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QualityNet Scheduled Downtime (09/18/2017)

Due to deployment of the Hospital Quality Reporting system release 12.0, some functions of the QualityNet Secure Portal will be intermittently unavailable Thursday, September 28, 2017 thru Friday, September 29, 2017 between the hours of 10:00 a.m. ET until 1:00 a.m. ET. 

During this time organizations may not be able to upload HCAHPS data to the HCAHPS Data Warehouse. Please schedule your data submission accordingly. Contact the QualityNet Help Desk if additional information or assistance is needed. 

For additional information or assistance, please contact the QualityNet Help Desk at qnetsupport@hcqis.org or (866) 288-8912 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.


FOLLOW-UP: October 4, 2017 HCAHPS Data Submission Deadline (09/13/2017)

October 4, 2017 is the data submission deadline for patients discharged in April, May, and June 2017 (2Q17). June 2017 Dry Run data must also be submitted by this date.

Please make sure to allow adequate time to submit data in case resubmissions are necessary. A successful submission to the QualityNet Secure Portal is defined as a file that has been accepted by the QualityNet Secure Portal, as indicated on the Data Submission Report. Be sure to check the HCAHPS Data Submission Reports (if your hospital uploaded data) or the HCAHPS Warehouse Feedback Reports (if your hospital has contracted with an approved survey vendor).

After you have uploaded your files, you should receive an email confirmation within twenty-four hours with a batch number indicating that your batch has been processed. If you do not receive this email, please contact the QualityNet Help Desk at qnetsupport@hcqis.org, or by telephone at 866.288.8912.

Should you encounter any data submission issues, be sure to open a ticket with the QualityNet Help Desk at qnetsupport@hcqis.org, or by telephone at 866.288.8912. In addition, please forward the QualityNet Help Desk Ticket/Incident number to the HCAHPS Project Team via the HCAHPS Technical Assistance email (hcahps@hcqis.org).


CMS Hurricane Webpage and Open Door Forum Information (09/06/2017)

Open Door Forum

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is granting exceptions under certain Medicare quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs to acute care hospitals, PPS-exempt cancer hospitals, inpatient psychiatric facilities, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, hospices, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, outpatient dialysis facilities, long-term care hospitals, and ambulatory surgical centers located in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey due to the devastating impact of the storm. These providers will be granted exceptions without having to submit an extraordinary circumstances exception request if they are located in one of the Texas counties or Louisiana parishes, all of which have been designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a major disaster county.

The scope and duration of the exception under each Medicare quality reporting program is described in the memo posted on 8-31-17, however, all of the exceptions are being granted to assist these providers while they direct their resources toward caring for their patients and repairing structural damages to facilities.

If FEMA expands the current disaster declaration for Hurricane Harvey to include additional counties or parishes, CMS will update this memo to expand the list of providers eligible to receive an exception without submitting a request to include the hospitals, PPS-exempt cancer hospitals, inpatient psychiatric facilities, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, hospices, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, long-term care hospitals, and ambulatory surgical centers located in the additional counties and parishes.

In addition, CMS will continue to monitor the situation and adjust exempted reporting periods and submission deadlines accordingly.

Additional details and materials are available on the CMS Hurricane webpage. Please check back frequently for updates.


Extraordinary Circumstances Extension / Exception (ECE) due to Hurricane Irma (09/15/17)

To review entire Quality Reporting Notification, please click here.

Key HCAHPS content is displayed below. Please review the entire notification for additional detail.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is granting exceptions under certain Medicare quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs to acute care hospitals, PPS-exempt cancer hospitals, inpatient psychiatric facilities, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, hospices, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, renal dialysis facilities, long-term care hospitals, and ambulatory surgical centers located in areas affected by Hurricane Irma due to the devastating impact of the storm. These providers will be granted exceptions without having to submit an Extraordinary Circumstances Exceptions (ECE) request if they are located in one of the Florida counties, Puerto Rico municipios, or U.S. Virgin Islands county-equivalents listed below, all of which have been designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a major disaster county, municipio, or county-equivalent. The scope and duration of the exception under each Medicare quality reporting program is described below; however, all of the exceptions are being granted to assist these providers while they direct their resources toward caring for their patients and repairing structural damages to facilities.

CMS is closely monitoring the situation for future potential widespread catastrophic events, and will update exception lists soon after any events occur in the future.

