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March 31 -- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) invites public comments by June 1, 2021 on the proposed renewal of National Implementation of Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS).  
 
The HCAHPS Survey is the first national, standardized, publicly reported survey of patients' perspectives of their hospital care. HCAHPS is a 29-item survey instrument and data collection methodology for measuring patients' perceptions of their hospital experience. Since 2008, HCAHPS has allowed valid comparisons to be made across hospitals locally, regionally and nationally.

The national implementation of HCAHPS is designed to allow third-party CMS-approved survey vendors to administer HCAHPS using mail-only, telephone-only, mixed-mode (mail with telephone follow-up), or active IVR (interactive voice response).
 
Three broad goals have shaped HCAHPS. First, the standardized survey and implementation protocol produce data that allow objective and meaningful comparisons of hospitals on topics that are important to consumers. Second, public reporting of HCAHPS results creates new incentives for hospitals to improve quality of care. Third, public reporting enhances accountability in health care by increasing transparency of the quality of hospital care provided in return for the public investment. HCAHPS scores have been publicly reported on the Hospital Compare Web site since 2008 and since 2012 have been used in the payment determination for Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) hospitals that participate in the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (Hospital VBP) program. HCAHPS scores are also used in the CMS PPS-Exempt Cancer Hospital program and Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement program, in other federal and state government programs, in hospital rating services such as Consumer Reports and U.S. News & World Report, in hospital quality improvement projects, and in scholarly research and publications.

The HCAHPS Survey asks recently discharged patients about aspects of their hospital experience that they are uniquely suited to address. The core of the survey contains 19 items that ask “how often” or whether patients experienced a critical aspect of hospital care, rather than whether they were “satisfied” with their care. Also included in the survey are three screener items that direct patients to relevant questions, five items to adjust for the mix of patients across hospitals, and two items that support Congressionally-mandated reports.
 
The HCAHPS Survey is administered to a random sample of adult inpatients between 48 hours and six weeks after discharge. Patients admitted in the medical, surgical and maternity care service lines are eligible for the survey. HCAHPS is not restricted to Medicare patients. Hospitals may use an approved survey vendor or collect their own HCAHPS data, if approved by CMS to do so. HCAHPS can be implemented in four survey modes: mail, telephone, mail with telephone follow-up, or active interactive voice recognition (IVR), each of which requires multiple attempts to contact patients. Hospitals must survey patients throughout each month of the year. IPPS hospitals must achieve at least 300 completed surveys over four calendar quarters. HCAHPS is available in official English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese, Portuguese, and German versions.
 
HCAHPS Survey website: https://hcahpsonline.org/
HCAHPS results are publicly reported on the new Care Compare Web site https://www.medicare.gov/care-compare/ and in the new Provider Data Catalog https://data.cms.gov/provider-data/dataset/dgck-syfz
Draft HCAHPS Survey instruments and documentation: https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/PaperworkReductionActof1995/PRA-Listing-Items/CMS-10102
FR notice inviting public comments (item #1): https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/03/31/2021-06642/agency-information-collection-activities-proposed-collection-comment-request

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