What is the CAHPS for Hospice?


Managing the complexities of hospice can be a challenge. The CAHPS (Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) Hospice Survey is a national survey of people who cared for a patient who died while under hospice care.

The CAHPS Hospice Surveys are completed by friends or family members who were caregivers. Beginning on January 1st, 2015, the CAHPS Hospice Survey was made available nationwide.

Administration of the CAHPS Hospice Survey starts two months after the patient’s death. Within 42 calendar days following the first point of contact, the data gathering procedure must be finished. Survey results are published as part of Care Compare on the www.Medicare.gov website. The questionnaire contains 47 questions covering topics of interest to family caregivers and hospice patients. Data will be sent to the CAHPS Hospice Survey Data Warehouse on a quarterly basis.

What is the purpose of the survey?

The survey was developed to provide a source of information from which selected measures could be publicly reported. The aim of the survey is to aid hospices with their internal quality improvement efforts and external benchmarking with other facilities, and to provide CMS with information for monitoring the care provided. Surveying and reporting increases transparency through publicly reported outcomes.

Who is required to complete the survey?

To comply with the Hospice Quality Reporting Program’s (HQRP) pay for reporting requirement for the related fiscal year’s (FY) annual payment update, participation in the CAHPS Hospice Survey is necessary (APU). All qualifying hospices must enter into a contract with an authorized survey vendor to conduct continuing monthly data collection utilizing the CAHPS Hospice Survey. Find a list of approved vendors HERE.

Are there exceptions?

Hospice agencies with 50 or fewer decedents during a given reference period can file for an exemption. Hospices that receive their CNN number on or after the first day of the performance year for the CAHPS Hospice Survey are eligible for a one-time exemption.

Hospices may request an exemption from taking part in the CAHPS Hospice Survey if they had fewer than 50 survey-eligible decedents or caregivers during the “reference period.”

Hospice agencies must authorize an approved CAHPS Hospice Survey vendor to submit data on their behalf for the administration of the survey.

APU payments for FY 2024 will be influenced by survey results gathered in CY 2022.

What is reported on the CAHPS Hospice Survey?

There are 8 measures reported from the survey covered by 47 standardized questions including: Communication with Family, Getting Timely Help, Treating Patient with Respect, Emotional and Spiritual Support, Help for Pain and Symptoms, Training Family to Care for Patient, Rating of this Hospice, and Willingness to Recommend this Hospice.

CMS finalized the public reporting of CAHPS Hospice Survey Star Ratings in the FY 2022 Hospice Final Rule. For all hospices with 75 or more completed surveys within the reporting period, a Family Caregiver Survey Rating summary Star Rating will be made available to the public starting with the August 2022 refresh of Care Compare. Every other quarter, star ratings will be updated.

All hospices and approved survey vendors must have user account information to access the CAHPS Hospice Survey Data Warehouse.

How can you set your agency up for success?

  1. Familiarize your agency with what is on the survey. Using resources like the Face Sheet to view questions and content that will be sent.
  2. Create a protocol to let the friends and family of the patient know that surveys will be sent. An agency must not attempt to influence the caregivers to answer the CAHPS Hospice Survey questions in any particular way but you can inform them of the name of the survey vendor and that a survey will be coming.
  3. Share data and publicly reported outcomes with staff. Analyze data and create trainings or actions items as needed to improve satisfaction.

Want to know more about how our hospice billing experts manage the billing process to ensure timely, accurate claim submission and collections of all hospice bills? As a result, you can rest assured that your hospice billing operations are handled with the utmost diligence and care.

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