CMS Issues Essential COVID-19 Guidance for Dialysis Facilities

By ASN Staff

August 24, 2020

Ensure kidney patients get the vascular access surgeries they need, and don’t delay kidney transplant surgeries. 

These two directives formed the centerpiece of recent guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), “Key Components for Continued COVID-19 Management for Dialysis Facilities,” released Monday, August 17, 2020. 

While CMS had earlier made similar statements, many ASN members and other stakeholders in the community requested a direct verdict from the agency declaring these as essential.  ASN had been advocating for this guidance, which CMS acknowledged, noting that “we have received feedback that providers are experiencing difficulties scheduling for placement or repair of Arteriovenous Fistulas, Arteriovenous Grafts, and Peritoneal Dialysis catheters. We wish to clarify that these planned procedures are essential in that establishing vascular access is crucial for End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients to receive their life-sustaining dialysis treatments.”

Similarly, the agency wrote “we received notifications of transplant programs voluntarily inactivating some or all of its transplant services. We wish to clarify that organ transplantation procedures are essential for patients that are suffering from irreversible organ failure.”

With this clear, forceful guidance from the federal government, health professionals nationwide will be better equipped to ensure their kidney patients receive timely access to the surgical procedures they need.

ASN advocates daily for its members and the patients they serve on all issues that improve kidney care.

 

The 11-page document includes extensive guidance on other topics, including protocol for dialysis unit surveyors that requires them to adhere to the latest CDC personal protective equipment (PPE) guidelines using PPE from their own supply, and recommendations for communications with long-term care facilities in the COVID-19 era.

 

 

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Author:
ASN Staff
Body:

Ensure kidney patients get the vascular access surgeries they need, and don’t delay kidney transplant surgeries. 

These two directives formed the centerpiece of recent guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), “Key Components for Continued COVID-19 Management for Dialysis Facilities,” released Monday, August 17, 2020. 

While CMS had earlier made similar statements, many ASN members and other stakeholders in the community requested a direct verdict from the agency declaring these as essential.  ASN had been advocating for this guidance, which CMS acknowledged, noting that “we have received feedback that providers are experiencing difficulties scheduling for placement or repair of Arteriovenous Fistulas, Arteriovenous Grafts, and Peritoneal Dialysis catheters. We wish to clarify that these planned procedures are essential in that establishing vascular access is crucial for End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients to receive their life-sustaining dialysis treatments.”

Similarly, the agency wrote “we received notifications of transplant programs voluntarily inactivating some or all of its transplant services. We wish to clarify that organ transplantation procedures are essential for patients that are suffering from irreversible organ failure.”

With this clear, forceful guidance from the federal government, health professionals nationwide will be better equipped to ensure their kidney patients receive timely access to the surgical procedures they need.

ASN advocates daily for its members and the patients they serve on all issues that improve kidney care.

 

The 11-page document includes extensive guidance on other topics, including protocol for dialysis unit surveyors that requires them to adhere to the latest CDC personal protective equipment (PPE) guidelines using PPE from their own supply, and recommendations for communications with long-term care facilities in the COVID-19 era.

 

 

Date:
Monday, August 24, 2020