on Professional Meetings, and on End of Life.

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January 28, 2009
FDA Announcement on Possible Plavix (Clopidogrel) Interactions
There are later articles on Plavix and on Proton Pump Inhibitors.
The FDA has notified healthcare professionals that they are working with the manufacturer to seek the source of reported variations in the effectiveness of Plavix (clopidogrel sulfate).   Major suspects include genetic variations in metabolism, and interactions with protein pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as Prilosec OTC.   Until further information is available, the FDA advises continuation of clopidogrel treatment and reconsideration of the concurrent use of PPIs.   For full details, see http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/safety/2009/safety09.htm#plavix.

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January 27, 2009
Summary of Peanut Recalls
This web page summarizes all of the peanut-related recalls so far: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/peanutbutterrecall/index.cfm#Snack%20Bar/.   There are earlier articles on Peanut Recalls.

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January 24, 2009
New Conditions Require Notification of Involuntary Discharge and Transfer
There are later articles on Conflict Resolution and on Conditions for Coverage.
The new Conditions for Coverage require dialysis facilities to notify both the Network and their State Survey Agency when a patient is involuntarily discharged or transferred.   We've prepared a summary of this requirement, including what must be reported, where to report it, answers to frequently asked questions, and a copy of the relevant excerpt from the Conditions.   Find the summary at http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/G/Involuntary.pdf.   There are earlier articles on Patients' Rights, on Conflict Resolution, and on Conditions for Coverage.

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January 21, 2009
Recall of Nutrition/Energy Bars and Other Products Containing Peanut Butter
There are later articles on Peanut Recalls.
The FDA has announced recalls of many products containing peanut butter, including nutrition and energy bars and many other food products such as cookies, crackers, frozen dinners, and ice cream.   The products may be contaminated with Salmonella, which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infection.   A partial list of national and local brand names with products recalled to date includes Premier Nutrition, Twisted, Titan, Abbott Nutrition, ZonePerfect, NutriPals, Clif, Luna, Nature’s Path, Optimum Energy, NutriSystem, Dinners Ready, Evening Rise, WalMart Bakery, Trader Joe’s, Meijer, Private Selection, Kellogg, Austin, Keebler, Famous Amos, Hy-Vee, Blanton, Country Maid, Classic Breaks, Ready Pac, Eating Right, Boca Grande, Poco Pac, Grande Gourmet, McKee, Little Debbie, Ralcorp, Lofthouse, Parco, Chuck’s Chunky, and Pastries Plus.   For details of each recall, including specific products and lot numbers, see http://www.fda.gov/opacom/7alerts.html.

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January 17, 2009
Warnings on Topical Anesthetics
The FDA has issued a public health advisory to remind patients, healthcare professionals, and caregivers that topical anesthetics (skin numbing products, such as Lidocaine) can cause serious life-threatening adverse effects when allowed to enter the blood stream.   Topical anesthetics can enter the blood stream when applied to irritated or broken skin, when applied to a large area of skin, or when the area of application is covered.   For details see http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/safety/2009/safety09.htm#Anesthetics.

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January 16, 2009
CROWNWeb Implementation - Important CMS Announcement
There are later articles on Conditions for Coverage and on CROWNWeb.
Please refer to the following information, released today by CMS on the NIH listserv.   Additional information regarding implementation of CROWNWeb in phases will be provided by CMS in the near future.

CMS Announcement 1/16/09

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is pleased to announce that the renal CROWNWeb system will move from its testing environment to a production/implementation environment on February 1, 2009.   At that time, CMS will launch CROWNWeb to a small, select group of providers across the country, representing both large- and small-dialysis organizations, as well as independent dialysis facilities across the country.   CMS will expand implementation as it learns more about how the system functions within individual facilities.

Until facilities are phased in to CROWNWeb implementation, they should continue with their normal business operations and reporting requirements, including using the SIMS, VISION, and paper-based data submissions.   Facilities that are not part of the first phase of implementation may continue to meet their requirements under the ESRD conditions for coverage by continuing to use these submission methods.

CROWNWeb is a secure, web-based system that will capture clinical and administrative data from dialysis facilities across the country, supplanting the paper-based data collection methods that CMS currently uses.

CROWNWeb is CMS’ first step in leveraging the benefits of health information technology for the dialysis population, and will help us improve the quality of data we receive about dialysis treatments; help providers focus on providing optimal patient care; drive innovations and quality improvement of care practices; and equip CMS with more data in order to develop a more refined and responsive ESRD bundled payment system and ESRD value-based purchasing framework.

More support will be available to dialysis facilities from their local ESRD Network Organizations.   A list of Networks is online at http://www.medicare.gov/Dialysis/Static/ContactList.asp?dest=NAV|Home|Resources|ESRDContacts|Contacts&ContactType=ESRD.   Facilities can also call the CROWN Help Desk at 888-ESRD-HD1 or email ESRDHD1@esrd.net.

Consumers who wish to learn more about dialysis facilities in their communities can visit the Dialysis Facility Compare website at http://www.medicare.gov/dialysis for information.

There are earlier articles on CROWNWeb, and on Conditions for Coverage.

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January 15, 2009
March NW Renal Dietitians Conference Brochure
There are later articles on Professional Meetings.
The brochure for the 2009 Northwest Renal Dietitians & Canadian Association of Nephrology Dietitians Annual Conference, in Vancouver BC on March 5-6, is now available, at http://nwrenalnetwork.org/N/NWRD09Brochure.pdf.   It includes the final schedule and faculty, location information, and registration form.   A request for stipend can be also be found at http://nwrenalnetwork.org/N/NWRDStipend.pdf, and a menu for the conference dinner at http://nwrenalnetwork.org/N/NWRDMenu.pdf.   There are earlier articles on Professional Meetings.

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January 13, 2009
NKF Patient Education Symposium in Portland in March
There are later articles on Patient Meetings and on Patient Education.
The National Kidney Foundation is sponsoring an all-day Patient Education Symposium near the Portland Airport on March 15, 2009.   The Symposium, and lunch, are free to patients, and to one guest per patient.   Since space is limited, advance registration is advised.   For details see http://www.nwrenalnetwork.org/N/NKFPtEdSym309.pdf.   There are earlier articles on Patient Education and on Patient Meetings.

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January 4, 2009
Warning on Innohep
There are later articles on Heparin.
Celgene has issued a warning letter describing a controlled clinical study suggesting that Innohep may increase the risk of death, compared to unfractionated heparin, when used to treat patients age 70 and older with renal insufficiency.   Celgene recommends consideration of alternatives to Innohep when treating these patients for deep vein thrombosis with or without pulmonary embolism.   For details see http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/safety/2008/safety08.htm#Innohep.   There are earlier articles on Heparin.

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