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Announcements

 

CMS will Retire Dialysis Facility Compare on December 1, 2020
folder_openInformation for Dialysis Facilitiescalendar_todayPosted November 30, 2020

On November 17, 2020, CMS announced that the original Compare sites will be retired on December 1, 2020. This includes Dialysis Facility Compare (DFC), where ICH CAHPS Survey results were previously posted. After December 1, users interested in viewing ICH CAHPS Survey results will only be able to access them via the new Care Compare and Provider Data Catalog (PDC) websites. Below are direct links to the Compare sites and the CMS Press Release.

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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RTI International will be closed November 26 and 27, 2020
folder_openOther Announcementscalendar_todayPosted November 19, 2020

RTI International will have limited availability on November 25, 2020 and will be closed on November 26 and 27, 2020. The ICH CAHPS Coordination Team will respond to email and telephone technical assistance inquiries that are received on these dates as soon as possible after RTI re-opens on November 30, 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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CY2021 ESRD Prospective Payment System Final Rule
folder_openInformation for Dialysis Facilitiescalendar_todayPosted November 11, 2020

The ESRD Prospective Payment System (PPS) final rule for calendar year 2021, which was published in the Federal Register on November 9, 2020, is available here.

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Tentative Data Collection Schedule for the 2021 ICH CAHPS Spring Survey
folder_openOther Announcementscalendar_todayPosted November 10, 2020

The tentative data collection schedule and the dates for some key activities related to the 2021 In-Center Hemodialysis CAHPS (ICH CAHPS) Spring Survey are shown below. Please note that these dates are subject to change. Should a schedule change occur, an announcement will be posted.

Activity Date
2021 ICH CAHPS Survey Vendor Update Training Session 2/10/2021
2021 Introduction to the ICH CAHPS Survey Webinar Training1 2/22/2021-2/26/2021
Submit New Facility-Specific Questions to CMS 2/5/2021
Deadline for Authorizing a Vendor for 2021 Spring Survey2 2/28/2021
Deadline for Submitting a 2021 Facility Non-Participation Form3 2/28/2021
Deadline (for vendors) to Review Vendor Authorization Report and Notify the Coordination Team of any Authorization Issues 3/3/2021
Deadline for Submitting the Updated Quality Assurance Plan 5/31/2021
   
Sampling Window 10/1/2020-12/31/2020
Sample Files Uploaded on ICH CAHPS Website 3/26/2021
Vendors Attest to Receipt of Sample File 3/30/2021
Mail Prenotification Letter 4/16/2021
Mail 1st Questionnaire (mail only and mixed mode)/Begin Telephone data collection (phone only mode) 4/30/2021
Mail 2nd Questionnaire (mail only)/Begin phone follow-up (mixed mode) 5/28/2021
Data Collection Ends 7/9/2021
Vendors Clean/Process Final Data and Construct XML File 7/9/2021-7/27/2021
Deadline for Submitting XML Data File to ICH Data Center 7/28/2021

1 Starting in 2021, the Introduction to the ICH CAHPS Survey Training will be offered in a self-paced format.
2 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.
3 The Facility Non-Participation Form is an annual form that is valid only for the year in which it was submitted. ICH facilities that submitted the Facility Non-Participation Form in CY2020 must submit the 2021 Facility Non-Participation Form if they do not plan to administer the 2021 ICH CAHPS Spring and Fall Surveys.

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 about the 2021 ICH CAHPS Spring Survey.

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2021 Introduction to the In-Center Hemodialysis CAHPS Survey Training: New Self-paced Format
folder_openTraining Informationcalendar_todayPosted November 6, 2020

The 2021 Introduction to the In-Center Hemodialysis CAHPS (ICH CAHPS) Survey Training will now be offered annually for a 1-week period in a self-paced format beginning on February 22, 2021.

CMS will continue to require that organizations register for this training online; registration will open in early December. Please monitor this website for an announcement that registration is open.

New Vendors Interested in Becoming an Approved ICH CAHPS Survey Vendor:

  • Survey vendors interested in becoming approved ICH CAHPS Survey vendors for the 2021 Fall Survey period must have their designated ICH CAHPS Survey Administrator register for and complete the self-paced Introduction training and the training certification provided via email to registrants.
  • For new survey vendor applicants using a subcontractor who will be conducting one or more of the following activities on the ICH CAHPS Survey (and the subcontractor is not currently working with another approved ICH CAHPS Survey vendor), the subcontractor’s lead ICH CAHPS staff member will be required to complete the self-paced training:
    • telephone survey data collection
    • mail or questionnaire receipt and processing
    • construction or submission of XML data files
  • However, it is strongly recommended that all key ICH CAHPS staff for the vendor applicant, including data managers and subcontractors conducting printing, mail assembly, mailout, etc. activities, complete the self-paced Introduction to ICH CAHPS training.

Currently Approved ICH CAHPS Survey Vendors and Subcontractors:

  • Approved survey vendors and their subcontractors are not required to complete the upcoming self-paced Introduction to ICH CAHPS Survey Training. However, the Coordination Team strongly encourages new staff from approved organizations to complete this training. These staff do not need to complete a certification at the end of the training.
  • Approved survey vendors will be required to attend the live ICH CAHPS Survey Vendor Update webinar training session on Wednesday, February 10, 2021, from 1:30 – 3:30 PM Eastern Standard Time. Registration for the Update Training session will open in early December. Please monitor this website for an announcement that registration is open.

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 about the upcoming 2021 self-paced Introduction to ICH CAHPS training.

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New May 31st Deadline for Submitting an Updated ICH CAHPS Quality Assurance Plan
folder_openOther Announcementscalendar_todayPosted November 6, 2020

ICH CAHPS Survey vendors should note that the Coordination Team has changed the deadline for vendors to submit their organization’s annual updated Quality Assurance Plan (QAP) from March 31st to May 31st of each year. The QAP should still be submitted by accessing the Submit Quality Assurance Plan option under the “For Vendors” menu on the grey bar at the top of the ICH CAHPS website’s home page.

In addition to the annual update, approved survey vendors must submit a revised QAP any time the vendor has a change in ICH CAHPS personnel, capabilities, or systems that are used to administer the survey.

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

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Patient-Mix Coefficients, Star Ratings, and Average State and National Scores for the ICH CAHPS Survey Results Publicly Reported in October 2020
folder_openInformation for Dialysis Facilitiescalendar_todayPosted October 22, 2020

The ICH CAHPS Survey results that are currently posted on Dialysis Facility Compare (DFC) on the medicare.gov website are based on ICH CAHPS Survey data from the 2019 ICH CAHPS Spring and Fall Surveys. These results have also been posted on CMS’s new website, Care Compare (https://www.medicare.gov/care-compare/), which is a redesign of several compare sites, including Dialysis Facility Compare.

Patient-Mix Coefficients and Star Ratings for the 2020 October 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 the DFC and Care Compare websites in October 2020. This document also includes additional information on the clustering method used to create ICH CAHPS Star Ratings (Appendix A).

Spring and Fall Average State and National Scores for the 2020 October 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 Survey Coordination Team at 1–866–245–8083 or via e-mail at ichcahps@rti.org if you have any questions.

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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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