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What is HCAHPS?

Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) is a standardized survey used to collect and measure patient experience in hospitals. HCAHPS scores were the first national standard for measuring patients’ perspective of care across all hospitals. When the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) implemented HCAHPS, their goal was to introduce a system of measurement to help consumers make well-informed healthcare decisions.

CMS defined three goals when developing the HCAHPS survey.
– To create a standardized survey and implementation protool to allow objective and meaningful comparisons of hospitals on topics that are important to patients.
– To add new incentives for hospitals to improve quality of care.
– To enhance accountability in healthcare by increasing transparency of the quality of care provided in return for the public investment.

Who participates?
Any hospital that falls under the Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems (IPPS) payment system is required to complete HCAHPS in order to receive full reimbursement via the Annual Payment Update.

How many patients are surveyed?
Hospitals must receive a minimum of 300 HCAHPS surveys during the year long reporting period.

When does the HCAHPS survey occur?
The HCAHPS survey occurs throughout the year, with a data submission deadline every three months. The data submission deadlines for the 2018 performance year are as follows:
– July 5, 2018 – Data submission deadline for patients discharged in January, February, and March 2018.
– October 3, 2018 – Data submission deadline for patients discharged in April, May, and June 2018.
– January 3, 2019 – Data submission deadline for patients discharged in July, August, and September 2018.
– April 3, 2019 – Data submission deadline for patients discharged in October, November, and December 2018.

Who administers the HCAHPS survey?
SurveyVitals is a CMS-certified vendor, approved to administer the HCAHPS survey. Please submit the provided form to schedule a demo to learn more about using the SurveyVitals solution to meet HCAHPS requirements.

What does the survey assess?
There are 21 HCAHPS survey questions that cover nine question areas.
– Communication with doctors
– Communication with nurses
– Responsiveness of hospital staff
– Pain management
– Communication about medicines
– Discharge information
– Cleanliness of the hospital environment
– Quietness of the hospital environment
– Transition of care

The patients are also asked to answer four screening questions and seven questions about demographics. Including these questions, the survey is 32 questions long.

What languages are available for HCAHPS administration?
In the mail version, the HCAHPS survey is offered in English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, and Vietnamese. For the interactive voice response version, it is offered in English and Spanish.

What modes of administration are offered?
There are four modes of administration available for HCAHPS.
– Mail only
– Telephone only
– Mail with Telephone follow-up (Mixed Mode)
– Active Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

What is the source of the sample for HCAHPS administration?
A random selection of eligible discharges are selected on a monthly basis. The sampling may either be conducted continuously or once a month. Each sample must be randomly generated from the entire month’s worth of patients.

What is an eligible patient (HCAHPS)?
An eligible patient for the HCAHPS survey must meet the following requirements:
– 18 years or older at the time of admission
– At least one overnight stay in the hospital as an inpatient
– Non-psychiatric MS-DRG/principal diagnosis at discharge
– Alive at the time of discharge

Will my organization’s HCAHPS data be publicly reported?
Yes, hospitals participating in HCAHPS are sugject to public reporting. CMS releases HCAHPS results four times a year, using a rolling quarter system where the oldest quarter rolls off as the newest is added. HCAHPS results are open to the public on the HCAHPS Hospital Compare website at http://www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov.

Does SurveyVitals have supplemental surveys?
Yes! SurveyVitals’ 360° solutions provide insight at every level of your organization. Contact us today to to learn more about our digital solution with patient feedback year-round for improvement between CAHPS survey cycles.