Outpatient and Ambulatory Surgery CAHPS (OAS CAHPS)

In January 2016, CMS began voluntary monthly data collection using the Outpatient and Ambulatory Surgery CAHPS (OAS CAHPS) survey tool. The survey is designed to measure the experiences of care for patients who visited Medicare-certified hospital based outpatient departments (HOPDs) or freestanding ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) for a surgery or procedure. CMS plans to publicly report data collected from July 2016 through June 2017 in 2018 (unless the facility chooses to suppress their data).

The program will move from voluntary participation to mandatory implementation in January 2018, and CMS will require facilities to conduct the survey as part of the Outpatient Quality Reporting Program or the Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality Reporting Program. Press Ganey is a CMS-certified vendor and offers the OAS CAHPS regulatory survey to clients who wish to voluntarily collect data.

Based on other CAHPS programs, Press Ganey knows that clients who start measuring early outperform those clients who wait until data collection is mandatory. Press Ganey encourages beginning with voluntary OAS CAHPS implementation as soon as possible to allow time to gain experience with the OAS CAHPS questions and CMS protocols prior to mandatory participation.


The finalized OAS CAHPS survey contains 37 questions about the check-in process, facility environment, patient’s experience communicating with administrative staff (receptionists) and clinical providers (doctors and nurses), attention to comfort, pain control, provision of pre- and post- surgery care information, overall experience, and patient demographics. CMS has divided the survey into three domains for reporting; Care of Patients, Communications about Your Procedure, and Preparations for Discharge/Recovery. In addition, there are two global rating items; Overall Rating of the Facility and Patient Willingness to Recommend the Facility.

CMS conducted a one-time mode experiment of the 37 question survey tool and determined that a mode adjustment would not be applied to OAS CAHPS data before it is reported. However, there will be a patient mix adjustment applied to the OAS CAHPS data before it is reported, based on surgery type, overall health, overall mental health, age, education, and how well the patient speaks English.

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