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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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Revised ICH CAHPS Survey Data Submission Tools and Resources Now Available
folder_openData Submissionscalendar_todayPosted April 29, 2024

Revised Data Submission Tools:

The ICH CAHPS Survey data submission tools (Schema Validation Tool and Data Submission Tool) have now been updated to reflect the edits made to the race questions in the 2024 Spring Survey: Q59 in the mail surveys and Q59 and Q59b in the telephone scripts. As a reminder, ICH CAHPS Survey vendors were required to begin implementing mail surveys and CATI scripts with the reordered race categories starting with the 2024 Spring Survey period. Data from this survey period will need to be submitted to the ICH CAHPS Data Center by July 31, 2024.

Revised XML Data File Layout:

As noted in December 2023 (Updated ICH CAHPS Survey Materials for the 2024 Spring Survey), the ICH CAHPS Survey XML data layout file was also revised to reflect the edits made to the above referenced race questions in the 2024 Spring Survey.

As a reminder, the revisions to the <race> data elements in the XML file included:

  • Reordering of the race response options for XML element Q59-mail, Q59-phone, and Q59b-phone to match the new order of the response categories for these survey questions (i.e., alphabetical order); and
  • The addition of the following race variables: Q59-mail race-asian-mail (i.e. “Asian”) and Q59-mail race-nativehawaiian-pacific-mail (i.e. “Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander”).

The revised ICH CAHPS Survey XML data file layout can be found on the Data Submission Resources webpage (https://ichcahps.org/Data-Submission/Data-Submission-Resources).

Please note that in light of these changes to the race questions, additional information will be provided in the coming weeks regarding quality control checks that vendors should conduct on their 2024 Spring Survey data prior to data submission.

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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Patient-Mix Coefficients, Star Ratings, and Average State and National Scores for the ICH CAHPS Survey Results Publicly Reported in April 2024
folder_openInformation for Dialysis Facilitiescalendar_todayPosted April 25, 2024

The ICH CAHPS Survey results that are currently posted on Care Compare on the Medicare.gov website (https://www.medicare.gov/care-compare/) are based on ICH CAHPS Survey data from the 2022 ICH CAHPS Fall and 2023 ICH CAHPS Spring Surveys.

Patient-Mix Coefficients and Star Ratings for the 2024 April Refresh

The results shown are statistically adjusted for both data collection mode and for patient-mix. Information about the adjustments made to the survey results and the coefficients used to adjust the results can be found here. Information presented in this document will allow ICH facilities to approximate the effect of patient-mix adjustment on their ICH CAHPS Survey results that were posted on Care Compare in April 2024. This document also includes additional information on the clustering method used to create ICH CAHPS Star Ratings (Appendix A).

Average State and National Scores for the 2024 April Refresh

In addition, you can click here to see the state and national averages for the three ICH CAHPS composite measures and the three global ratings based on the combined data from these two survey periods. The average response rate for each state and the overall response rate are also provided in this document.

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

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Updated: ICH CAHPS Survey Response Rates by Mode and Race/Ethnicity
folder_openOther Announcementscalendar_todayPosted April 5, 2024

ICH CAHPS Response Rates by Mode and Race/Ethnicity

As part of our continued effort to evaluate ICH CAHPS Survey response rates, the document showing response rate information by race and Hispanic ethnicity for each data collection mode will be updated after each survey period. The updated document, now showing response rate information for the 2023 Spring and Fall Surveys, can be found here on the ICH CAHPS website. CMS strongly encourages ICH facilities to review and consider this information when determining which mode of data collection might be best for their dialysis patient population.

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February 28, 2024 is the deadline for submitting Facility Non-Participation Forms and Vendor Facility Closing Attestation Forms for the 2024 ICH CAHPS Spring Survey
folder_openFacility Participation Requirementscalendar_todayPosted February 27, 2024

This is a reminder that the deadline for submitting 2024 Facility Non-Participation Forms AND the Vendor Facility Closing Attestation Forms for the 2024 ICH CAHPS Spring Survey is 5:00 PM Eastern Time on February 28, 2024.

2024 Facility Non-Participation Form – Submitted by ICH Facility Survey Administrators

ICH facilities that determine that they are not required to administer the 2024 ICH CAHPS Surveys and those that choose not to administer the surveys must complete and submit the 2024 Facility Non-Participation Form on the website. For more information on this form and how to determine if a facility should submit it, please refer to the email message sent to in-center hemodialysis (ICH) facilities on January 2, 2024 and posted under the Quick Links menu on the ICH CAHPS website’s home page.

To access this form, ICH Facility Survey Administrators should log into the website using their user credentials and choose “Facility Non-Participation Form” under the For Facilities menu.

Vendor Facility Closing Attestation Form – Submitted by Approved Survey Vendors

Survey vendors must notify the Coordination Team of any authorized ICH facilities who have closed or will be closing before the 2024 Spring Survey data collection period by completing and submitting the online Vendor Facility Closing Attestation Form.

