The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) established the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Quality Initiative in 2004 as part of its ongoing efforts to improve the quality of dialysis care provided to ESRD patients. This initiative supports quality improvement efforts among providers and makes available quality information that will enable patients to participate in making health care decisions.

CMS uses a variety of levers to support its Three-Part Aim and the six domains of care based on the National Quality Strategy (NQS). Those levers include:

  • Continuous quality improvement (CQI) efforts.
  • Transparency and robust public reporting.
  • Coverage and payment decisions.
  • Payment incentives.
  • Conditions for coverage.
  • Grants, demonstrations, pilots, and research.

CMS strives to ensure that all of these complex levers work in concert in order to improve the quality and cost efficiency of national dialysis care for all beneficiaries. These various levers share a common goal— the provision of cost-efficient and clinically effective patient care—and they ideally complement each other to these ends.

The ESRD Quality Incentive Program (QIP) provides an important lever for safety, value, and quality for CMS. The ESRD QIP incentivizes high-quality care in outpatient dialysis facilities by linking a portion of payment directly to facilities’ performance on quality care measures. The ESRD QIP will reduce payments to ESRD facilities that do not meet or exceed certain performance standards.

The ESRD QIP gathers performance data about dialysis facilities from Medicare reimbursement claims, CROWNWeb, and external sources such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).

Another important component is Dialysis Facility Compare, a Medicare service that helps beneficiaries, caregivers, and others find detailed information about Medicare-certified dialysis facilities. Individuals can compare the services and the quality of care that facilities provide; the website also has other resources for patients and family members who want to learn more about chronic kidney disease and dialysis.

For questions, contact the CMS ESRD QIP staff at ESRDQIP@cms.hhs.gov.

CROWNWeb network

ESRD networks and dialysis facilities use CROWNWeb—the Consolidated Renal Operations in a Web-Enabled Network—to enter and submit patient and clinical quality of care data to CMS.

Registering for access to CROWNWeb, REMIS, and/or ESRD QIP 3.0

To access CROWNWeb, REMIS, and/or ESRD QIP 3.0 users must register for a QualityNet Identity Management System (QIMS) account by completing the following registration steps:

  • Part A (general QIMS account information) - Must be completed, printed, signed by the End User Manager and Security Official, and sent to the QualityNet Help Desk.
  • ESRD Application Access Form (EAAF) (CROWNWeb, REMIS and/or ESRD QIP 3.0 access) – Users must contact the QualityNet Help Desk by email at qnetsupport-esrd@hcqis.org to receive this form. The EAAF must be completed, printed and provided to the End User Manager and Security Official for signature and configuration in REMIS and ESRD QIP 3.0.
  • Security Training (select CyberAwareness Challenge for Federal Employees) - Must be completed by each QIMS applicant within the prior 12 months. A signed copy of the Certificate of Completion must be provided as part of the QIMS application process.

Receiving user ID and password

When a new account is created in QIMS, the system will generate email notifications to account holders, providing their user ID and temporary password (in separate messages). The new user will be asked to log into the QIMS system, using the Manage QIMS Account link (in the QIMS Registration sidebar, located on this page) to create a new password. Users will then be ready to access QIMS, REMIS, CROWNWeb and/or ESRD QIP when it is available.

Updating personal information

Registered CROWNWeb users may use the Manage QIMS Account link at any time to establish their security questions, reset their passwords, or update their personal information. For detailed instructions, refer to the QIMS User Manual.

For more information

For more information, refer to the QIMS Quick Start Guide (PDF-2.2 MB). For questions regarding CROWNWeb, QIMS, REMIS and/or ESRD QIP contact the QualityNet Help Desk at (866) 288-8912 or qnetsupport-esrd@hcqis.org.

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