Voluntary OAS CAHPS Data Collection Is Under Way

Added on Apr 21, 2016

Voluntary OAS CAHPS Data Collection Is Under Way
From Industry Edge April 2016

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began national implementation of the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Outpatient and Ambulatory Surgery (OAS CAHPS) survey on a voluntary basis in January 2016, and plans to begin publicly reporting the data in 2018.

Designed to help providers better understand patients’ perceptions of their care experience as well as actively identify opportunities to improve performance and reduce patient suffering, the OAS CAHPS survey contains 37 questions about the check-in process, facility environment, patients’ experience communicating with administrative staff and clinical providers, attention to comfort, pain control, provision of pre- and post-surgery care information, overall experience and patient characteristics.

According to an OAS CAHPS fact sheet, participating facilities will collect valuable information about the quality of outpatient care provided at their facility, which will support internal quality improvement and benchmarking efforts. Further, because participation is open to any interested facilities, these organizations can compare performance against their state and the national average. Results and links to these datasets will be available for download on a CMS website such as Medicare.gov.

Although initially voluntary, participation in OAS CAHPS will likely become mandatory in the future as part of the Outpatient Quality Reporting Program or the Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality Reporting Program. Starting early with this program allows organizations to become more familiar with the CMS OAS CAHPS program and specific protocols prior to mandatory implementation.

Facilities that wish to participate in OAS CAHPS in 2016 must register on the OAS CAHPS website and authorize a vendor to administer the survey. Press Ganey’s OAS CAHPS Survey Coordination Team has released some additional guidance for facilities on how to register to participate and how to authorize a vendor for OAS CAHPS.