CAHPS Patient Survey Coming to Outpatient Setting What you need to know BY KARA NEWBURY

ASCs pride themselves on both the high quality of care they provide and the excellent patient expe- rience they offer.


patients routinely say that they appre- ciate the convenience of ASCs and the fact that because ASCs provide only elective outpatient surgical care, they are better able to control their envi- ronment and limit patient exposure to potential health care acquired infec- tions than hospitals, which also provide emergency services and inpatient care. While many ASCs conduct their

own patient satisfaction surveys, there is currently no single instrument that assesses patient experiences in outpatient surgical settings. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), seeing the value in standardization, has funded the development of a Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Outpatient and Ambulatory Surgery Survey (OAS CAHPS) which would measure patients’ experience of surgical care in both hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) and ASCs.

Background For the past 20 years, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), in conjunction with CMS, has developed standardized surveys that allow patients to rate the health care they receive. In 2006, CMS began implementing the Hospital CAHPS (HCAHPS) Survey, an inpatient tool, and public reporting of HCAHPS data began on the Hospital Compare web site in 2008. In 2009, AHRQ reviewed and approved a Surgical Care CAHPS (S-CAHPS) Survey for both inpatient and outpatient surgical patients, but that survey focuses on the patient’s experience with the surgeon rather than the surgical facility.


Survey Contents The lengthy development process behind the OAS CAHPS Survey began in 2012. After a few revisions and pub- lic comment periods, a 49-item survey was field tested. The survey instrument has since been revised, and now con- tains 37 items, 13 of which are demo- graphic in nature. HOPDs and ASCs may add their own facility-specific questions to the existing OAS CAHPS as long as these appear after the core survey questions. Currently, the survey is limited to patients 18 years old and older who undergo outpatient surgery in an HOPD or ASC. The OAS CAHPS instrument con- tains questions about the patient’s overall rating of the outpatient surgery facility, experience with the check-in process, facility environment, com-

munication with administrative staff (receptionists) and clinical providers (doctors and nurses), attention to com- fort, pain control, provision of pre-and post-surgery care information, overall experience and patient characteristics. The patient demographic questions (within the “About You” section) were designed to comply with the US Office of Minority Health’s requirements on data collection standards for race, sex, ethnicity, primary language and dis- ability status.

Data Collection Third-party vendors will collect the OAS CAHPS survey data to avoid introduction of bias. The data will be collected one of three ways: ■

Mail-only: Participants in this group will be sent one mailing, and then

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30