Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Why is HHCAHPS Mandatory In Order To Receive Full Medicare Reimursement?

CMS has given 3 reasons for making the HHCAHPS Survey mandatory in order to receive full Medicare reimbursement:

  1. It will produce comparable data on the patient’s perspective that will allow objective and meaningful comparisons between home health agencies on domains that are important to consumers.
  2. Public reporting of survey results is designed to create incentives for agencies to improve their quality of care.
  3. Public reporting will serve to enhance public accountability in health care by increasing the transparency of the quality of care provided in return for public investment.

    Since the quality of care varies greatly from agency to agency, it became evident that an objective comparison system would be necessary.
    The development of the HHCAHPS survey dates back to November 2001, when the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services announced the Quality Initiative. This was stated as a “commitment to ensure quality health care for all Americans through accountability and public disclosure.” The Quality Initiative was launched nationally in November 2002 for nursing homes and expanded in 2003 to the nation’s hospitals and home health care agencies.
    The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, AHRQ, developed the HHCAHPS survey as we see it today after several rounds of cognitive testing. A field test was conducted in 2008 with 34 home health agencies to test the properties of the survey and finalize its content. The final HHCAHPS Survey was developed in the summer of 2008. To learn more about AHRQ’s family of surveys, visit their official website.

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

    --Craig Christiansen

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