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In-Center Hemodialysis CAHPS (ICH CAHPS)

Overview: ICH CAHPS (In-Center Hemodialysis Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) Survey is the first national, standardized, and publicly-reported survey of patients' perspectives of dialysis care; it is also the first CAHPS survey focusing solely on a chronic disease.  ICH CAHPS measures perceptions of patients with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) receiving life-sustaining in-center hemodialysis care.  In 2007, the National Quality Forum (NQF), an organization established to standardize health care quality measurement and reporting, formally endorsed measures from the ICH CAHPS.  

About the survey: Questions in the ICH CAHPS survey encompass: nephrologists’ communication and caring, staff communication and caring, operations of the dialysis facility, patient’s knowledge of treatment options, handling of patient problems, and global ratings.  There are three approved modes of administration: mail only, telephone only, and mixed (mail followed by telephone.  Although ESRD patients spend a number of hours each week at their dialysis facility, the survey may not be administered by any facility staff person and may not be administered in the dialysis facility to avoid any bias in responses.  Therefore, beginning in 2014 dialysis facilities will authorize CMS-approved survey vendors to conduct the survey of eligible patients on their behalf.  

Public reporting and policy relevance: Publicly-reported ICH CAHPS results will be based on two semi-annual administrations of patient surveys.  CMS will publish ICH CAHPS results on the Dialysis Facility Compare website: http://www.medicare.gov/Dialysisfacilitycompare/search.aspx.  ICH CAHPS is part of the ESRD Quality Incentive Program and is required as part of the value-based purchasing program for payments under the Medicare Program.  

For more information, please visit the ICH CAHPS website: https://ichcahps.org/.  You may also contact CMS at ichcahps@cms.hhs.gov or the ICH CAHPS project team at ichcahps@rti.org  

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