The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began the national implementation of the In-Center Hemodialysis Consumer of Healthcare Providers and Systems (ICH CAHPS) Survey in calendar year (CY) 2014. The national implementation of the ICH CAHPS Survey is designed to meet the following three broad goals.
- To produce comparable data on the patient’s perspective that allows objective and meaningful comparisons between in-center hemodialysis (ICH) facilities on domains that are important to consumers.
- Public reporting of survey results will create incentives for ICH facilities to improve their quality of care.
- Public reporting will enhance public accountability in health care by increasing the transparency of the quality of care provided in return for public investment.
The national implementation of the ICH CAHPS Survey will be conducted on a semiannual basis. The first ICH CAHPS Survey began in the fall of 2014; therefore in CY2014 the ICH CAHPS Survey was administered only one time, but in subsequent years it will be administered twice each year. For each semiannual survey, CMS will select a sample of patients 18 years old and older who have received hemodialysis from their current ICH facility for 3 months or longer to be surveyed. ICH CAHPS Survey results will be publicly reported after a Medicare-certified ICH facility has completed two semiannual surveys. After public reporting begins, data from the oldest semiannual survey will be replaced by data from the most recent semiannual survey.
Because it is important that the survey be administered in the same way using the same protocols by all survey vendors, for the national implementation, CMS requires that:
- ICH facilities contract with an independent third party survey vendor that has been approved and trained by CMS; and
- all approved ICH CAHPS Survey vendors will use ICH CAHPS Survey administration specifications developed by CMS. The ICH CAHPS Survey Administration and Specifications Manual is available here.