Quality & Patient Safety

CMS clarifies oversight of HCAHPS in 2009, releases updated scores

Patient Safety Monitor, May 1, 2009

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CMS released its fifth quarterly update of patient satisfaction data March 26, one year after the first HCAHPS scores from hospitals that participated in the pilot test were made available to the public. This time around, scores from all hospitals that receive reimbursement through the inpatient prospective payment system have been included.

After the first round of the survey was released in March 2008, hospital leaders and staff members were unsure of the extent to which consumers would use the data available. It’s since been shown that although some consumers have been looking at the data, they have not been using those data to choose where they receive care.

“I think it created apprehension initially because it was the first time that this type of information would be public,” says Deirdre Mylod, PhD, vice president of the acute business division at Press Ganey, a vendor for administering the HCAHPS survey. “I think we’ve moved from apprehension clearly through to acceptance. Although patients have gone to the site, a fair amount of the research suggests that patients are not using the publicly available data—not just HCAHPS, but any of what’s out there—to truly make decisions about their care.”

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