Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Service Timeline for HH-CAHPS

When deciding when to begin their HH-CAHPS services, some agencies are beginning early in order to have more months to improve the quality of their care before results are made public, and some agencies are delaying until it is mandatory. As you decide when to begin service, keep in mind the following Service Timeline:
Month one is the “Service Month”, where an agency provides care as usual.
The HHA has 21 days of month 2 to collect and submit patient information to their HH-CAHPS vendor.
Starting the 21st of the 2nd month, the approved HH-CAHPS vendor has 6 weeks to contact patients and conduct surveys with that month’s sample group.
Each month after the 2nd month, the HHA submits patient data to their approved vendor.
So for example, let's assume January 2010 is the determined “Service Month”. In this case, the HHA would have until February 21st to submit patient data to their approved vendor.
Starting February 21st, the vendor would begin contacting patients about their care provided in January and December of 2009—a 60 day look-back period. The vendor would have 6 weeks to conduct surveys, which would take them until approximately April 4th.
When determining your service month with your vendor, take into consideration that you will receive survey results approximately 3 months (or longer) after the Service Month. With mandatory participation starting in October, beginning in January gives you approximately 5-6 months of results in order to improve the quality of your care.
If your agency waits until the dry run to begin service, you will not have results to review before mandatory participation begins--and therefore run the risk of having lower scores than your competition.

For help with HHCAHPS, or to speak with an HHCAHPS expert, email inquiries@mycahps.com or call 801-293-0700. 

--Craig Christiansen

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