Vendors can access the Vendor Facility Closing Attestation Form by logging into the website and choosing “Vendor Facility Closing Attestation” form, which is under the For Vendors tab at the top of the website’s home page. Once a Vendor Facility Closing Attestation Form is submitted by a survey vendor, an email will be sent to both the currently authorized vendor and the facility’s Survey Administrator to notify the facility that the vendor has submitted the form on the facility’s behalf. If a facility or vendor receives this email and feels that the form has been submitted in error, they should contact the Coordination Team immediately.

If a vendor learns that a facility has closed or will be closing after this deadline and will not participate in the 2024 Spring Survey, both the vendor and the facility should contact the Coordination Team immediately for guidance on next steps.

Please contact the ICH CAHPS Coordination Team at 1-866-245-8083 or via email at ichcahps@rti.org if you have any questions or need more information about the Facility Non-Participation Form or the Vendor Facility Closing Attestation Form.

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Deadline for Authorizing a Survey Vendor for the 2024 ICH CAHPS Spring Survey is February 28, 2024
folder_openFacility Participation Requirementscalendar_todayPosted February 27, 2024

This is a reminder that all in-center hemodialysis (ICH) facilities that are administering the ICH CAHPS Survey for the first time or are switching to a different ICH CAHPS Survey vendor to administer the 2024 ICH CAHPS Spring Survey must update their vendor authorization on the ICH CAHPS website by 5:00 PM Eastern Time on Tuesday, February 28, 2024. Please note you must update the online vendor authorization only if the following applies.

  • Your facility is participating in the ICH CAHPS Survey for the first time during the 2024 Spring Survey; OR
  • Your facility is switching to a different survey vendor to administer the 2024 Spring Survey; OR
  • Your facility entered the 2023 Fall Survey as the last survey period for which the vendor would administer the survey when you originally submitted the vendor authorization form.

If your organization will continue to use the same ICH CAHPS Survey vendor that was used to administer the 2023 ICH CAHPS Fall Survey, you do not need to update the online vendor authorization form.

If any of the above statements apply to your facility, you must update the online vendor authorization form for the 2024 ICH CAHPS Spring Survey on the ICH CAHPS website by the February 28, 2024 deadline. Please note that you must have a formal written contract with an approved ICH CAHPS Survey vendor before authorizing that vendor on the website.

ICH facilities that served 30 or more survey-eligible patients in calendar year 2023 must administer both the 2024 ICH CAHPS Spring and Fall Surveys to be compliant with the CMS quality reporting requirements. If the online vendor authorization form is not updated by the deadline, a sample will not be provided to a survey vendor, which means the 2024 Spring Survey cannot be administered.

The steps for authorizing a vendor on the ICH CAHPS website are as follows:

  • Log in to the ICH CAHPS website here
  • From your personal dashboard, click “Authorize a Vendor.” The system will then take you to the Authorize a Vendor page.
  • From the “Select Action” drop-down list on the Authorize a Vendor page:
    • If authorizing a vendor for the first time on the website: Select the “Select a vendor for the first time” option.
    • If changing/switching to a different vendor: Select the “Switch to a different vendor” option.
  • Select the name of your survey vendor from the vendor drop-down list.
  • Select the Beginning Survey Period for your new vendor. In this instance, you would select "2024 Spring Survey."
  • Do not enter an end date for your survey vendor unless you know that you will not be using this vendor for the 2024 Fall Survey.
  • Select the CCN(s) of the ICH facility (or facilities) to which the authorization applies.
  • Click the “Submit” button.

Please note: No changes to vendor authorizations will be accepted for the 2024 Spring Survey after 5:00 PM Eastern Time on February 28, 2024.

Please contact the ICH CAHPS Coordination Team at 1–866–245–8083 or via email at ichcahps@rti.org if you have any questions or need more information about the 2024 ICH CAHPS Surveys.

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Only One Week before the Deadline to submit the ICH CAHPS Vendor Facility Closing Attestation Form for the 2024 Spring Survey
folder_openFacility Participation Requirementscalendar_todayPosted February 21, 2024

This is a reminder that survey vendors must notify the Coordination Team of any authorized ICH facilities who have closed or will be closing before the 2024 Spring Survey data collection period by completing and submitting the online Vendor Facility Closing Attestation Form as soon as possible after learning of such closure(s), and no later than 5:00 PM Eastern Time on February 28, 2024.

Vendors can access the Vendor Facility Closing Attestation Form by logging into the website and choosing “Vendor Facility Closing Attestation” form, which is under the For Vendors tab at the top of the website’s home page. Once a Vendor Facility Closing Attestation Form is submitted by a survey vendor, an email will be sent to both the currently authorized vendor and the facility’s Survey Administrator to notify the facility that the vendor has submitted the form on the facility’s behalf. If a facility or vendor receives this email and feels that the form has been submitted in error, they should contact the Coordination Team immediately. 

If a vendor learns that a facility has closed or will be closing after this deadline and will not participate in the 2024 Spring Survey, both the vendor and the facility should contact the Coordination Team immediately for guidance on next steps.

Please contact the ICH CAHPS Coordination Team at 1-866-245-8083 or via email at ichcahps@rti.org if you have any questions or need more information about the Vendor Facility Closing Attestation Form.

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