Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the Network?
Quality Insights Renal Network 4 is an End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Network. ESRD Networks help dialysis and transplant facilities improve the quality of care at the dialysis units and transplant facilities. The Networks are contracted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to track patient data and improve the quality of treatment. We serve all of the dialysis and transplant facilities in:
What kind of patient data do we track?
We maintain information on the dialysis and transplant patients in the Network area in the following ways:
CMS 2728 - ESRD Medical Evidence Report Form
Completed by your physician and submitted to us. This registers you as an ESRD patient in the CMS system. It is the form that you take to Social Security when you want to apply for Medicare.
CMS 2746 - Death Notification Form
A dialysis facility completes this form to notifies us and CMS if a patient dies.
Patient Activity Report
A dialysis facility completes this form on a monthly basis to notify us of changes to patient treatments such as patients transferring in, transferring out, patient hospitalizations, etc. It is submitted by the 10th day of the following month.
How do I know if my dialysis facility is a good one?
Most dialysis facilities in the United States are listed on the Dialysis Facility Compare website. The following things are included in each facility's profile:
Facility characteristics about the dialysis unit, such as
- Address and telephone number of the facility
- The facility's initial date of Medicare certification
- Shifts starting at 5 PM or later (if you need your treatments in the evening)
- The number of treatment stations
- The types of dialysis offered (in-center hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, and home hemodialysis training)
- Facility ownership type (profit or non-profit), and
- Corporate name (if applicable)
Quality measures, such as
- Anemia - how many patients at a facility had an average hemoglobin less than 10.0 g/dL, and how many patients at a facility had an average hemoglobin greater than 12.0 g/dL.
- Hemodialysis Adequacy - how many patients at a facility had enough waste removed from their blood during dialysis treatments (Urea Reduction Ratio (URR) of 65 or greater).
- Patient Survival - if the patients treated at a facility generally live longer than, as long, or not as long as expected.
How can I help prevent others from having to begin dialysis?
The National Kidney Disease Education Program would like to educate people early about kidney disease. Please share this with friends and family so that they can get medical help before reaching End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
Chronic kidney disease is serious, common, and costly, yet preventable and controllable.
People with kidney disease can live longer and live well.
If you are African-American and have diabetes, hypertension, or a blood relative with kidney failure, you are at high risk for kidney disease.
Early detection is important. Ask your doctor if you should have your kidneys checked. You won't know you have kidney disease unless you are tested.
Effective treatment can prevent or slow kidney damage.
If left undiagnosed and untreated, kidney disease can lead to kidney failure.
Can I travel while on dialysis?
Dialysis and traveling CAN go together. For the peritoneal dialysis patient, it is relatively effortless: locate a facility to contact in case of emergency, coordinate delivery of supplies if the supplies you will need are too cumbersome to carry yourself, pack your bags and go!
For the hemodialysis patient, the task becomes a little more involved: plan at least one (1) month ahead of time, locate a facility, make arrangements to be dialyzed during your stay, coordinate insurance and medical paperwork, pack your bags and go!
Medicare will only cover dialysis within the U.S. or its territories. Check with your other insurance carrier to see what restrictions they may have. There are several websites available to assist you in locating a facility:
- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) Dialysis Facility Compare provides information on dialysis facilities in a specific area, including proximity to destination, but also has information on services offered and facilities' overall quality measures ratings. The site is easy to navigate and offers locator options such as state, city, county, zip code, and facility name.
- Global Dialysis offers listings of units in 115 countries. A patient developed the site, and in addition to offering listings of units in various locales, it also provides information about cruises, tours, and lodging that cater to dialysis patients.
- Dialysis Finder provides a search for dialysis centers anywhere in the U.S.A. The site also provides mapping of the centers in your search area.
- Dialysis at Sea offers cruises for dialysis patients. Patients need to be aware that Medicare will not pay for treatment on these cruises.
All of these sites are user-friendly and good resources for locating facilities for the traveling dialysis patient. Always share your plans with your dialysis team as they will have to assist you in forwarding your medical information. Bon Voyage!
Page last updated: 9/9/2014