Updated ICH CAHPS Mail Questionnaire and Telephone Script for 2018 Fall Survey and Guidance on Contacting ICH CAHPS Patients at Nursing Homes
When selecting samples for the ICH CAHPS Survey, the Coordination Team uses patient-level information on the CROWNWeb (CW) database and excludes patients that do not meet survey-eligibility criteria, such as patients who reside in nursing homes (also known as skilled nursing facilities), if this is readily known. However, because CW does not contain an explicit indicator that the patient lives in a nursing home, this determination is usually made by vendors during the ICH CAHPS data collection period.
Some vendors have asked for guidance regarding how to handle the situation where the telephone interviewer reaches a nursing home when trying to call a sample patient. Currently, the interviewer has to determine whether a sample patient:
- lives in skilled nursing home and therefore receives dialysis at the nursing home (ineligible for the survey),
- lives in a rehabilitation section or in an assisted living facility (eligible for the survey), or
- only works at the nursing home but lives elsewhere (eligible for the survey).
This can be difficult to determine from the sample patient, and the ICH CAHPS telephone script does not provide a standardized way to obtain this information. After discussion with CMS, the Coordination Team has implemented the following survey materials revisions and new protocol to help handle this situation.
Revisions to the ICH CAHPS mail survey questionnaire, telephone survey script, and XML file layout:
The ICH CAHPS Coordination Team has made the following minor text change to response option 1 of Q1 in the ICH CAHPS mail survey questionnaire, telephone survey script, and XML File Layout.
The final mail survey questionnaire and telephone script, in all approved languages, are now available here. The revised XML File Layout will be posted at a later date, along with an announcement documenting the changes made to the document. All ICH CAHPS Survey vendors should make these changes in their ICH CAHPS Survey materials before the 2018 ICH CAHPS Fall Survey begins in November 2018. However, if it is not possible to implement this change prior to the Fall 2018 Survey (such as if your mail survey has already been printed for Fall 2018), please let us know as soon as possible.
New Protocol Regarding Contacting Sample Patients at Nursing Homes:
If a telephone interviewer calls the phone number provided for a sample patient and determines that the telephone number leads to a nursing home facility’s front desk/receptionist:
- The telephone interviewer should still read INTRO1 of the ICH CAHPS telephone script: “Hello, may I please speak to [SAMPLED MEMBER’S NAME]?”
- If the nursing home staff member transfers the telephone interviewer to the sample patient’s room at the facility, the interviewer should continue with interview once they reach the sample patient. If the sample patient truly lives in a nursing home or a skilled nursing facility and responds to Q1 by selecting the revised response option 1 (“At home or at a skilled nursing home where I live”), the CATI program should skip the sample patient to Q45 and automatically final code the case as a 160 (Ineligible: Does Not Meet Eligibility Criteria).
- If the nursing home staff member transfers the telephone interviewer to the sampled patient, and he or she is an employee at the facility, the interviewer should continue with interview once they reach the sample patient. However, the interviewer should be prepared to set a callback time (and possibly obtain a different number) if the sample patient prefers not to complete the interview while at work.
- If the nursing home staff member indicates they cannot or are not permitted to transfer the telephone interviewer to the sample patient’s room, the telephone interviewer should thank the staff member for their time and end the call. In this situation, if the vendor received multiple phone numbers for the sample patient (via the sample file received from the Coordination Team, the commercial address/phone number update, and/or a list of contact information received from the ICH facility for all patients treated during the sampling window), the vendor may want to call all numbers provided to see if any result in a direct dial to the sample patient. If the telephone interviewer is unable to obtain a new phone number for the sample patient, then a final disposition code of 160 (Ineligible: Does Not Meet Eligibility Criteria) should be assigned to the case.
This protocol and all revised survey materials will be included in Version 7.0 of the ICH CAHPS Survey Administration and Specifications Manual. Please contact the ICH CAHPS Coordination Team via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (866) 245-8083 if you have any questions.