The following blog post was written by Christine Benn, Business Development Coordinator at RMS.

Warning: deadlines are closer than they appear. For those Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASC’s) and Medicare-certified Hospital Outpatient Departments (HOPD’s) who will be mandated to conduct the OAS CAHPS® surveys beginning in January 2018, now is the time to get started. Become familiar with the process in its entirety to have a seamless experience when it’s time to report to CMS. This voluntary period gives you the flexibility to experiment on what works best for your patients. Keep these points in mind when considering a vendor:

CMS Requirements – Be sure the price you’re quoted during the voluntary period includes the CMS requirements and follows the data submission deadline schedule. There is no point in surveying early if you aren’t following the impending protocol.

Knowledge is Power – While these surveys are fairly new for vendors as well, the vendor should have some extent of knowledge around the survey. Key details may include the target number of completes, sampling rates, response rates, timelines, submitting patient files to the vendor and the survey process overall.

Understand the Modes – Options put you in control. Mail, telephone and mixed mode are all approved modalities for the OAS CAHPS survey. Understand the benefits of these and how the survey administration differs from each mode.

Dedicated CAHPS Team – If this is your first time conducting a CMS mandated CAHPS survey, partner with a vendor who has a skilled team dedicated to all aspects of CAHPS. The vendor should act as your back office, leaving you prepared and confident for the 2018 start date.

Beyond the Requirements – If you’re looking to implement change and improve patient experience based on the survey results, pursue a vendor who can provide you feedback beyond the data. Look for items that may include reporting on your survey results, an online portal to access your data and comments made by respondents.

Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) is a full service market research and consulting firm located in Baldwinsville, NY. As a CMS-approved CAHPS® Vendor, RMS’ Healthcare Department is composed of two divisions: Healthcare Analytics and Healthcare Practice Transformation. The Healthcare Analytics team is responsible for several aspects of the CAHPS Survey Administrations, including the following product lines: ACO CAHPS, CG CAHPS, ECHO Survey, ED CAHPS, H CAHPS, HH CAHPS, Hospice CAHPS, ICH CAHPS, OAS CAHPS and PQRS CAHPS. The Practice Transformation team handles the coordination of quality initiatives to assist clients achieving Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH)™ Recognition. To learn more about our healthcare services, contact Christine Benn, Business Development Coordinator at or by calling 866-567-5422.