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Frequently Asked Questions About the Public Reporting of ICH CAHPS Survey Data


Where can I find the ICH CAHPS patient survey ratings?

CMS publicly reports ICH CAHPS Survey results for ICH facilities on Medicare’s Care Compare website at https://www.medicare.gov/care-compare/ under the provider type “Dialysis Facilities.”

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What is shown on Care Compare?

ICH CAHPS Survey results can be found under “Patient Survey Rating.” The following items are shown:

  1. The percentage of patients who provided the most favorable ratings of patient’s experiences related to the following three composite measures:
    • “Communication: Patients who reported that kidney doctors “always” communicated well and cared for them as a person.” Six questions that comprise the “Kidney Doctors’ (Nephrologists’) communication and caring” composite (Questions 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9).
    • “Doctors & Staff: Patients who reported that dialysis center staff “always” communicated well, kept patients as comfortable and pain-free as possible, behaved in a professional manner, and kept the center clean.” Seventeen questions that comprise the “Quality of dialysis center care and operations” composite (Questions 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 21*, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 33, 34, and 43).
    • “Communication: Patients who reported that YES their kidney doctors and dialysis center staff gave them the information they needed to take care of their health.” Nine questions that comprise the “Providing information to patients” composite (Questions 19, 28, 29, 30, 31, 36, 38, 39, and 40).
  2. The percentage of patients who gave a score of 9 or 10 on a scale of 0 (worst possible) to 10 (best possible) for the following three global ratings:
    • Global rating of kidney doctors (calculated from survey Q8). This appears on Care Compare as: “Doctors & Staff: Patients who gave their kidney doctors a rating of 9 or 10 on a scale of 0 (worst possible) to 10 (best possible).
    • Global rating of dialysis center staff (calculated from survey Q32). This appears on Care Compare as: “Doctors & Staff: Patients who gave the dialysis center staff a rating of 9 or 10 on a scale of 0 (worst possible) to 10 (best possible).”
    • Global rating of dialysis center (calculated from survey Q35). This appears on Care Compare as: “Overall experience: Patients who gave the dialysis center a rating of 9 or 10 on a scale of 0 (worst possible) to 10 (best possible).”
  3. A star rating, which provides an easy visual to help patients make an informed decision when choosing where to receive their in-center hemodialysis care. The star rating is generated from a simple average of six individual star ratings (please note that the individual star ratings are not provided on Care Compare):
    • Each of the three composite measures (#1 above); and
    • Each of the three global ratings (#2 above).
  4. The survey response rate and the number of completed surveys are also included as part of the patient survey ratings.

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How are the ICH CAHPS patient survey ratings calculated?

ICH CAHPS Survey results that are publicly reported on the Care Compare website are based on combined survey data from the two most recent survey periods. The timeline for public reporting can be found here.

More information on how the patient-mix adjusted patient survey ratings are calculated can be found in the Quick Links box here, under For Data Users.

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How often are ICH CAHPS patient survey ratings updated on the Care Compare website?

Patient survey ratings from the ICH CAHPS Survey are updated or “refreshed” on the Care Compare website in April and October of each year. Results that are published on the Care Compare website are based on data from the two most recent survey periods; each refresh period replaces the data from the oldest survey period with data from the most recent survey period. The timeline for public reporting can be found here.

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Which ICH Facilities will receive ICH CAHPS patient survey ratings?

To receive ICH CAHPS patient survey ratings on Care Compare, participating ICH facilities (also known as dialysis centers) must have at least a total of 30 completed ICH CAHPS Surveys from the two survey periods being reported. If an ICH facility has fewer than 30 total completed ICH CAHPS surveys from the two survey periods being reported, it will not receive patient survey ratings but instead will receive a footnote explanation.

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If a facility has both a primary and alternate CCN, how are the facility's patient survey ratings presented on the Care Compare website?

If a facility has both a primary and alternate CCN for their facility, data collected from patients at both CCNs will be combined and reported under the primary CCN. The Care Compare Team determines which of the CCNs is considered to be the “primary CCN.” To have survey results publicly reported, the ICH facility must have a total of 30 or more completed surveys from the two survey periods being reported between the combined primary and alternate CCN.

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Why did our facility receive a footnote on the Care Compare website instead of patient survey ratings?

Some ICH facilities will receive a footnote on the Care Compare website, instead of patient survey ratings. Reasons for receiving a footnote include, but are not limited to:

  1. Not participating in the ICH CAHPS Survey for both of the survey periods being reported;
  2. Having fewer than 30 completed ICH CAHPS surveys combined from the two survey periods being reported;
  3. Serving primarily pediatric, home dialysis, or peritoneal dialysis patients; or
  4. Being too new to administer the survey (the facility did not receive their CMS Certification Number by December 31 of the previous calendar year).

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