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Reminder: Only 3 Weeks before the Data Submission Deadline for the 2024 ICH CAHPS Spring Survey
folder_openData Submissionscalendar_todayPosted July 10, 2024

As a reminder, data collection for the 2024 ICH CAHPS Spring Survey ends on Friday, July 12, 2024. The deadline for submitting data files from the 2024 Spring Survey to the Data Center is at 5:00 PM Eastern Time on Wednesday, July 31, 2024, which is only 3 weeks away. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will not accept any data files after that date and time.

As XML files are uploaded to the ICH CAHPS Data Center, a series of validation checks are made, one of which is a check to ensure that a patient-level record is included on the XML file for every case that was sampled for a CCN. Please note the following:

  • If the number of cases you include on an XML file does not match the number sampled, an error or warning message will appear on your data submission report.
  • If the error message appears for one or more of your CCNs, please make sure that you have entered information about each sampled case on the XML file.

Also be reminded that survey vendors:

  • given the changes to the race response options for 2024 Spring, should ensure that race responses are reflected accurately and that they are using the revised XML data layout file;
  • should submit their files as soon as possible to allow adequate time to correct any problems identified and re-submit the files before the deadline; and
  • can submit a file for a CCN as many times as needed; however, keep in mind that each time a file for a CCN is re-submitted, it overwrites the file that was submitted previously.

Please feel free to contact the ICH CAHPS Coordination Team via email at ichcahps@rti.org or call 1-866-245-8083 if you have any questions or need help with data submissions.

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Proposed ESRD Prospective Payment System Rule for Calendar Year 2025
folder_openInformation for Dialysis Facilitiescalendar_todayPosted July 8, 2024

The ESRD Prospective Payment System (PPS) proposed rule for calendar year 2025, which was published in the Federal Register on July 5, 2024, is now available here.

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ICH CAHPS Coordination Team Semi-Annual Review (CTSAR) Newsletter – July 2024 Edition
folder_openOther Announcementscalendar_todayPosted July 5, 2024

The July 2024 edition of the ICH CAHPS Coordination Team Semi-Annual Review (CTSAR) has been published. As a reminder, this newsletter is a way to provide in-center hemodialysis (ICH) facilities and survey vendors with helpful ICH CAHPS information.

The CTSAR is posted on the ICH CAHPS website and updated every January and July. You can navigate to the July 2024 newsletter in the Quick Links box on the ICH CAHPS home page, under the General Information tab on the ICH CAHPS website, or you can click here to view it now.

The CTSAR does not replace any source of information currently on the ICH CAHPS website; instead, it highlights important information for readers prior to each survey period. We encourage you to visit the ICH CAHPS website for more information on the items mentioned in this newsletter. Please continue to monitor the ICH CAHPS website for updates and announcements.

Please contact the Coordination Team via email at ichcahps@rti.org or call 1-866-245-8083 if you have any questions or need more information.

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Reminder of Upcoming Deadline for Submitting Facility-Specific Questions for the 2024 ICH CAHPS Fall Survey for Approval
folder_openOther Announcementscalendar_todayPosted July 5, 2024

This is a reminder that ICH CAHPS Survey vendors must submit new and revised facility-specific questions that they plan to add to the 2024 ICH CAHPS Fall Survey to the Coordination Team for review and approval. If any of your ICH facility clients are planning to add any new facility-specific questions to the 2024 ICH CAHPS Fall Survey, or change any currently approved facility-specific questions, please send those questions and their proposed placement to the Coordination Team via email at ichcahps@rti.org before 5:00 PM ET on August 2, 2024.

Please note that facility-specific questions that were approved by the Coordination Team for use in previous survey periods do not need to be approved again unless the question wording or response options have changed.

The Coordination Team will accept facility-specific questions for review after the August 2, 2024 deadline; however, approval of those questions may not be granted in time for the questions to be included in the 2024 Fall Survey. Survey vendors should work with their client ICH facilities to decide on the use of new facility-specific questions and submit the questions to the Coordination Team as soon as possible to avoid a delay in approval.

Please contact the Coordination Team via email at ichcahps@rti.org or by calling 1-888-245-8083 if you have any questions.

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RTI International will be closed July 4, 2024 (In observance of Independence Day)
folder_openOther Announcementscalendar_todayPosted June 26, 2024

RTI International will be closed on July 4, 2024 in observance of the July 4th Independence Day holiday and will have limited availability on July 5, 2024. The ICH CAHPS Coordination Team will respond to email and telephone technical assistance inquiries that are received as soon as possible on Monday, July 8, 2024.

Please contact the Coordination Team via email at ichcahps@rti.org or call 1-866-245-8083 if you have any questions.

