National Core Indicators Project in Wisconsin: FAQs

Below are frequently asked questions about the National Core Indicators (NCI) Project surveys.

What are NCI surveys?

  • National Core Indicator (NCI) surveys provide a way for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to voluntarily measure and track its own performance.
  • People who receive long-term care services are randomly selected to participate and share their opinions about services they receive.
  • Trained interviewers from Wisconsin schedule face-to-face meetings with individuals selected for the surveys.
  • The surveys measure the performance and outcomes of services provided for these individuals and their families.
  • Wisconsin is one of 46 states that conduct NCI surveys.

What is the purpose of this project?

  • To gather the opinions and experiences of individuals who receive long-term care and support services from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
  • The survey information will be used to improve services and better understand people’s needs.

Who is funding this project?

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

How did you get my name?

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services provided Vital Research, an independent research organization, a random sample of people who receive services through one of Wisconsin’s long-term care and support programs: Family Care, Family Care Partnership, PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly), and IRIS (Include, Respect, I Self-Direct); or whose nursing home care is funded by fee-for-service Medicaid.

Do I have to participate?

  • No. Participation is voluntary.
  • Taking the survey is you or your guardian’s choice.
  • Your services and supports will not be affected whether you choose to participate or not.

How do you interview individuals with disabilities?

  • The surveys are designed for people using long-term care services and the surveys include questions for older adults, people with physical disabilities, and people with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
  • Interviewers receive training about the surveys, disability etiquette, and cultural competence.
  • Interviewers use the person’s preferred communication style, for example using a person’s assistive technology device or having an interpreter present when English is not a person’s first language.

Can anyone refuse to participate on behalf of the consumer?

  • Only legal guardians may refuse on behalf of a person.
  • Staff members cannot refuse due to potential conflict of interest.

Why not let the families or staff answer for consumers?

  • It is important to talk directly with the people who have first-hand experiences.
  • Opinions from all groups are important, but cannot substitute for one another.
  • If you are not able to answer the questions, a proxy respondent may answer some questions on your behalf.

What if I change my mind or have to change my interview date or time?

You may call the interviewer you scheduled with directly or call Hannah Huebner at Vital Research at 888-848-2555 (toll free).

Is this confidential (private)?

  • Yes. The answers you provide will not be shared with any of the people who are paid to help you, unless you or your guardian want them at the interview.
  • All your survey answers will be kept confidential.
  • Also, you and your guardian may choose to not answer a question.

How long will the interview take?

About 30-45 minutes.

What are you going to ask me about?

  • Survey interviewers will ask for your opinions about your quality of life and the services you receive. For example, there will be questions about your case manager or case worker, living arrangement, direct care staff, activities or employment, and your health and safety.
  • If any questions do not apply, they will be skipped.

Why aren’t you asking me about … ?

  • A large number of people are being interviewed and the questions are about things likely to apply to everyone.
  • As a result, we may miss a part of your experience that you feel is very important.
  • Please feel free to provide your comments to your interviewer.

Will my answers affect the State services I receive now or may receive in the future?

No. The purpose of the survey is to learn about your experiences. Your responses are confidential and will not affect the services you receive in any way.

Last Revised: June 15, 2022