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July 29 -- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), invites public comment to OMB by August 30, 2021 regarding National Implementation of the Outpatient and Ambulatory Surgery Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (OAS CAHPS) Survey.
 
The information collected in the national implementation of OAS CAHPS will be used to provide a source of information from which selected measures can be publicly reported to beneficiaries to help them make informed decisions for outpatient surgery facility selection; to aid facilities with their internal quality improvement efforts and external benchmarking with other facilities; and to provide CMS with information for monitoring and public reporting purposes.
 
Voluntary national implementation, which began in 2016, will continue with Hospital Outpatient Departments (HOPDs) and Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs) contracting with an independent CMS-approved survey vendor to conduct the survey. OAS CAHPS scores have been publicly reported on the Medicare.gov website since 2018.
 
The national implementation of OAS CAHPS on a regular basis will allow for the collection of data about patients’ experience with outpatient surgical care at different points in time during a calendar year. Regular implementation will also allow sampled patients to assess their experience at the facility soon after their surgery or procedure is performed. Participating facilities will be asked to provide a sample frame consisting of patients who received at least one surgery or procedure during the sample month to their survey vendor on a monthly basis. Vendors will, in turn, be required to initiate the data collection from patients within 3 weeks after the sample month closes.
 
The OAS CAHPS respondent universe is patients 18 years old and older who received an outpatient surgery or a procedure in a HOPD or ASC and who are not discharged to hospice or admitted as an inpatient in the hospital. For the national implementation, sample selection is single-stage. ASCs and HOPDs that choose to participate work directly with a survey vendor of their choice. The vendors are responsible for selecting adequate patient sample needed to complete 300 complete surveys for each outpatient surgery facility annually.
 
For the national implementation of OAS CAHPS, each participating facility sends to its contracted survey vendor patient sample frames containing information about each patient who received an outpatient surgery or procedure during the sample month. The survey vendor removes patients who do not meet survey eligibility requirements and then draws a random sample of the remaining patients.

Survey vendors working under contract with OAS CAHPS are instructed to use a reliable program to generate a random patient sample. CMS recommends that survey vendors use the free program RATSTATS, available from the DHHS, Office of Inspector General website, or some other validated sample selection programs such as SAS to select the sample. The recommended sampling procedure is simple random sampling, but stratified systematic sampling, disproportionate and proportional stratified sampling may be allowed subject to CMS’s approval.
 
OAS CAHPS website: https://oascahps.org/
OAS CAHPS submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202107-0938-015 Click on IC List for survey instruments, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation  
OAS CAHPS submission on CMS website: https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/PaperworkReductionActof1995/PRA-Listing-Items/CMS-10500
FR notice inviting comment to OMB: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/07/29/2021-16202/agency-information-collection-activities-submission-for-omb-review-comment-request
 
Point of contact: Patrick Chen, RTI International (919) 541-6309 pchen@rti.org

For AEA members wishing to submit 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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