The NRAA is celebrating its 35th year as an organization, and its safe to say that many of the topics being discussed are different than they were in 1977. Certainly, payment issues and clinical performance —highlighted by a new NRAA workshop aimed at nephrologists this year — were likely on the table then, as they are now. But there are new terms: bundled payment, integrated care, accountable care organizations, health information exchanges, group purchasing organizations
On day one of the program, the NRAA invited physicians to attend a series of sessions focused on the basics of clinic management. Klemens Meyer, MD, the current president of the Forum of ESRD Networks, introduced the Medical Director's Tool Kit, completed this past June, which can help a clinic meet its Conditions of Coverage requirements. Fellow nephrologist Donald Molony (University of Texas) gave an overview of the kit.
Shorter sessions included discussions on topics that are part of the medical director's responsibility under the new Conditions for Coverage: water treatment, disruptive behavior, and infection control. The "difficult" patient not only requires a special approach for the individual's care, but clinics need to realize the impact it has on the safety of other patients and the ability to provide everyone with quality care.
The 100-page Medical Director Toolkit is available from the Forum of ESRD Networks.