Approved Hospice CAHPS Vendors Released

The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) Hospice Survey was designed to measure and assess the experiences of patients who died while receiving hospice care, as well as the experiences of their informal primary caregivers. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) developed the CAHPS Hospice Survey with input from many stakeholders, including other government agencies, industry stakeholders, consumer groups, and other key individuals and organizations involved in hospice care. Implementation of the survey supports national priorities for improving care including involving patients and families in care and promoting effective communication and coordination.

Last month CMS posted the list of approved Hospice CAHPS vendors.  In order to be approved to administer the CAHPS Hospice Survey the listed organizations had to meet the CAHPS Hospice Survey requirements provideed by CMS.

The standardized 47 question CAHPS Hospice Survey instrument is composed of the following measures: Hospice Team Communication, Getting Timely Care, Treating Family Member with Respect, Providing Emotional Support, Support for Religious and Spiritual Beliefs, Getting Help for Symptoms, Information Continuity, Understanding the Side Effects of Pain Medication, and Getting Hospice Care Training.

The Hospice Payment Final Rule begins January 1, 2015. Hospices must participate for at least 1 month during first quarter of 2015 and begin continuous monthly participation April 1.  Additionally, two more information pieces of information relative to Hospice CAHPS – updates to the Q & A and some technical corrections and clarifications to the quality assurance guidelines document that was previously posted  are also now available.

Participation during CY2015 will impact hospice payment rates during FY2017.

The Hospice Payment Final Rule reminds hospices that national implementation of the Hospice CAHPS survey begins January 1, 2015. Hospices must participate for at least one month during first quarter of 2015 and begin continuous monthly participation April 1, 2015. Participation during CY2015 will impact hospice payment rates during FY2017.

If a hospice is eligible to participate, the Hospice will be required to select and contract with an approved vendor and the Hospice will be required to authorize the vendor to collect and submit data on the Hospice’s behalf. These actions must be taken prior to the beginning of participation in the “dry run” period, which runs for the first quarter of CY2015.

Once monthly participation begins (April 1, 2015), hospices will submit contact information for relatives of patients that died that month to the vendor of their choosing. After a short time lag (a few months) vendors will distribute the Hospice CAHPS survey to the family members of the patients. CMS advises that hospices develop a policy that will help ensure compliance with the requirement for monthly data submission to the vendor.

Read more in the NAHC Report.

Any questions about hospice CAHPS should be submitted to the survey team at hospicecahpssurvey@HCQIS.org or to CMS hospice CAHPS staff at hospicesurvey@cms.hhs.gov.

 

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