Hospice Experience of Care Survey

In August of 2013, CMS released the final rule for the 2014 Payment Rate Update.This final rule introduced a new customer satisfaction survey called the Hospice Experience of Care Survey. Hospice providers will need to contract with an approved survey vendor before March 2015 in order to avoid a 2 percent reduction in the annual payment update. You can read the section introducing the new survey here.

Key information about the Hospice Experience of Care Survey

  • The development of the survey drew heavily from questionnaires in the public domain such as the FEHC (Family Evaluation of Hospice Care) Survey.
  • As of now, the survey has between 65 and 71 questions. CMS anticipates the final version being much shorter. It will be significantly shorter than the FEHC survey which has 54 questions.
  • As of now, the survey is not a CAHPS® survey. CMS will be applying for NQF and CAHPS® approval. If approved, the survey may be called Hospice CAHPS®.
  • The survey development and implementation process are mimicking the underlying principles of the CAHPS® surveys. The survey protocols will be very similar the HH-CAHPS® survey protocols.
  • Hospice agencies with 50 or less deceased patients in a calendar year will be exempt from participating.
  • The survey is still being tested during the fall of 2013.
  • The approved methods for administering the survey will be phone, mail, and mixed mode (mailed survey with a phone follow up).
  • The survey will be conducted with bereaved family or close friends of the loved one. It is anticipated that the surveys will be conducted two to three months after the passing of the hospice patient.
  • Hospice agencies will be able to add their own questions to the survey.
  • Survey vendors will be required to offer the survey in Spanish and English.

What should Hospice providers do?

As of November 2013, the final version of the survey has not been released, nor are there any approved survey vendors. It is not necessary to do anything yet. By the summer of 2014, the final version of the Hospice Experience of Care Survey will likely be released, along with a list of approved survey vendors. At this time it will be important to start evaluating survey vendors and select one before January 2015.

Hospice agencies will be required to conduct a "dry run" survey for one month between January and March of 2015. The data collected during this dry run will not be made public. In April of 2015 Hospice agencies will begin regular participation in the survey. The results of those surveys will be made public.

Will Pinnacle be an approved survey vendor?

The timeline for approving survey vendors is still unknown. However, since this new survey and the protocols for administering the survey are so similar to what has been done in the Home Health sector with the HH-CAHPS® survey, Pinnacle fully anticipates being an approved vendor. Please contact us with any additional questions about the Hospice Experience of Care Survey.

Learn More

View Additional Articles