15 Facts about the ASCQR OAS CAHPS Survey

If you’re looking to grab every reimbursement dollar your ASC deserves, participation in the ASCQR program is a must. It’s a two-part program. We covered the first part—quality measures—in this post. Here, we’ll cover the second part of the program, the OAS CAHPS survey (that’s Outpatient Ambulatory Surgery Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey).

Thus far, the OAS CAHPS survey is voluntary. It was scheduled to become mandatory in 2018, but in the 2018 OPPS/ASC final rule, CMS decided to keep it voluntary—for now.

The OAS CAHPS survey is the first standardized survey to assess patient experience with outpatient care. The OAS CAHPS survey measures “the experience of care for patients who have a surgery or procedure performed in a hospital outpatient department (HOPD) or ambulatory surgery center (ASC).”—Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA)

Administering the OAS CAHPS Survey

If you’re already administering the OAS CAHPS survey, you should continue, and if you aren’t, there’s a good case for starting: you can’t overlook the importance of patient satisfaction scores and outcomes in fee-for-value payment models. Administering the survey now will help you gauge your center’s performance before mandatory reporting eventually begins. Also, you’ll glean valuable information on your patients’ perceptions of their care. If your survey results point to shortcomings in patient satisfaction, you’ll be better prepared to craft and implement improvement initiatives.

The 37-question survey is made up of 24 “experience of care” questions and 13 demographics questions. It assesses your patients’ overall feelings about your facility, including:

  • how well you communicated with them
  • their pre- and post-surgical treatment
  • whether they would recommend your facility to others

You can also add up to 15 questions of your own to the OAS CAHPS survey, which might let you replace your existing patient surveys.

What’s Beyond 2018?

The OAS CAHPS survey will eventually become mandatory. And that will mean a very big change with very real associated costs for facilities. Start figuring out how to put it in place now to stay ahead of the reimbursement game in 2018 and beyond.

Choose a CMS-approved vendor to conduct the survey for you. Vendors can conduct surveys by phone, regular mail, or a combination of both. (You can view a list of vendors here.) “Your ASC must select and pay for the survey vendor,” explains Mike Schmidt, director of certification and client success at Eye Care Leaders. The vendor will ask for a list of patients each month from your facility management software or billing system. “The vendor randomly selects a certain number of patients from the monthly list and then surveys them,” Schmidt says.

CMS recommends that you aim for 300 annual completed patient surveys, depending on the size of your ASC. If yours is a smaller center that can’t collect 300 completed surveys, you should simply collect as many as possible. That means surveying all eligible patients—no sampling. Centers that treat fewer than 60 survey-eligible patients per year could request an exemption from the survey requirement.

You can view more OAS CAHPS FAQs here.

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