Recently, an update was released for the CAHPS Hospice Survey that includes an updated expiration date on the survey tool itself, but no changes were made to the survey questions. For there to be survey question changes, that would have to go through the rulemaking process, which did not happen.
There were some changes to the information regarding how the vendors are to carry out the survey process. You will want to make sure that you and your vendors review that information to determine that your vendors are compliant with your surveys.
Here is a friendly reminder that if you saw less than 50 unique beneficiaries in 2021, you are technically exempt from participation in the CAHPS Hospice Survey in 2022, but you do have to complete the actual exemption form. The exemption form is due December 31, 2022, so if you still need to file it this year, you need to hurry. In addition, understand that regardless of whether you remain eligible for the exemption or not, you still must file the exemption form every year if you are going to be requesting exemption for that year. You will not request it one time and it result with an eternal exemption. You must continue revisiting the exemption form each year.
In August 2022, CAHPS Hospice Survey star ratings began and are being publicly displayed on the Care Compare site, so you will want to check the ratings you have received. The Care Compare site is used by beneficiaries and their caregivers to determine what Hospice they might select for themselves or for a family member. You do not want to have an issue with your star ratings regarding surveys.
To recap, make sure your vendors are up to date on the CAHPS Hospice Survey protocols released in December, 2022. You will also want to make sure you visit the Care Compare site to ensure your star ratings are reflective of your organization and to determine if there are any elements of the survey that you need to educate your staff on to improve scores. In addition, you need to ensure that you are on top of the survey exemption process if you are small enough to qualify for the exemption, for example, if you did not see more than 50 unique beneficiaries last year.
HPS wishes you all the very best in the New Year.
If there is anything HPS can do for you, please do not hesitate to let us know.