By Kasia Michalik
The National Renal Administrators Association (NRAA) celebrated its 35th anniversary this year. During the annual conference in Savannah, Ga., from Wednesday, October 10 to Friday, October 12, Sue Rottura, president of the NRAA and Marc Chow, executive director of the NRAA, discussed many aspects of the organization and where it is going.
Rottura began her talk by reflecting on the 2012 Olympics and how although the competition between swimmers Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte was fierce there was still that feeling of teamwork.
“Whether you were team Phelps or team Lochte you were still pulling for the home team,” Rottura said.
There are similarities between an Olympic team and the NRAA companies, and that is that they get involved, work together and learn to contribute to one another, she added. The NRAA focuses on partnerships with stakeholders, patient groups, providers and suppliers just like those on the Olympic teams focus on beating everyone that isn't part of the U.S. team.
“This year we expended our outreach to reach individual groups such as Renal Physicians Association (RPA) and ANNA [the American Nephrology Nurses Association],” Rottura said.
Partnerships with physicians have become increasingly important to NRAA and its members, and they hope to build on those in the future.
In addition to building partnerships, NRAA and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have been collaborating together and will continue collaborating in the future.
“CROWNWeb has stayed at the top of the list because that’s the one that has taken up the most of our time," Rottura said. "While our experience with CROWNWeb has been challenging, to say the least, we continue to work with CMS to resolve those issues. Our HIE consultant, Howard Thomas, has been very successful in building relations with CMS technical team for CROWNWeb and because of that, we have been able to communicate the problems and concerns our members have had throughout the year. As we know, as a result of that CMS acknowledging the concerns we had they had extended the deadline for date of submission date twice this year. Whether we like it or not CROWNWEb is here to stay and we will continue to work together through this bumpy ride.”