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Tentative Data Collection Schedule for the 2024 ICH CAHPS Fall Survey
folder_openOther Announcementscalendar_todayPosted June 25, 2024

The tentative data collection schedule and the dates for some key activities related to the 2024 In-Center Hemodialysis CAHPS (ICH CAHPS) Fall Survey are shown below. Please note that these dates are subject to change. Should a schedule change occur, an announcement will be emailed and posted.

Please note that this year, the Thanksgiving holiday falls on November 28, 2024, during the last week of November. Some vendors may have difficulties with mailing the 2nd survey package (mail-only) or beginning phone follow-up (mixed mode) for the 2024 Fall Survey on the originally scheduled date of November 29, 2024 (the day after Thanksgiving). As such, the 2024 Fall data collection schedule has been set such that vendors may either begin implementing the second wave of ICH CAHPS data collection on November 29, 2024, or the following week on December 4, 2024. The deadline for data submission will remain January 29, 2025, for both schedules.

Activity Date
Submit New Facility-Specific Questions to CMS 8/2/2024
Deadline for Authorizing a Vendor for 2024 Fall Survey1 8/31/2024
Deadline (for vendors) to submit Facility Closed Attestation form2 8/31/2024
Deadline (for vendors) to Review Vendor Authorization Report and Notify the Coordination Team of any Authorization Issues 9/3/2024
   
Sampling Window 4/1/2024-6/30/2024
Sample Files Uploaded on ICH CAHPS Website 9/27/2024
Vendors Attest to Receipt of Sample File 10/1/2024
Mail Prenotification Letter 10/18/2024
Mail 1st Survey (mail only and mixed mode)/Begin Telephone data collection (phone only mode) 11/1/2024
Mail 2nd Survey (mail only)/Begin phone follow-up (mixed mode) 11/29/2024
OR
12/4/2024
Data Collection Ends 1/10/2025
Vendors Clean/Process Final Data and Construct XML File 1/10/2025-1/29/2025
Deadline for Submitting XML Data File to ICH Data Center 1/29/2025

1 Only ICH facilities that will be switching to a different survey vendor and those that will be participating in the ICH CAHPS Survey for the first time will need to complete the online vendor authorization form.

2 Submission of the Vendor Facility Closing Attestation Form alerts the Coordination Team that a sample file should not be provided for the facility for the upcoming ICH CAHPS Survey period.

Please contact the Coordination Team via email at ichcahps@rti.org or call 1-866-245-8083 if you have any questions or need more information about the upcoming ICH CAHPS Survey Period.

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Reminder: Deadline for Submitting an Updated 2024 ICH CAHPS Quality Assurance Plan is May 31, 2024
folder_openOther Announcementscalendar_todayPosted May 24, 2024

This is a friendly reminder that the deadline for ICH CAHPS Survey vendors to submit the annual Quality Assurance Plan (QAP) is 5:00 PM Eastern Time on May 31, 2024.

The QAP must describe how the survey vendor will implement, comply with, and provide oversight of all survey and data processing activities associated with the ICH CAHPS Survey. To ensure prompt review and acceptance of your Update QAP, please follow the procedures listed below:

  • Locate the version of your most recently approved QAP; that is, the version that was accepted by CMS and the Coordination Team in 2023 (or later if edits were made and submitted after May 2023).
  • Make a copy of that version and accept all tracked changes, creating a clean copy of your QAP.
  • Make all 2024 updates to your clean copy using track changes, so that your document reflects only the changes made since your most recently approved QAP.
  • Make sure to include updates to your QAP if your organization has had changes in ICH CAHPS Survey personnel, changes to protocols or procedures, and/or changes in approved survey mode(s).
  • Make sure your QAP follows the format shown in the Model QAP posted on the ICH CAHPS website. Also make sure that you provide information for every topic included in the Model QAP.
  • Before submitting your annual QAP, check it carefully to make sure that it reflects all ICH CAHPS Survey protocols disseminated via announcements posted on the ICH CAHPS website and/or described in the latest version of the Survey Administration and Specifications Manual.
  • Vendors should submit for review a copy of all survey materials (envelope, prenotification letter, cover letters 1 and 2, mail surveys, telephone scripts) for each language the survey is being administered in. As a reminder, these materials should be the versions used in the 2024 Spring Survey, which are the survey materials that were recently approved by the Coordination Team.
  • Submit your QAP online via the ICH CAHPS website by accessing the Submit Quality Assurance Plan option under the “For Vendors” menu on the grey bar at the top of the website’s home page (https://ichcahps.org/).

The QAP must be updated and submitted annually on or before May 31 of each year and any time the vendor has a change in ICH CAHPS personnel, capabilities, or systems that are used to administer the ICH CAHPS Survey. Remember that you must also update your online ICH CAHPS Vendor Application Form if you have been approved to add/drop survey modes, changed key personnel and/or subcontractors, and/or have changed your business name or location.

Please contact the ICH CAHPS Coordination Team at 1-866-245-8083 or via email at ichcahps@rti.org if you have any questions about the QAP update process or deadline.

