1. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service [CMS] has mandated that all hospices with greater than fifty annual discharges perform the Hospice CAHPS Survey to be administered post-death to family caregivers to assess patient and family experiences with the care provided. This survey cannot be performed in-house, hence, hospices must select an approved CMS vendor.
  2. CMS is expected to reward high performing hospices and penalize low and non-participating hospices through reimbursement rates from Medicare and Medicaid. If a hospice has 50 or more discharges (deaths) in one year and does not participate, the hospice will be penalized 2% to 4% of gross billings for an entire year.
  3. The Hospice CAHPS Survey is comprised of 47 standard questions. Results are expected to be posted online for public review and scrutiny. Reimbursement rewards and penalties, though, are based on the results to one question – overall rating of care.
  4. Hospitals have been performing the Hospital CAHPS Survey for five years. Now CMS has begun requiring other types of medical entities that receive reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid to begin performing the CAHPS Survey. These include home health agencies, outpatient ambulatory surgery centers, emergency departments and physicians (clinics) among others.
  5. Hospices with 50 to 699 annual deaths are required to survey a census of patients’ caregivers. Hospices with 700 or more deaths need only survey 60 caregivers per month chosen randomly – though a larger sample is allowed.