AHA Objects to New Patient Experience Surveys

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , March 28, 2013

AHA was responding to CMS's January 25 request for information that sought input from hospitals about the proposed survey. The comment period ended on Tuesday.

CMS acknowledged in its request for information notice that "two related CAHPS surveys exist: however, they do not collect information specific to the patient experience of care in HOSD/ASC facilities."

The Hospital CAHPS (HCAHPS) survey collects data on inpatient experience and care ratings but does not include patients who receive outpatient surgical care from a hospital-based outpatient surgical department or patients who got that care from freestanding ACSs, CMS said.

The Surgical Care CAHPS survey focuses on inpatient and outpatient surgeries and includes questions about the patient's experience before, during and after the surgery. However, the survey focuses on the care provided by the physician and not the facility, CMS said.

Thompson countered in her letter that the CG-CAHPS and Surgical CAHPS "already include information highly relevant to assessing experience of care in ASCs and HOSDs."

"The CG-CAHPS survey evaluates practices and individual providers on several issues, including access to appointments, physician communication with patients, courtesy of office staff and follow up on testing results," she said.

"The Surgical CAHPS survey captures similar information, but with a focus on surgical care in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. Patients rate the quality of pre-and-post procedure information provided to them, the helpfulness of office staff, and communication with surgeons and anesthesiologists before and after the procedure."

Thompson raised concerns that the "proliferation of CAHPS surveys" confuses patients and makes it difficult for them to accurately assess their experience

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