Evaluating Healthcare

Medicare Compare

It is important that people living with ESRD have access to a dialysis facility that suits their needs. Medicare has data you can use to compare dialysis facilities (centers) based on the quality of patient care they provide. Use the link below to search and compare dialysis facilities in the United States and its territories. You can also compare their patient experience survey results by reviewing the ICH CAHPS.

Tools & Resources

  • Medicare Compare (formally Dialysis Facility Compare): Link
  • What Dialysis Professionals Should Know: Handout
  • Medicare Compare: Job Aide

Five Star Rating System

In 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched the Five-Star Quality Rating System to help consumers make informed and educated decisions about where to receive dialysis care. The Five-Star Quality Rating System uses data from dialysis facilities’ Total Performance Score on the QIP (called the Quality Rating) to assign a star rating of 1 to 5 to each dialysis facility. In 2020, CMS added the ICH CAHPS survey score (called the Patient Survey Rating) to the Five-Star Quality Rating System, establishing a comprehensive assessment of care (quality of care and patient experience of care).

For more information about the Five-Star Quality Rating System, go to https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/CertificationandComplianc/FSQRS.


What is it?

ICH CAHPS stands for In-Center Hemodialysis (ICH) Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS). The ICH CAHPS utilizes comparable data from the patient's perspective that allows for objective and meaningful comparisons between facilities on domains that are important to consumers (patients).

Why should it be used?

ICH CAHPS surveys should be used to enable and enhance public accountability in healthcare by increasing the transparency of the quality of care provided in return for public investment.

How is it used?

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 Medicare Compare 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.

For more information on the ICH-CAHPS process and vendors who provide the survey, please see the ICH CAHPS Website.