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RTI International will be closed May 27, 2024 for the Memorial Day Holiday
folder_openOther Announcementscalendar_todayPosted May 22, 2024

RTI International will be closed on Monday, May 27, 2024 for the Memorial Day holiday. The ICH CAHPS Coordination Team will respond to email and telephone technical assistance inquiries that are received on that date as soon as possible after RTI re-opens on Tuesday, May 28, 2024.

Please contact the Coordination Team via email at ichcahps@rti.org or call 1-866-245-8083 if you have any questions.

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ICH CAHPS: Additional QC Checks to Perform on XML Files Before 2024 Spring Survey Data Submission
folder_openData Submissionscalendar_todayPosted May 7, 2024

Due to the edits made to the race questions prior to the 2024 ICH CAHPS Spring Survey (Q59 in the mail surveys and Q59 and Q59b in the telephone scripts), it is strongly recommended that ICH CAHPS Survey vendors complete additional quality control (QC) checks on Q59 and Q59b data early in the data collection period (in addition to the typical QC checks performed prior to the data submission deadline).

In particular, vendors should perform QC checks to ensure that both their mail scanning/keying systems and their CATI systems are functioning properly based on the new alphabetical order of race responses in both mail and CATI. As part of these QC checks, we encourage vendors to compare the counts of their 2024 Spring race response categories against data from previous survey periods to ensure that their survey systems are accurately capturing the reordered race responses. When comparing your mail survey data, please note that because two new race variables have been added to the XML in the Q59-mail section, there will be no response data from previous survey periods to compare for those variables.

In addition to checking the reordered race responses, vendors should also perform QC checks on the new race variables in their mail systems (Q59-mail race-asian-mail (i.e. “Asian”) and Q59-mail race-nativehawaiian-pacific-mail (i.e. “Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander”)). With these new variables, the numeric range of the response options in the mail survey changed from 1-14 to 1-16. If the XML is not revised correctly to include these corresponding two new variables, it will fail the data submission validation checks upon submission to the ICH CAHPS Data Center.

Vendors are encouraged to initiate these QC checks after Wave 1 data collection activities, which began on May 3rd and then again after the Wave 2 data collection efforts that begin on May 31st, once mail and/or phone data has been received.

Please contact the ICH CAHPS Coordination Team via email at ichcahps@rti.org or call toll-free at 1-866-245-8083 if you have any questions.

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Deadline for Submitting an Updated 2024 ICH CAHPS Quality Assurance Plan
folder_openOther Announcementscalendar_todayPosted May 1, 2024

This is a friendly reminder that the deadline for ICH CAHPS Survey vendors to submit the annual Quality Assurance Plan (QAP) is 5:00 PM Eastern Time on May 31, 2024.

The QAP must describe how the survey vendor will implement, comply with, and provide oversight of all survey and data processing activities associated with the ICH CAHPS Survey. To ensure prompt review and acceptance of your Annual QAP, please follow the procedures listed below:

  • Locate the version of your most recently approved QAP; that is, the version that was accepted by CMS and the Coordination Team in 2023 (or later if edits were made and submitted after May 2023).
  • Make a copy of that version and accept all tracked changes, creating a clean copy of your QAP.
  • Make all 2024 updates to your clean copy using track changes, so that your document reflects only the changes made since your most recently approved QAP.
  • Make sure to include updates to your QAP if your organization has had changes in ICH CAHPS Survey personnel, changes to protocols or procedures, and/or changes in approved survey mode(s).
  • Make sure your QAP follows the format shown in the Model QAP posted on the ICH CAHPS website. Also make sure that you provide information for every topic included in the Model QAP.
  • Before submitting your annual QAP, check it carefully to make sure that it reflects all ICH CAHPS Survey protocols disseminated via announcements posted on the ICH CAHPS website and/or described in the latest version of the Survey Administration and Specifications Manual.
  • Vendors should submit for review a copy of all survey materials (envelope, prenotification letter, cover letters 1 and 2, mail surveys, telephone scripts) for each language the survey is being administered in. As a reminder, these materials should be the versions used in the 2024 Spring Survey, which are the survey materials that were recently approved by the Coordination Team.
  • Submit your QAP online via the ICH CAHPS website by accessing the Submit Quality Assurance Plan option under the “For Vendors” menu on the grey bar at the top of the website’s home page (https://ichcahps.org/).

The QAP must be updated and submitted annually on or before May 31 of each year and any time the vendor has a change in ICH CAHPS personnel, capabilities, or systems that are used to administer the ICH CAHPS Survey. Remember that you must also update your online ICH CAHPS Vendor Application Form if you have been approved to add/drop survey modes, changed key personnel and/or subcontractors, and/or have changed your business name or location.

Please contact the ICH CAHPS Coordination Team at 1-866-245-8083 or via email at ichcahps@rti.org if you have any questions about the QAP update process or deadline.

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