frequently asked questions (faqs)

 
What is the Network? 
The Mid-Atlantic Renal Coalition (MARC) 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.  MARC serves all of the dialysis and transplant facilities in:
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Maryland
  • District of Columbia

What kind of patient data does MARC track?
In 2012, CMS released its Consolidated Renal Operations in a Web-enabled Network (CROWNWeb) data system. Currently, dialysis facilities are required to submit and update patient information including select laboratory measures, demographic information, and movement between facilities, hospitalizations, and treatment modalities. MARC oversees the information entered into CROWNWeb on dialysis and transplant patients in the Network 5 area, including:
  • CMS 2728 - ESRD Medical Evidence Report Form - Completed by your physician and uploaded into CROWNWeb. 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 information in the CROWNWeb system to notify CMS if a patient dies.

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
  • If there is an evening shift
  • How many chairs are available
  • The types of dialysis treatment offered, including home and nocturnal options
    Quality measures, such as
  • Percent of patients receiving adequate dialysis
  • Percent of patients treated with adequate anemia management
  • Average rate of patient hospital admission
  • Star Rating

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) has a wonderful site, Dialysis Facility Compare, that not only 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.
  • Wheredialysis.com lists units in order of proximity to destination.
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!