Enhance public accountability in health care by increasing the transparency of the quality of care provided in return for public investment
The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (Section 4558(b)) required that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) develop and implement a method to measure and report the quality of renal dialysis services provided under the Medicare Program. Although CMS has been reporting comparative clinical information at the dialysis facility level since 2001 on its Dialysis Facility Compare (DFC) website, a major gap in the information currently available is the quality of in-center hemodialysis care from end stage renal disease (ESRD) patients’ perspective.
In 2004, CMS partnered with Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to develop a Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) Survey for ESRD patients who receive in-center hemodialysis from dialysis facilities. AHRQ and CMS developed and tested the In-Center Hemodialysis (ICH) CAHPS Survey in 2005. The ICH CAHPS Survey is designed to measure the experiences of people receiving in-center hemodialysis care from Medicare-certified dialysis facilities. The ICH CAHPS Survey measures were endorsed by the National Quality Forum (NQF) in 2007.