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Announcements

By ICHCAHPS on 1/23/2019
As the ICH CAHPS Coordination Team (CT) prepares for the 2019 Spring Survey sampling process, we would like to remind ICH facilities about the importance of registering and authorizing all CCNs associated with their facility on the ICH CAHPS website. Many ICH facilities have both a primary and alternate CCN associated with their facility and CROWNWeb, the CMS database that provides sampling information to the CT, may include sample patients under both CCNs.

Please carefully review the following information on this important issue.

Definition of a Primary CCN and an Alternate CCN:

A CMS Certification Number (CCN) is a number assigned to a facility for billing and administrative purposes. The CCN is sometimes referred to as the “billing number,” “provider number,” or “Medicare provider ID number.”

Regarding the ICH CAHPS Survey, the CCN is a 6-digit number assigned to each Medicare-certified ICH facility for the purpose of billing CMS for providing outpatient hemodialysis care. Each facility...
By ICHCAHPS on 1/23/2019

The deadline for submitting data files from the 2018 ICH CAHPS Fall Survey to the Data Center is at 5:00 PM Eastern Time on Wednesday, January 30, 2019, 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 feel free to contact the ICH CAHPS Coordination Team via e-mail at ichcahps@rti.org or call 1-866-245-8083 if you have any questions or need help with data submissions.

By ICHCAHPS on 1/22/2019
The ICH CAHPS Coordination Team has made some minor changes to the Spanish ICH CAHPS Survey Telephone Script. The changes are listed below for your easy reference.  ICH CAHPS Survey vendors should note that these changes must be made in their CATI systems before the 2019 Spring Survey begins (and they should begin using them in the 2019 ICH CAHPS Spring Survey).

INTRO 2: Updated the text “de las atención” to “de la atención” in the last sentence in the first paragraph of INTRO2 (“las” was changed to “la”): Original sentence: El programa de Medicare y los centros de diálisis utilizarán los resultados de la encuesta para ayudar a mejorar la calidad de las atención de hemodiálisis que proporcionan. Updated sentence: El programa de Medicare y los centros de diálisis utilizarán los resultados de la encuesta para ayudar a mejorar la calidad de la atención de hemodiálisis que proporcionan. Q15 and Q17: We have updated the text “cómodo” to “cómodo(a)” in questions 15 and 17 to assist the telephone interviewer with presenting the survey questions using the correct gender for the respondent:...
By ICHCAHPS on 1/16/2019

The deadline for submitting data files from the 2018 ICH CAHPS Fall Survey to the Data Center is at 5:00 PM Eastern Time on Wednesday, January 30, 2019, which is only 2 weeks away. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will not accept any data files after that date and time.

We strongly encourage vendors to begin submitting XML files as soon as possible following the end of data collection. Remember that vendors should submit their data files in time for them to correct and re-submit any files that do not pass the overnight validation checks.

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

By ICHCAHPS on 1/11/2019
The ICH CAHPS Team has published the 2nd 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 ICH CAHPS information.

The CTSAR will be posted on the ICH CAHPS website and updated every January and July. You can navigate to the January 2019 newsletter located under the General Information tab on the ICH CAHPS website or click here to view it now.

The CTSAR will not replace any source of information currently on the ICH CAHPS website; instead, it will highlight 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...
By ICHCAHPS on 1/9/2019
Over the past few months, the ICH CAHPS Coordination Team conducted site visits with some of the ICH CAHPS Survey vendors. Overall, the site visits went very well; however, we identified some issues in the 2018 ICH CAHPS Fall Survey operations.

A list of the most common issues observed during the site visits is provided below. Please review the information below and make sure that your organization is applying the required protocols described in the ICH CAHPS Survey Administration and Specifications Manual, Version 7.0 (to be posted on the ICH CAHPS website in early February 2019) to all aspects of the survey, including data collection, data processing, and construction of the XML files in the current and subsequent survey periods.

As a reminder, the XML files containing data from the 2018 Fall Survey must be submitted to the ICH CAHPS Data Center by 5:00 PM on January 30, 2019. Please contact the ICH CAHPS Coordination Team via email at ichcahps@rti.org or call (866) 245-8083 if you have any questions...
By ICHCAHPS on 1/9/2019
As a reminder, data collection for the 2018 ICH CAHPS Fall Survey ends on Friday, January 11, 2019. The deadline for submitting data files from the 2018 ICH CAHPS Fall Survey to the Data Center is at 5:00 PM Eastern Time on Wednesday, January 30, 2019, which is only 3 weeks away. Please make sure to note the slight change in deadline time from 11:59 PM Eastern Time to 5:00 PM Eastern Time. 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...
By ICHCAHPS on 1/4/2019
ICH CAHPS Survey vendors must submit all facility-specific supplemental questions that they plan to add to the 2019 ICH CAHPS Spring Survey to the Coordination Team for review and approval. If any of your in-center hemodialysis (ICH) facility clients are planning to add any new facility-specific supplemental questions to the 2019 ICH CAHPS Spring Survey, please send those questions and their proposed placement to the Coordination Team via e-mail at ichcahps@rti.org on or before 5:00 PM Eastern Time (ET) on February 8, 2019.

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

The Coordination Team will accept facility-specific supplemental questions for review after the February 8, 2019 deadline; however, approval of those questions may not be granted in time for the questions to be included...
By ICHCAHPS on 1/3/2019
All in-center hemodialysis (ICH) facilities that are switching to a different ICH CAHPS Survey vendor to administer the 2019 ICH CAHPS Spring Survey must change their vendor authorization on the ICH CAHPS website by 5:00 PM Eastern Time on February 28, 2019. 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 2019 Spring Survey; OR Your facility is switching to a different survey vendor to administer the 2019 ICH CAHPS Spring Survey; OR Your facility entered the 2018 Fall Survey as the last survey period for which the vendor would administer the survey when you originally submitted the authorization form. If your organization will continue to use the same ICH CAHPS Survey vendor that was used to administer the 2018 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...
By ICHCAHPS on 1/3/2019
In-center hemodialysis (ICH) facilities that served 30 or more survey-eligible patients in calendar year (CY) 2018 must administer the In-center Hemodialysis CAHPS Survey (ICH CAHPS) Survey in the spring and fall of CY2019 to comply with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ quality reporting requirements for the 2021 payment year.

All ICH facilities should read this announcement in its entirety to determine whether they are required to participate in the ICH CAHPS Survey in CY2019 and if so, review the steps that need to be taken.

Determining Whether Participation in the ICH CAHPS Survey in CY2019 is Required

To determine whether your ICH facility (CMS Certification Number or CCN) is required to participate in the ICH CAHPS Survey in CY2019, count the number of survey-eligible patients your facility served in CY2018. Your count must include hemodialysis patients who:

were 18 years old or older as of December 31, 2018; were alive as of December 31, 2018; received...