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Application to Become a CMS-approved ICH CAHPS Survey Vendor Now Available
folder_openTraining Informationcalendar_todayPosted October 2, 2020

The In-Center Hemodialysis CAHPS (ICH CAHPS) Survey Coordination Team is now accepting applications from survey organizations interested in becoming approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to administer the ICH CAHPS Survey on behalf of in-center hemodialysis facilities.

Interested survey vendors must submit an application to the ICH CAHPS Coordination Team by 5:00 PM ET on December 4, 2020. Survey organizations that submit an application by December 4th and meet the requirements for becoming a CMS-approved ICH CAHPS Survey vendor, including participating in the Introduction training session, will be eligible to administer the survey beginning with the 2021 ICH CAHPS Fall Survey.

Applicant survey vendors must complete the following tasks to be considered for approval:

  1. Meet a set of minimum business requirements located here.
  2. Designate a staff member to be the vendor’s ICH CAHPS Survey Administrator.
  3. The vendor's designated ICH CAHPS Survey Administrator must complete the online Vendor Registration Form (available under the "For Vendors" menu) to obtain login credentials to the ICH CAHPS website.
  4. After submitting the Vendor Registration Form, the ICH CAHPS Survey Administrator can complete and submit the Vendor Application which is on the Vendor Dashboard. He or she will be directed to their Vendor Dashboard once they submit the Vendor Registration.
  5. Print, complete, notarize and mail the ICH CAHPS Survey Administrator Consent Form to the ICH CAHPS Coordination Team at the address listed on the top of the form. The Consent Form will be available via the Vendor Dashboard once the Vendor Application has been submitted.
    • Please let the Coordination Team know if you have any concerns or limitations with having a hardcopy form printed, notarized and/or mailed due to COVID-19.
  6. The vendor's designated ICH CAHPS Survey Administrator must register for and complete the 2021 Introduction to the ICH CAHPS Survey self-paced training in late February 2021 and the training certification that will be provided via email to registrants. We strongly encourage all key ICH CAHPS staff to complete this self-paced ICH CAHPS Survey training. Subcontractors who will have a significant role must also complete this self-paced ICH CAHPS Survey training. If conditional approval is granted, newly approved vendors must attend all ICH CAHPS Update Training sessions. More details on trainings will be posted on the ICH CAHPS website in December.
  7. Agree to implement the ICH CAHPS Survey using standardized protocols and procedures described in the ICH CAHPS Survey Survey Administration and Specifications Manual available here.
  8. Complete and submit a Quality Assurance Plan within 6 weeks after the vendor’s first ICH CAHPS Survey data submission.
  9. Participate and cooperate in all oversight activities conducted by the ICH CAHPS Survey Coordination Team, including but not limited to conference calls and site visits, as deemed necessary.

Please contact the ICH CAHPS Survey Coordination Team at 1-866-245-8083 or via email at ichcahps@rti.org if you have questions about the ICH CAHPS survey and the requirements for becoming an approved ICH CAHPS Survey vendor.

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Request for Interest in Becoming an Approved ICH CAHPS Survey Vendor for CY 2021
folder_openTraining Informationcalendar_todayPosted September 16, 2020

Important Information for Survey Vendor Organizations Interested in Becoming an Approved ICH CAHPS Survey Vendor

***Any survey vendor organization, not already a CMS-approved survey vendor for ICH CAHPS, interested in applying to become an approved ICH CAHPS Survey vendor must notify the ICH CAHPS Coordination Team of their interest via email at ichcahps@rti.org no later than October 2, 2020.***

The ICH CAHPS Coordination Team is preparing for the semiannual ICH CAHPS Surveys that will be conducted in calendar year (CY) 2021. This will include accepting and processing applications from survey vendor organizations and training those survey vendors to become a CMS approved ICH CAHPS Survey vendor; however, any interested survey vendor organization must notify us of their intent to submit an application by 5 PM ET on October 2, 2020. To become a CMS-approved ICH CAHPS Survey vendor, survey organizations must, at a minimum:

  • Complete and submit the ICH CAHPS Vendor Application via the ICH CAHPS website,
  • meet the minimum business requirements posted on the ICH CAHPS website,
  • participate in an Introduction to the ICH CAHPS Webinar Training Session,
  • complete a training certification after participating in that training session, and
  • attend all vendor update training sessions.

