Hospice CAHPS : Get Ready!

pinnacleHospice CAHPS is here. If you have cared for more 50 or more decedents you will need to make a “dry run” before April 1st. Results from this dry run will not be published but demonstrates you have transmission capacities.

Be ready to participate in the H-CAHPS process, it’s MANDATORY!

Thanks to my friends at Pinnacle Quality Insight  I’ve posted this FAQ from their website at

Hospice CAHPS® Frequently Asked Questions

What is Hospice CAHPS®?


Hospice CAHPS® is a customer satisfaction survey for hospice providers. It is also called the CAHPS® Hospice Survey. It was previously called the Hospice Experience of Care Survey.

It is a standardized survey that will be conducted with the family members or close friends of deceased recipients of hospice care.

The Hospice CAHPS® survey is part of a family of surveys that spans across many different levels of care. CAHPS® stands for Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems.

This family of surveys belongs to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) a branch of the US Department of Health & Human services.

How will the surveys be administered?


The surveys must be administered by a CMS-approved vendor. A list of the approved vendors can be found here:

The surveys may be conducted via phone, mail, or both. Different vendors are approved for different methodologies. It is up to the hospice agency to contract with a vendor that is approved for their preferred methodology (e.g. phone, mail, mixed).

The surveys will be conducted with family/friends of deceased hospice patients no sooner than two months after the hospice patient passes away.

The family member or friend will be asked about specific experiences with their hospice care provider.

Can the survey be customized?


On behalf of the hospice agency, the survey vendor is able to add up to 15 hospice-specific supplemental questions at the end of the survey. There are several types of questions which cannot be asked as supplemental questions. The survey vendors will have more information about this.

When does it start?


The survey will be fully implemented on April 1st, 2015. However, participating agencies will be required to conduct a “dry run” sometime during quarter 1 of 2015. The “dry run” is a survey that will be conducted with actual family members of decedents, but the results of that survey will never be made public.

Agencies will need to contract with an approved vendor prior to the “dry run” period.

Who should participate?


Agencies that served less than 50 decedents between Jan 1, 2014 and Dec 31, 2014 are exempt from participating in the survey. Also, new agencies do not have to participate in the survey during the calendar year in which they received their CCN.

All other agencies must participate in the survey to receive their full APU. Agencies opting not to participate will receive a 2% reduction in their Medicare rate.

How do you participate?


In order for an agency to participate, they need to contract with an approved survey vendor and supply that vendor with the patient information needed to conduct surveys each month.

Who pays for it?


The hospice agency is responsible for the cost of conducting the survey. Different survey vendors charge different amounts.

Please contact us to get a custom bid for you agency.

What if an agency gets poor marks?


As of now the survey results are not tied to reimbursement rates. However, the results of the survey will eventually be made public. Bad reviews from customers could have a negative impact on potential new customers.

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