Why should a hospice agency use a CAHPS Hospice Survey vendor?
A hospice agency is not permitted to administer its own CAHPS Hospice Surveys. Instead, every hospice agency is required to contract with an approved CAHPS Hospice Survey vendor. The vendor will administer the CAHPS Hospice Survey on an ongoing monthly basis and submit the data.
How can a hospice agency find an approved CAHPS Hospice Survey vendor?
Tips for selecting a survey vendor
The results of the CAHPS survey are publicly reported on Care Compare. Further, failure to submit the data timely can result in penalties from CMS. Given the significance of this survey, it is important to choose a reliable and experienced vendor that understands the hospice industry and can ensure both the quality and compliance of the data that will be submitted to CMS.
Some factors to explore when evaluating vendors include:
- Maturity of the vendor’s business and its processes. When was the business formed, number of clients, number of surveys, technologies used, operational failures, and growth in staff/changes in operations in support of growth in client base.
- Conducting the Surveys. What are survey response rates, languages supported, and mediums supported.
- Data sharing. How will patient files be shared with the vendor, does the vendor work with your EMR, is there a secure way to transmit data.
- Data Security. Has the vendor ever had a data breach, what steps are taken to ensure data protection, what steps are taken to ensure no data loss, how is data backed up, in the event of a failure how quickly will data be restored.
- Data Insights. Finally, with respect to insights, what analysis is performed on the data, what reports or dashboards does the vendor provide, does the vendor help the agency understand the results.
- Fees and Billing. Models for fees for CAHPS surveys vary by vendors. Examples may be flat price billing, fee per completed survey, fee per caregiver. Additional fees may be charged for follow ups, detailed reporting to the hospice agency, analysis shared with the agency, or access to survey data, for example.
Notifying CMS of the selected vendor
A hospice agency is required to complete a form that authorizes the CAHPS Hospice Survey vendor to collect and submit survey data to CMS. If the hospice agency does not notify CMS of this authorization, the vendor may not submit the data on behalf of the agency.
The CAHPS Hospice Survey Vendor Authorization Form is used to notify CMS of vendor authorization. The form and instructions for submission can be found here
The Vendor Authorization Form must be signed and notarized. The individual who signs the form is considered the CAHPS Hospice Survey Administrator for the hospice agency. An additional individual in the agency may be designated on the form as the primary point of contact for the survey.
The Vendor Authorization Form must be submitted three months before data is required to be submitted.
For example, patients who die between January 2023 and March 2023 will be contacted for survey between April 2023 and June 2023. Their data will be due for submission to the CAHPS Hospice Survey Data Warehouse on August 9, 2023.
If an agency is first contracting with a vendor to begin service in January 2023, the Vendor Authorization Form would need to be submitted by May 9, 2023.
Where can you find more information?
- AHRQ: AHRQ Hiring a Vendor for CAHPS Survey
- NHPCO guide to selecting CAHPS survey vendor NHPCO – CAHPS vendor selection
- Information on CAHPS Hospice Survey CMS – CAHPS Hospice Survey
- What is the CAHPS survey?
- Must every hospice participate in the CAHPS hospice survey?