The affected counties, municipios, and county-equivalents designated by FEMA as of the date of this communication are as follows:

Florida Counties Puerto Rico Municipios U.S. Virgin Islands
County-Equivalents
  • All 67 counties in Florida
  • Adjuntas
  • St. Croix (Island)
  • are within the FEMA
  • Canovanas
  • (County-equivalent)
  • designated areas.
  • Carolina
  • St. John (Island)
 
  • Culebra
  • (County-equivalent)
 
  • Guaynabo
  • St. Thomas (Island)
 
  • Juncos
  • (County-equivalent)
 
  • Loiza
  • Statewide
 
  • Luquillo
 
 
  • Orocovis
 
 
  • Patillas
 
 
  • Utuado
 
 
  • Vieques
 

The following providers located outside of the counties, municipios, and county-equivalents listed above are not covered by this communication, but may request an exception to the reporting requirements under one or more Medicare quality reporting or value-based purchasing programs using the applicable extraordinary circumstances exception procedure: acute care hospitals, Prospective Payment System (PPS)-exempt cancer hospitals, inpatient psychiatric facilities, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, hospices, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, long-term care hospitals, renal dialysis facilities, and ambulatory surgical centers. If FEMA expands the current disaster declaration for Hurricane Irma to include additional counties, municipios, and/or county-equivalents, CMS will update this communication to expand the list of providers eligible to receive an exception without submitting a request to include the hospitals, PPS-exempt cancer hospitals, inpatient psychiatric facilities, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, hospices, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, long-term care hospitals, and ambulatory surgical centers located in the additional counties, municipios, and/or county-equivalents. In addition, CMS will continue to monitor the situation and adjust exempted reporting periods and submission deadlines accordingly.

CMS is granting an exception to subsection (d) hospitals located in designated counties and parishes for the following reporting requirements under the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program.

For the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) Survey:

  • October 2017 and January 2018 HCAHPS submission deadlines for discharge periods:
    April 1, 2017 – June 30, 2017 (2nd Quarter 2017)
    July 1, 2017 – September 30, 2017 (3rd Quarter 2017)

The National Support Team for the IQR Program is available to answer questions or supply any additional information you may need. Please contact the team at InpatientSupport@viqrc1.hcqis.org or call toll-free at 844.472.4477.


Updated Extraordinary Circumstances Extension / Exception (ECE) due to Hurricane Harvey (09/11/17)

To review entire Quality Reporting Notification, please click here.

Key HCAHPS content is displayed below. Please review the entire notification for additional detail.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is granting exceptions under certain Medicare quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs to acute care hospitals, PPS-exempt cancer hospitals, inpatient psychiatric facilities, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, hospices, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, Renal Dialysis Facilities, long-term care hospitals, and ambulatory surgical centers located in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey due to the devastating impact of the storm. These providers will be granted exceptions without having to submit an extraordinary circumstances exception request if they are located in one of the Texas counties or Louisiana parishes listed below, all of which have been designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a major disaster county. The scope and duration of the exception under each Medicare quality reporting program is described below; however, all of the exceptions are being granted to assist these providers while they direct their resources toward caring for their patients and repairing structural damages to facilities.

The affected counties and parishes designated by FEMA as of the date of this communication are as follows:

Texas Counties Louisiana Parishes
  • Aransas
  • Kleberg
  • Acadia
  • Austin
  • Lavaca
  • Allen
  • Bastrop
  • Lee
  • Beauregard
  • Bee
  • Liberty
  • Calcasieu
  • Bexar
  • Matagorda
  • Cameron
  • Brazoria
  • Montgomery
  • Iberia
  • Calhoun
  • Newton
  • Jefferson Davis
  • Chambers
  • Nueces
  • Natchitoches
  • Colorado
  • Orange
  • Rapides
  • Dallas
  • Polk
  • Sabine
  • Dewitt
  • Refugio
  • Vermilion
  • Fayette
  • Sabine
  • Vernon
  • Fort Bend
  • San Jacinto
 