The vendor application will be made available on the website in mid to late October, depending on the response to this request for interest announcement. Survey organizations that submit an application for CY2021 and meet the requirements for becoming a CMS-approved ICH CAHPS Survey vendor will be eligible to administer the survey beginning with the 2021 ICH CAHPS Fall Survey.

Please contact the Coordination Team via email at ichcahps@rti.org or call us toll-free telephone at 1-866-245-8083 if you have any questions about this request for interest.

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Announcing "Care Compare," the New CMS In-Center Hemodialysis Compare Website
folder_openOther Announcementscalendar_todayPosted September 11, 2020

On September 3, 2020, CMS launched Care Compare, a streamlined redesign of eight existing CMS health care compare tools available on Medicare.gov. Care Compare provides a single user-friendly interface that patients and caregivers can use to make informed decisions about health care based on cost, quality of care, volume of services, and other data. Patients can find information that is easy to understand about doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care services, such as in-center hemodialysis facilities, instead of searching through multiple tools.

You can see the full text of the announcement at this link: CMS Press Release (issued September 3, 2020).

Please contact the ICH CAHPS Survey Coordination Team if you have any questions at ichcahps@rti.org or telephone (866) 245-8083.

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RTI International will be closed September 7, 2020
folder_openOther Announcementscalendar_todayPosted September 3, 2020

RTI International will be closed on September 7, 2020. 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 September 8, 2020.

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

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Reminder: Deadline for Authorizing a Survey Vendor for the 2020 ICH CAHPS Fall Survey is August 31, 2020
folder_openFacility Participation Requirementscalendar_todayPosted August 28, 2020

This is a reminder that all in-center hemodialysis (ICH) facilities that are switching to a different ICH CAHPS Survey vendor to administer the 2020 ICH CAHPS Fall Survey must update their vendor authorization on the ICH CAHPS website by 5:00 PM Eastern Time on August 31, 2020.

Please note that ICH facilities 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 2020 Fall Survey; OR
  • Your facility is switching to a different survey vendor to administer the 2020 ICH CAHPS Fall Survey; OR
  • Your facility entered the 2020 Spring Survey as the last survey period for which the vendor would administer the survey when you originally submitted the authorization form.

If any of the above statements apply to your facility, you must update the online vendor authorization form for the 2020 ICH CAHPS Fall Survey on the ICH CAHPS website by the August 31, 2020 deadline. 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 2020 Fall Survey cannot be administered.

If your organization will continue to use the same ICH CAHPS Survey vendor that was used to administer the 2020 ICH CAHPS Spring Survey (or the 2019 Fall Survey, if you did not participate in the 2020 Spring Survey due to the Covid-19 exemption), you do not need to update the online vendor authorization form.

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 "2020 Fall Survey."
  • Do not enter an end date for your survey vendor unless you know that you will not be using this vendor for the 2021 Spring Survey.
  • Select the CCN(s) of 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 2020 Fall Survey after 5:00 PM Eastern Time on August 31, 2020.

Please contact the ICH CAHPS Survey Coordination Team at 1–866–245–8083 or via e-mail at ichcahps@rti.org if you have any questions or need more information about the 2020 ICH CAHPS Surveys.

 

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Only One Week before the Deadline to Authorize a Survey Vendor for the 2020 ICH CAHPS Fall Survey
folder_openFacility Participation Requirementscalendar_todayPosted August 24, 2020

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 2020 ICH CAHPS Fall Survey must update their vendor authorization on the ICH CAHPS website by 5:00 PM Eastern Time on August 31, 2020. 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 2020 Fall Survey; OR
  • Your facility is switching to a different survey vendor to administer the 2020 ICH CAHPS Fall Survey; OR
  • Your facility entered the 2020 Spring Survey as the last survey period for which the vendor would administer the survey when you originally submitted the vendor authorization form.

