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June 17 -- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) invites public comments to OMB by July 19, 2021 regarding its proposal to conduct the  Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS).
The HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) 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.
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.  
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.

Since October 2006, the HCAHPS Survey has been administered on a continuous basis.  From March 2008 to December 2020, HCAHPS results were publicly reported on the CMS Hospital Compare website four times per year.  Beginning in 2021, HCAHPS results are publicly reported on the CMS Care Compare Web site, https://www.medicare.gov/carecompare/?providerType=Hospital&redirect=true, and in the Provider Data Catalog, https://data.cms.gov/provider-data/dataset/dgck-syfz four times per year. This pattern will continue into the foreseeable future.   
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 website: https://hcahpsonline.org/
HCAHPS proposal package: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202106-0938-008 Click IC List for data collection instruments, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation
FR notice inviting comments to OMB: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/06/17/2021-12828/agency-information-collection-activities-submission-for-omb-review-comment-request (See #2)
Point of contact: William Lehrman, Division of Consumer Assessment & Plan Performance, CMS  william.lehrman@cms.hhs.gov 410-786-1037

For AEA members wishing to provide comments to OMB, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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