ICH CAHPS: When a sample patient calls a vendor’s toll-free hotline to complete the telephone survey
folder_openChanges to Protocols and Guidelinescalendar_todayPosted January 30, 2024

ICH CAHPS Survey sample patients will see their facility’s authorized survey vendor’s toll-free hotline in their prenotification letter (all modes), in their cover letter (mail-only and mixed mode), on their caller ID (phone-only and mixed mode), and/or on a poster/flyer in their dialysis facility (all modes). Sample patients are encouraged to call their vendor with questions, and sometimes may also call to complete the telephone interview at a time of their convenience.

We have recently been informed that some sample patients have tried to call their vendor’s hotline to complete the telephone survey, but have been told that their information will be passed on to the call center and they will be called back when possible, instead of being able to complete the survey right then. Facilities are concerned that by not being able to complete the telephone interview when they call the vendor, the sample patient will not complete the survey at all (whether it be that they don’t pick up the phone for unknown numbers when called back, they are in dialysis during the callback, they don’t feel well from dialysis when an interviewer calls back, etc.).

ICH CAHPS does not have a protocol that requires vendors to complete telephone interviews on the spot when a sample patient calls a vendor’s toll-free hotline. We know that this isn’t always possible for various logistical reasons. However, the Coordination Team and CMS also understand facilities’ concerns and how this may negatively affect their response rates, especially with this population and their limited availability due to their dialysis schedule. We encourage vendors to internally discuss this issue and any strategies that could be implemented at your organization to meet these sample patients’ unique requests.

Please contact the Coordination Team via email at or call 1-866-245-8083 if you have any questions or need more information about this issue.