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What's New

NEW! HCAHPS Podcast Now Available – Successfully Transitioning to the New Communication About Pain Items on the HCAHPS Survey (11/16/2017)

The HCAHPS podcast is specifically targeted for HCAHPS approved survey vendors and self-administering hospitals to provide important information about key items related to the HCAHPS Survey administration.

Overview of Requirements - This podcast reviews the basic requirements for successfully transitioning to the New Communication About Pain items effective with January 1, 2018 and forward discharges.


Please view Podcast below.


Please click here to view the podcast transcript.


Corrections to the Spanish, Portuguese and Vietnamese Translations of the HCAHPS Survey New Pain Questions Have Been Posted (11/16/17)

It has been determined that the recently updated Spanish, Portuguese and Vietnamese HCAHPS Survey translations, for the new pain questions (items 12, 13 and 14) require minor corrections as follows:

 HCAHPS Survey translation Mail Only, Telephone Only and Active IVR

  •  Question 14 contains an extra punctuation mark at the beginning of the sentence:

 ¿Durante esta vez que estuvo en el hospital, ¿con qué frecuencia el personal del hospital habló con usted sobre cómo tratar el dolor?

 The correct punctuation for Question 14 is shown below:

 Durante esta vez que estuvo en el hospital, ¿con qué frecuencia el personal del hospital habló con usted sobre cómo tratar el dolor?

  HCAHPS Survey Portuguese translation Mail Only

  •  Questions 13 and 14 contain an incorrect accent mark for the word “frequència

 Durante esta hospitalização, com que frequència o pessoal…

 The correct accent for Questions 13 and 14:

 Durante esta hospitalização, com que frequência o pessoal…

 HCAHPS Survey Vietnamese translation Mail Only

  •  Questions 13 and 14 contain a wording error:

 Trong lần nằm bệnh viện này, nhân viên bệnh viện đã có thường xuyên…

 The correct wording for Questions 13 and 14:

 Trong lần nằm bệnh viện này, nhân viên bệnh viện có thường xuyên…

Corrected versions of the Spanish, Portuguese and Vietnamese surveys are now posted on www.hcahpsonline.org.  These versions replace those posted in August 2017. 

Please click here to view or download the updated HCAHPS Survey translations.


Extraordinary Circumstances Extension / Exception (ECE) due to California Fires (11/02/17)

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, inpatient psychiatric facilities, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, hospices, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, long-term care hospitals, renal dialysis facilities, and ambulatory surgical centers located in areas affected by the devastating impacts of the Northern California wildfires since October 8, 2017, in and around counties in Northern California. These providers will be granted exceptions without having to submit an extraordinary circumstances exception request if they are located in one of the California counties 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.

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 by FEMA as of the date of this communication are as follows:

Northern California Counties

  • Butte
  • Lake
  • Mendocino
  • Napa
  • Nevada
  • Orange
  • Sonoma
  • Yuba

The following providers located outside of the counties 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 the Northern California wildfires to include additional counties, CMS will update this communication to expand the list of providers eligible to receive an exception without submitting a request. In addition, CMS will continue to monitor the situation and adjust exempted reporting periods and submission deadlines accordingly.

Hospitals - Inpatient Services
CMS is granting an exception to subsection (d) hospitals located in designated counties 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:

  • January and April 2018 HCAHPS submission deadlines for discharge periods:
    July 1, 2017 – September 30, 2017 (3rd Quarter 2017)
    October 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017 (4th 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 Irma (11/02/17)

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, Prospective Payment System (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, Georgia 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.

NOTE: Since the latest communication released on September 21, 2017, FEMA has designated 16 counties in the state of South Carolina as disaster areas: Allendale, Anderson, Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Edgefield, Georgetown, Hampton, Jasper, McCormick, Oconee, and Pickens. Hospitals located within these FEMA designated counties have been granted exceptions in addition to the counties, municipios, and county-equivalents previously identified.