  • Galveston
  • San Patricio
 
  • Goliad
  • Tarrant
 
  • Gonzales
  • Travis
 
  • Hardin
  • Tyler
 
  • Harris
  • Victoria
 
  • Jackson
  • Walker
 
  • Jasper
  • Waller
 
  • Jefferson
  • Wharton
 
  • Karnes
  

The following providers located outside of the counties and parishes listed above are not covered by this communication, but may request an exception to the reporting requirements under one or more Medicare quality reporting or value-based purchasing programs using the applicable extraordinary circumstances exception procedure: acute care hospitals, Prospective Payment System (PPS)-exempt cancer hospitals, inpatient psychiatric facilities, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, hospices, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, long-term care hospitals, Renal Dialysis Facilities, and ambulatory surgical centers. If FEMA expands the current disaster declaration for Hurricane Harvey to include additional counties or parishes, CMS will update this communication to expand the list of providers eligible to receive an exception without submitting a request to include the hospitals, PPS-exempt cancer hospitals, inpatient psychiatric facilities, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, hospices, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, long-term care hospitals, and ambulatory surgical centers located in the additional counties and parishes. In addition, CMS will continue to monitor the situation and adjust exempted reporting periods and submission deadlines accordingly.

CMS is granting an exception to subsection (d) hospitals located in designated counties and parishes for the following reporting requirements under the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program.

For the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) Survey:

  • October 2017 and January 2018 HCAHPS submission deadlines for discharge periods:
    April 1, 2017 – June 30, 2017 (2nd Quarter 2017)
    July 1, 2017 – September 30, 2017 (3rd Quarter 2017)

The National Support Team for the IQR Program is available to answer questions or supply any additional information you may need. Please contact the team at InpatientSupport@viqrc1.hcqis.org or call toll-free at 844.472.4477.


Updated HCAHPS Survey Materials with NEW Pain Management Questions Have Been Posted (08/21/2017)

Beginning with patients discharged in January 2018, CMS replaced the current Pain Management questions (items 12, 13 and 14 on the HCAHPS Survey) with three new questions that will comprise a new composite measure, “Communication About Pain.”

The new pain items will be required on all surveys administered to patients discharged from January 1, 2018 and forward. This change will affect all survey translations and all survey modes. The official versions of the new Pain Management items for all survey modes and in all language translations have been posted.

Please note that the current pain questions must be used for all patients discharged before January 1, 2018.

Please click here to access the Survey Instruments page.


Updated XML File Specification Version 4.0 Now Available (08/21/2017)

The updated XML File Specifications Version 4.0, which includes the new Communication About Pain questions (Q12, Q13, Q14), is now available on the HCAHPS Technical Specifications page. The updated XML File Specifications Version 4.0 must be used for all patients discharged from January 1, 2018 and forward.

Please click here to access the Technical Specifications page.


FY 2018 IPPS Final Rule Has Been Published (08/21/2017)

The FY 2018 IPPS Final Rule, establishing the Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS), is now available on the Federal Register.

The Final Rule and related tables are available at the following URL: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2017-08-14/pdf/2017-16434.pdf


New Communication About Pain Composite Measure Released (08/04/2017)

On August 2, 2017, in the FY 2018 IPPS Final Rule, CMS announced plans to replace the current Pain Management questions (items 12, 13 and 14 on the HCAHPS Survey) with three new questions that focus on communication about pain. The new pain items will be required on all surveys administered to patients discharged from January 1, 2018 and forward. The new Pain Management items will comprise a new composite measure, “Communication About Pain.” This change will affect all survey translations and all survey modes. The Mail Mode version of the new Pain Management items can be found below.

In the coming months, the HCAHPS Project Team will post official versions of the new Pain Management items for all survey modes and in all language translations on the HCAHPS Web site (www.hcahpsonline.org) on the “Survey Instruments” page. The HPT will also provide more information to approved HCAHPS survey vendors and self-administering hospitals about the transition to the new Pain Management items.

Please note that the current pain questions must be used for all patients discharged before January 1, 2018

12.  During this hospital stay, did you have any pain?

        Yes

        No  -> If No, Go to Question 15

13.  During this hospital stay, how often did hospital staff talk with you about how much pain you had?

        Never

        Sometimes

        Usually

        Always

14.  During this hospital stay, how often did hospital staff talk with you about how to treat your pain

        Never

        Sometimes

        Usually

        Always


Hospital Compare Has Been Refreshed (07/26/2017)

The July 2017 Hospital Compare Refresh includes HCAHPS scores from October 2015 through September 2016 data collections.


