CMS Looks at Revising HCAHPS Survey
June 2019 ~
In a public notice to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), CMS requested approval to collect public feedback on possible changes to its mandatory and long-standing patient experience survey for hospitals – the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey (HCAHPS).
As required under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), CMS issued the notice in early April, which requests permission to gather public comments on the possibility of offering an electronic version of the HCAHPS survey.
The current Medicare participation requirements have required hospitals to administer the HCAHPS survey. When the tool was first launched, in 2007, it provided a national standard by which allowed hospitals to have better insight into the patient experience, as well as consumers to access their personal health data. The agency is looking to update the tool to better align with modern technology and lifestyle of current consumers.
The survey is currently being conducted via phone and mail, which providers say results in extended response time as well as delayed data and analytics collection.
CMS is specifically seeking input on the possibility of an electronic HCAHPS survey. The agency hopes this change will minimize the information collection burden by automating the process and streamlining and the survey’s current 29 questions.
According to a CMS spokesperson, in addition to input from stakeholders, the agency is also planning to ask patients “about what aspects of hospital quality are important to them.” Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including the necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency’s functions, the accuracy of the estimated burden, ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected, and the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden, states the official comment request.
Comments to OMB closed May 16 and the CMS is still awaiting approval before they can go forward with a public information request.