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Aug 23 -- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) invites comments by October 23, 2023 regarding the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers & Systems (HCAHPS) Survey.

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. Since 2008, HCAHPS has allowed valid comparisons to be made across hospitals locally, regionally and nationally.

Three broad goals have shaped HCAHPS. First, the survey is designed to produce data about patients' perspectives of care that allow objective and meaningful comparisons of hospitals on topics that are important to consumers. Second, public reporting of the survey results creates new incentives for hospitals to improve quality of care. Third, public reporting serves to enhance accountability in health care by increasing transparency of the quality of hospital care provided in return for the public investment. With these goals in mind, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the HCAHPS Project Team have taken substantial steps to assure that the survey is credible, useful, and practical.

The HCAHPS survey asks discharged patients 29 questions about their recent hospital stay. The survey contains 19 core questions about critical aspects of patients' hospital experiences (communication with nurses and doctors, the responsiveness of hospital staff, the cleanliness and quietness of the hospital environment, communication about medicines, discharge information, overall rating of hospital, and would they recommend the hospital). The survey also includes three items to 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 patients across medical conditions between 48 hours and six weeks after discharge; the survey is not restricted to Medicare beneficiaries. Hospitals may either use an approved survey vendor, or collect their own HCAHPS data (if approved by CMS to do so). HCAHPS can be implemented in four different survey modes: mail, telephone, mail with telephone follow-up, or active interactive voice recognition (IVR). Hospitals can use the HCAHPS survey alone, or include additional questions after the core HCAHPS items. Hospitals must survey patients throughout each month of the year. The survey is available in official English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese, Portuguese and German versions.  
 
HCAHPS: https://hcahpsonline.org/
Draft data collection instrument and technical documentation: https://www.cms.gov/regulations-and-guidance/legislation/paperworkreductionactof1995/pra-listing-items/cms-10102
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-18151

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