If any of the above statements apply to your facility, you must update the online vendor authorization form for the 2020 ICH CAHPS Fall Survey on the ICH CAHPS website by the August 31, 2020 deadline. 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 2020 Fall Survey cannot be administered.

If your organization will continue to use the same ICH CAHPS Survey vendor that was used to administer the 2020 ICH CAHPS Spring Survey (or the 2019 Fall Survey, if you did not participate in the 2020 Spring Survey due to the Covid-19 exemption), you do not need to update the online vendor authorization form.

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 "2020 Fall Survey."
  • Do not enter an end date for your survey vendor unless you know that you will not be using this vendor for the 2021 Spring 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 2020 Fall Survey after 5:00 PM Eastern Time on August 31, 2020.

Please contact the ICH CAHPS Survey Coordination Team at 1–866–245–8083 or via e-mail at ichcahps@rti.org if you have any questions or need more information about the 2020 ICH CAHPS Surveys.

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Authorizing a Survey Vendor for the 2020 ICH CAHPS Fall Survey
folder_openFacility Participation Requirementscalendar_todayPosted August 3, 2020

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 2020 ICH CAHPS Fall Survey must update their vendor authorization on the ICH CAHPS website by 5:00 PM Eastern Time on August 31, 2020. 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 2020 Fall Survey; OR
  • Your facility is switching to a different survey vendor to administer the 2020 ICH CAHPS Fall Survey; OR
  • Your facility entered the 2020 Spring 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 2020 ICH CAHPS Spring Survey (or the 2019 Fall Survey, if you did not participate in the 2020 Spring Survey due to the pandemic exemption), you do not need to update the online vendor authorization form.

If any of the above bulleted statements apply to your facility, you must update the online vendor authorization form for the 2020 ICH CAHPS Fall Survey on the ICH CAHPS website by the August 31, 2020 deadline. 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 2020 Fall 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 "2020 Fall Survey."
  • Do not enter an end date for your survey vendor unless you know that you will not be using this vendor for the 2021 Spring 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 2020 Fall Survey after 5:00 PM Eastern Time on August 31, 2020.

Please contact the ICH CAHPS Survey Coordination Team at 1–866–245–8083 or via e-mail at ichcahps@rti.org if you have any questions or need more information about the 2020 ICH CAHPS Surveys.

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Proposed ESRD Prospective Payment System Rule for Calendar Year 2021
folder_openInformation for Dialysis Facilitiescalendar_todayPosted July 28, 2020

The ESRD Prospective Payment System (PPS) proposed rule for calendar year 2021, which was published in the Federal Register on July 13, 2020, is now available here.

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Reminder: Only One Week before the Data Submission Deadline for the 2020 ICH CAHPS Spring Survey
folder_openData Submissionscalendar_todayPosted July 22, 2020

The deadline for submitting data files from the 2020 ICH CAHPS Spring Survey to the Data Center is at 5:00 PM Eastern Time on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, which is 1 week from today. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will not accept any data files after that date and time.

We strongly encourage vendors who have not submitted an XML file for any of their facility clients to begin submitting as soon as possible. Remember that vendors must submit their data files in time to correct and re-submit any files that do not pass the overnight validation checks.

Please note that if any of your participating client facility CCNs chose to not submit data to the Data Center based on the Covid-19 exemption, and you have not yet provided a list of these CCNs to the Coordination Team (CT), your XML file will not be accepted. The CT must remove these CCNs from the data submission system prior to your submission. Please email the CT with a list of CCNs that fit this scenario as soon as possible.

Please feel free to contact the ICH CAHPS Coordination Team via email or through the toll-free number if you have any questions or need help with data submissions.

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ICH CAHPS Coordination Team Semi-Annual Review (CTSAR) Newsletter – July 2020 Edition
folder_openOther Announcementscalendar_todayPosted July 16, 2020

The ICH CAHPS Team has published the July 2020 edition of the ICH CAHPS Coordination Team Semi-Annual Review (CTSAR). 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 will be posted on the ICH CAHPS website and updated every January and July. You can navigate to the July 2020 newsletter located under the General Information tab on the ICH CAHPS website or 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 e-mail at ichcahps@rti.org or call 1-866-245-8083 if you have any questions or need more information.

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