CMS Launching Outpatient-Center Surveys

Posted February 11, 2016 at 5:56 pm

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced plans to begin testing a survey program for ambulatory surgery centers and Medicare-certified, hospital-based outpatient surgery departments, according to news releases from the consulting firm Press Ganey and ImageFIRST Cleveland.

The new assessments are called Outpatient and Ambulatory Surgery (AOS) Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) Surveys. They will be administered to surgicenter and hospital-outpatient facilities on a trial basis this year. Full implementation is expected to follow in 2017, the ImageFIRST release said. Like the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) surveys for hospitals, the new CMS surveys for outpatient centers will gather information on patient satisfaction from surgicenters and similar facilities.

The outpatient center surveys will include 37 questions that focus on assessing how patients feel about their care experience. These include issues of cleanliness and privacy, plus overall ratings and the willingness of patients to recommend the facility. Healthcare facility participants will get feedback on their ability to provide a positive patient experience, while learning where they can make improvements. Facilities that begin taking survey measurements early on are likely to outperform facilities that wait until national implementation moves forward next year, the Press Ganey release said.

ImageFIRST Cleveland cited a recent client it had appraised, Eastside Medical, where surveys showed a dramatic increase in patient satisfaction following the introduction of a new patient gown. Click here and here to learn more about the CAHPS Surveys.