The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented a voluntary national reporting program for the OAS CAHPS Survey in January 2016. Participation in the program is open to any interested Medicare-certified Hospital Outpatient Departments (HOPDs) and free-standing ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs). CMS provides guidelines for survey administration similar to those implemented on other CAHPS surveys through the OAS CAHPS Survey Protocols and Guidelines Manual (available in the Survey Materials menu tab). Additionally, CMS-approved survey vendors administer the survey on behalf of HOPDs and ASCs and submit the data to the OAS CAHPS Data Center (RTI International, an independent, non-profit contract research organization). RTI International analyzes the data. CMS started publicly reporting survey results from voluntary participation in 2018.
HOPDs and ASCs can benefit from participating in the voluntary national reporting program in the following ways:
- Participating HOPDs and ASCs will be part of a program that provides valuable information to consumers about the quality of care provided nationally by HOPDs and ASCs.
- Participating HOPDs and ASCs can compare their patient responses 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.
- HOPDs and ASCs may add supplementary questions to the survey and can choose to replace their internal patient experience of care surveys with the OAS CAHPS survey.
- Participation in the OAS CAHPS Survey may be used to meet state or other regulations that require a patient satisfaction survey to be conducted regularly. Check with your state or accreditation bodies on such regulations.
For CY 2022, CMS incorporated two additional mixed modes for the OAS CAHPS Survey, which are web with mail follow-up of nonrespondents and web with telephone follow-up of nonrespondents, allowing a total of five modes of survey administration. CMS also plans to continue voluntary implementation of the OAS CAHPS Survey through CY 2023. Therefore, participation in the OAS CAHPS Survey will be linked to reimbursement beginning with CY 2024 for HOPDs and CY 2025 for ASCs. These plans were detailed in the CY 2022 Final Rule.