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NRC Health has been involved with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) programs since the beginning, participating in the very first CAHPS program for health plans. We bring innovative strategies to our CAHPS programs to provide value to all healthcare stakeholders.

Not only will you meet CMS requirements on specific CAHPS programs, but you will also be equipped with the knowledge you need to improve your customer experience—faster. Click on a specific CAHPS program below to read more about NRC Health’s offerings.

Learn More: To learn more about our solutions, please contact us or call 1-800-388-4264.

The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) formal public reporting initiative mandated by CMS asks your patients to rate their experiences with respect to various healthcare delivery systems. These ratings are shared with the public, potentially affect your hospital’s reputation and standing in the community it serves, and is used to calculate value-based purchasing payments.

NRC Health takes a unique approach to measuring the patient experience by specifically identifying acceptable caregiver behaviors. That’s why NRC Health client hospitals achieve a 59 percent higher rate of improvement on HCAHPS measures such as ‘Overall Rating of Hospital.’

Accountable care organizations (ACOs) are revolutionizing healthcare through integrated, coordinated, high-quality care. Hospitals, clinics, and other care settings are beginning to work together to reduce readmissions, minimize errors, and lower costs. ACO CAHPS was developed to help achieve these collaborative goals using a universal set of patient experience measures.

For ACOs, this 58-question survey must be performed by a CMS-approved vendor via mixed-mode methodology; mail and phone.

On October 14, 2016, CMS finalized their intent to consolidate incentive plans for providers as yet another shift away from a fee-for-service model to focus on value and quality.  Under the Medicare Access and CHIP Authorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), measure reporting will become streamlined and providers will have the flexibility to choose the activities and measures that are the most meaningful to their practice to demonstrate performance.  Currently providers have to report measures through three separate programs: the Physician Quality Report System (PQRS), the Value-based Modifier, and the Medicare HER Incentive Program (Meaningful Use).  Under MACRA, these three reporting systems will become one system known as the Merit-based Incentive Program (MIPS).  The CAHPS for PQRS survey is shifting from a mandatory requirement to optional as the CAHPS for MIPS survey.  The CAHPS for MIPS survey is a part of the Quality performance category and is considered both an outcome and a high-priority measure.

Clinician and Group Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CG CAHPS) is an endorsed measure of the patient experience in a medical practice setting by the National Quality Forum (NQF). The survey evaluates ease of access to care, provider communication with patients, and courtesy and helpfulness of office staff.

The CG CAHPS solution from NRC Health helps improve outcomes and reduce costs for your medical practice. More importantly, measuring patient experiences at the practice and provider levels leads to patient satisfaction transparency and facilitates breakthroughs in preventive care and disease management.

A supplemental item set available to CGCAHPS clients is Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH). This enables you to ask patients about their experiences with the domains of primary care that define a medical home. While the PCMH CAHPS survey instrument has many similarities to the Clinician and Group CAHPS survey, it also addresses specific processes of care relevant to patient-centered medical homes with the goal of measuring and improving care delivery.

Survey versions for adults and children address components of care such as access, communication, self-management support, office staff, information and coordination of care. The adult survey includes questions regarding behavioral health care. The child survey also covers development and prevention.

Home health agencies are familiar with the national implementation of the HHCAHPS survey by CMS. Public reporting began in 2012 and failure to comply by eligible agencies means a 2% reduction in the Annual Payment Update reimbursement rate. And performance-based payment may be right around the corner—meaning that soon your HHCAHPS scores are likely to impact your reimbursement rate.

NRC Health makes HHCAHPS administration easy, provides meaningful and user-friendly reports, and offers a proactive approach to helping your organization drive improvement. Our leadership and expertise are proven to pay off in higher HHCAHPS scores for the organizations that work with us. NRC Health HHCAHPS clients outperform national benchmarks in publicly reported measures.

Evaluating the experiences that families and children have when a child stays overnight in the hospital is critical to understanding quality of care. Since patient-centeredness is a direct component of healthcare quality, it makes sense that NRC Health plays an integral role in the development of the Child HCAHPS survey.

Child HCAHPS (formerly Pediatric HCAHPS) is funded by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and CMS. The survey will be part of the CAHPS portfolio of instruments, which are developed and maintained by a team of prominent research organizations under the auspices of the AHRQ.

Nursing Home Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (NHCAHPS) is not yet mandatory for Medicare-certified nursing homes. However, the survey instrument has been endorsed AHRQ and it is anticipated that CMS will soon mandate it.

Based on more than 15 years of CAHPS® experience in all other healthcare settings, NRC Health anticipates that NHCAHPS will likely affect CMS reimbursement rates for providers that fail to achieve compliance.

We are uniquely positioned to assist your skilled nursing home with the our depth of CAHPS experience and concentration of knowledge about the nursing home profession through our post-acute experience programs (My InnerView).

The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Outpatient and Ambulatory Surgery Survey is designed to measure the experiences of care for patients who visited a Medicare-certified hospital outpatient department (HOPD) or ambulatory surgery center (ASC) for a surgery or procedure.  Voluntary participation began in 2016 but participation will be mandatory starting with January 2018 surgeries/procedures.  HOPDs and ASCs must partner with a CMS-certified vendor.  Public reporting is estimated to begin in January 2018 and will include patients who received services in July 2016-June 2017.

In alignment with the greater accountability and transparency being asked for throughout healthcare, CAHPS Hospice is required by CMS. Hospice organizations must partner with a CMS-approved vendor to survey families of hospice patients.

This pay-for-reporting requirement results in a two percent decrease in Medicare payments for hospice organizations that fail to comply. Hospices with fewer than 50 patients per year may apply for exemption, but it is up to each organization to file.

In-Center Hemodialysis CAHPS (ICH CAHPS) is a relatively new required mandate from CMS. As a CMS-approved and Renal Services Exchange preferred vendor, NRC Health is prepared to help you assess the patient experience in your dialysis facilities and compare your organization to others in your region, state, and across the country.

CMS requires each in-center hemodialysis facility serving more than 30 patients to contract with a CMS-approved survey vendor to administer the ICH CAHPS Survey. Organizations will have 2% of their annual Medicare reimbursement at risk if they don’t participate and meet certain performance thresholds.