The CAHPS® Hospice survey team recently conditionally approved a number of vendors to administer the CAHPS® Hospice survey. Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) was recently named one of those vendors that will attend a mandatory training webinar session on October 7, 2014. All participating vendors must achieve a passing score on a training quiz administered upon the conclusion of the webinar.

CAHPS Hospice Survey Vendor

The CAHPS® Hospice website provides a wealth of information for vendors and Hospice organizations that are looking for more information about this upcoming survey. Of particular interest is the frequently asked questions (FAQ) page which details answers to some of the most common questions regarding CAHPS® Hospice via the website.

  • What is the CAHPS® Hospice survey about? Much like other CAHPS surveys used for CMS pay-for-reporting, this initiative is an experience of care survey. The survey considers the primary informal caregiver of the hospice patient as the respondent. Therefore, the survey will be sent to this audience after two months following the death of the hospice patient.
  • What are the topics in the survey? There are 47 questions on the survey with an option of up to 15 hospice-specific supplemental questions. The main questions will cover the following areas:
    • Team communication
    • Timely care
    • Treating family member with respect
    • Providing emotion support
    • Support for religious and spiritual beliefs
    • Getting help for symptoms
    • Information continuity
    • Understanding side effects of pain medication
  • Who must participate? Based on the CAHPS® Hospice website, all Medicare-certified hospices must participate in the program to receive their full APU (Annual Payment Update). There are two exemptions: (1) hospices with less than 50 deceased patients from January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014 and (2) those who did not receive their CCN (CMS Certification Number) before January 1, 2015.
  • When will the survey be administered? All three modes will be used for surveying including mail, telephone, and mixed modes. The dry run of the survey (running for at least one month for hospices) will occur during either January, February, or March 2015. Beginning April 2015, hospices will be required to participate in CAHPS Hospice on an ongoing monthly basis through December 2015.
  • What is the dry run period? Hospices are required to participate in this dry run for one of the three months in early 2015. All parties will complete the implementation procedures including submission of data. The intent of the dry run is for all parties to conduct a “trial run” of the data collection procedures under test circumstances before the full launch in April.
CAHPS Hospice Dry Run

Table via CAHPS® Hospice website  (Click to enlarge)

  • How many caregivers will be sampled? Remember, those with fewer than 50 deaths in the prior calendar year are exempt. Those hospices with 50 to 699 decedents in the prior year are required to survey all caregivers, whereas those with 700 or more decedents will sample 700 caregivers.

Research & Marketing Strategies is an approved CAHPS Hospice survey vendor (conditionally as of August 29, 2014). One the training session is complete on October 7, RMS Healthcare expects to be officially approved along with other vendors. If you are interested in hiring a CAHPS Hospice survey vendor or if you have any questions about the process, contact or call 1-866-567-5422.