Summary Analyses Page Tables Have Been Updated (07/26/2017)

The following tables have been added to the HCAHPS Web site Summary Analyses page:

  • July 2017 Summary of HCAHPS Survey Results Table
  • July 2017 HCAHPS Percentiles Table


The Star Ratings Distributions Have Been Updated (07/26/2017)

The following tables have been added to the HCAHPS Web site Star Ratings page:

  • July 2017 HCAHPS Stars Ratings Distributions
  • July 2017 HCAHPS Summary Star Distributions by US State


Patient-Mix Coefficients for October 2017 HCAHPS Results Have Been Posted (07/14/2017)

The Patient-Mix Coefficients for the October 2017 HCAHPS results are now available. Please click here to access the Mode & Patient-Mix Adjustment page.


Star Ratings: October 2017 Technical Notes Have Been Posted (07/14/2017)

The Technical Notes for the October 2017 HCAHPS results are now available. The October 2017 HCAHPS Star Ratings are included in the hospital Preview Reports (available to hospitals from July 14, 2017 through August 13, 2017), and will be Publicly Reported on Hospital Compare in October 2017. Please click here to access the HCAHPS Star Ratings page.


HCAHPS XML File Specifications V3.9 Have Been Posted (06/28/2017)

The HCAHPS XML File Specifications Version 3.9 have been added to the HCAHPS Web site Technical Specifications page. The HCAHPS Technical File Specifications V3.9 are to be used starting with July 1, 2017 patient discharges.


Updated HCAHPS Quality Assurance Guidelines V12.0 Technical Corrections and Clarifications Document Available (06/05/2017)

Updated information on technical corrections to the HCAHPS Quality Assurance Guidelines V12.0 has been posted. Please click here to access the Quality Assurance page.


Mode Adjustment Table Has Been Posted (04/12/2017)

An updated Mode Adjustments of Top Box and Bottom Box Percentages (after PMA) table is now available. Please click here to access the Mode & Patient-Mix Adjustment page.


HCAHPS Quality Assurance Guidelines V12.0 Change Matrix: Updates and Emphasis Has Been Posted (04/07/2017)

The HCAHPS Quality Assurance Guidelines V12.0 Change Matrix: Updates and Emphasis is a reference tool that highlights the major changes from the HCAHPS Quality Assurance Guidelines V11.0 to V12.0. The reference tool is available on the Quality Assurance page.


2017 QualityNet Maintenance and Downtime Schedule (12/19/2016)

The HCAHPS Project Team is alerting approved HCAHPS Survey vendors and self-administering hospitals of upcoming regular QualityNet maintenance weekends. During this time organizations will not be able to upload HCAHPS data to the HCAHPS Data Warehouse. This alert is provided so that survey vendors and self-administering hospitals can plan data submission as needed.

Please see the Technical Specifications page for a schedule of upcoming regular QualityNet maintenance weekends.


CMS Finalizing Removal of the Pain Management Dimension from Hospital Value-Based Purchasing in FY 2018 (11/15/2016)

The CY 2017 OPPS Final Rule has been published and is now available on the Federal Register.

The Final Rule is available at the following URL: https://federalregister.gov/d/2016-26515

CMS is finalizing the removal of the Pain Management dimension from the scoring formula used in the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program (Hospital VBP), beginning with the FY 2018 payment adjustments. The Pain Management dimension is derived from Questions 12, 13 and 14 on the HCAHPS Survey.

Please note that the Pain Management questions will remain on the HCAHPS Survey and the Pain Management measure will continue to be publicly reported on Hospital Compare.

Please monitor the HCAHPS Web site for future announcements about the Pain Management measure.


25 Completed HCAHPS Surveys Required for Hospital HCAHPS Scores to be Publicly Reported on Hospital Compare (10/11/2016)

Beginning with the December 2016 Hospital Compare refresh, HCAHPS scores based on fewer than 25 completed surveys will no longer be publicly reported. From December forward, the Hospital Compare Web site will report “Not Applicable” and Footnote 5, “Results are not available for this reporting period,” for hospitals that have fewer than 25 completed HCAHPS Surveys. However, the Public Reporting Preview Report, which a hospital can access during the preview period, will continue to include the hospital’s HCAHPS scores and number of completed surveys.


HCAHPS Public Reporting Periods for October 2016 Through December 2018 Have Been Posted (09/14/2016)

Click here to view the HCAHPS Public Reporting Periods document. This document indicates which calendar quarters of HCAHPS results will be publicly reported on the Hospital Compare Web site through December 2018.

Please Note: The dates of future preview periods and public reporting are estimates based on current timetables and are subject to change.