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 Georgia Counties Puerto Rico Municipios U.S. Virgin Islands
County-Equivalents
South Carolina
  • All 67 counties in Florida
  • All 159 counties in Georgia
  • Adjuntas
  • Juncos
  • St. Croix (Island)
  • Allendale
  • are within the FEMA
  • are within the FEMA
  • Aguas Buenas
  • Las Piedras
  • (County-equivalent)
  • Anderson
  • designated areas.
  • designated areas.
  • Barranquitas
  • Loiza
  • St. John (Island)
  • Bamberg
   
  • Camuy
  • Luquillo
  • (County-equivalent)
  • Barnwell
   
  • Canovanas
  • Orocovis
  • St. Thomas (Island)
  • Beaufort
   
  • Carolina
  • Patillas
  • (County-equivalent)
  • Berkeley
   
  • Catano
  • Quebradillas
  • Statewide
  • Charleston
   
  • Ciales
  • San Juan
 
  • Colleton
   
  • Culebra
  • Utuado
 
  • Dorchester
   
  • Guaynabo
  • Vega Baja
 
  • Edgefield
   
  • Jayuya
  • Vieques
 
  • Georgetown
       
  • Hampton
       
  • Jasper
       
  • McCormick
       
  • Oconee
       
  • Pickens

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, 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 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 (11/02/17)

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, Prospective Payment System (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 or parish. 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.

NOTE: Since the latest communication released on October 12, 2017, FEMA has identified eight additional parishes in Louisiana as disaster areas: Assumption, De Soto, Lafayette, Lafourche, Plaquemines, Red River, St. Charles, and St. Mary. FEMA has also identified nine additional counties in Texas as disaster areas: Burleson, Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe, Jim Wells, Madison, Milam, San Augustine, and Washington. The additional parishes and counties located within these FEMA designated areas have been granted exceptions in addition to the counties/parishes previously identified.

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

Texas Counties Louisiana Parishes
  • Aransas
  • Gonzales
  • Newton
  • Acadia
  • Austin
  • Grimes
  • Nueces
  • Allen
  • Bastrop
  • Guadalupe
  • Orange
  • Assumption
  • Bee
  • Hardin
  • Polk
  • Beauregard
  • Bexar
  • Harris
  • Refugio
  • Calcasieu
  • Brazoria
  • Jackson
  • Sabine
  • Cameron
  • Burleson
  • Jasper
  • San Augustine
  • De Soto
  • Caldwell
  • Jefferson
  • San Jacinto
  • Iberia
  • Calhoun
  • Jim Wells
  • San Patricio
  • Jefferson Davis
  • Chambers
  • Karnes
  • Tarrant
  • Lafayette
  • Colorado
  • Kleberg
  • Travis
  • Lafourche
  • Comal
  • Lavaca
  • Tyler
  • Natchitoches
  • Dallas
  • Lee
  • Victoria
  • Plaquemines
  • DeWitt
  • Liberty
  • Walker
  • Rapides
  • Fayette
  • Madison
  • Waller
  • Red River
  • Fort Bend
  • Matagorda
  • Washington
  • Sabine
  • Galveston
  • Milam
  • Wharton
  • St. Charles
  • Goliad
  • Montgomery
 
  • St. Mary
   
  • Vermilion
   
  • Vernon

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, 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 acute care 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.


The HCAHPS Fact Sheet Has Been Revised (11/02/2017)

The HCAHPS Fact Sheet has been revised and is posted to the Facts Page. Click here to access the Facts Page.


HCAHPS Public Reporting Periods for April 2017 Through July 2019 Have Been Posted (11/02/2017)

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 July 2019.

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


Hospital Compare Has Been Refreshed (10/27/2017)

The October 2017 Hospital Compare Refresh includes HCAHPS scores from January 2016 – December 2016 data collections.


Summary Analyses Page Tables Have Been Updated (10/27/2017)

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

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

The Star Ratings Distributions Have Been Updated (10/27/2017)

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

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

Star Ratings: December 2017 Technical Notes Have Been Posted (10/03/2017)

The Technical Notes for the December 2017 HCAHPS results are now available. The December 2017 HCAHPS Star Ratings are included in the hospital Preview Reports (available to hospitals from October 2, 2017 – October 31, 2017), and will be Publicly Reported on Hospital Compare in December 2017. Please click here to access the HCAHPS Star Ratings page.


HCAHPS Patient-Mix Adjustment for Service Line and Gender Have Been Posted (09/29/17)

The HCAHPS Patient-Mix Adjustment (PMA) model has been updated to incorporate more detailed information about patient Service Line and Gender.

The Mode & Patient-Mix Adjustment page can be found by clicking here.


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.


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.


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


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.