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Hospice Experience of Care Survey to Begin Implementation in 2015


karen Sorenson, Assocaite Vice President, HealthStreamBy Karen Sorensen, Associate Vice President, Government Initiatives, HealthStream

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced yesterday that hospices will be required to conduct the Hospice Experience of Care Survey beginning in 2015.

The goals of the Hospice Experience of Care Survey are: 

  1. To produce comparable data on the caregiver’s or loved one’s perspectives on care that allow objective and meaningful comparisons between hospices on domains that are important to consumers.
  2. To create incentives for hospices to improve their quality of care through public reporting of survey results.
  3. To enhance public accountability in health care by increasing transparency of the quality of care provided in return for public investments. 

HealthStream Hospice Experience of Care SurveySimilar to implementation of the HCAHPS and Home Health CAHPS surveys, hospices will be required to participate in a Dry Run in the first quarter of 2015, and to begin ongoing monthly surveying in April 2015. Participation is required for hospices with 50 or more deceased patients in the period of January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014. 

Key Facts

  • CMS is conducting a pilot survey this fall. Once finalized, the survey will be submitted for CAHPS and National Quality Forum endorsement. CMS states that the survey is expected to be much shorter than the 65-item survey that is being tested. 
  • Hospices will be required to contract with a CMS-approved vendor to conduct a one-month Dry Run in January, February or March of 2015; and to conduct ongoing monthly surveying beginning in April 2015.  So as not to introduce bias, hospices may not self-administer the survey. 
  • The approved methodologies are: 1) mail; 2) telephone; and 3) mail with telephone follow-up to non-respondents. 
  • The primary caregivers of patients who died while enrolled in hospice will be surveyed two to three months after the patient’s death.
  • Participation in the survey will be required to meet the pay for reporting requirement of the Hospice Quality Reporting Program. Failure to comply with the quality data submission requirements may reduce a facility’s market basket update by 2 percent. 

Anticipated Timeline for Hospice Experience of Care Survey  HealthStream Hospice Surveys

*One Dry Run Month plus 9 months of April 2015 to December 2015 participation required to meet pay for reporting requirement of the Hospice Quality Reporting Program for 2017 APU. 

HealthStream expects to receive the full requirements of the survey in 2014.  We will continue to monitor the program and keep you informed as updates become available. 

If you have questions or would like to discuss the hospice survey requirements, please contact any member of your HealthStream project team or call 800-474-1771.



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