Measuring Patient Satisfaction in Home Health

CAHPS Survey Brings Discipline to Home Care

The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) Home Health Care Survey is designed to measure the experiences of people receiving home health care from Medicare-certified home health care agencies. Measuring patient satisfaction in home health has been elusive so having standard measures helps both the organization perform better and helps the consumer make more informed choices with the data.

Overview of Home Healthcare Satisfaction Measurement

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The survey is designed to compare data on the patient’s perspective that allows comparisons between home health agencies.

  • Public reporting creates incentives to improve quality of care.
  • It enhances public accountability by increasing the transparency.

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Introduction to HHCAHPS

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The HHCAHPS Survey instrument contains 34 items that cover topics such as access to care, communications, and interactions with the agency and with agency staff. There are two global items: one asks the patient to rate the care provided by the HHA, and the second asks the patient about his or her willingness to recommend the HHA to family and friends.

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Role of Home Health Agencies (HHA) in the Survey

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The specific roles and responsibilities of HHAs are:

  • Contract with an approved HHCAHPS survey vendor.
  • Authorize the contracted survey vendor to collect and submit data.
  • Work with their approved vendor to determine a date each month by which the vendor will need the monthly patient information file.
  • Compile and deliver to the survey vendor a complete and accurate list of patients and information that will enable the vendor to administer the survey.
  • Review data submission reports to ensure that the survey vendor has submitted data on time.
  • Review HHCAHPS Survey results prior to public reporting.
  • Avoid influencing patients in any way about how to answer the HHCAHPS Survey.

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Administering the Survey

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The effective administration of the home health CAHPS survey is essential to assuring reliable results that can help you improve care. Most home health care patients served by Medicare-certified home health agencies (HHAs) are eligible to be included in the Home Health Care CAHPS (HHCAHPS) Survey. There are exceptions.

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Processing and Coding the Survey

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Processing and coding your CAHPS survey includes the requirements and guidelines for creating and assigning a unique sample identification (SID) number, decision rules related to processing returned mail survey questionnaires, assignment of survey disposition codes, and quality control measures.

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Web Site Reports Track Submissions and Accuracy

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The Home Health Care CAHPS (HHCAHPS) Survey Data Center generates a number of reports to indicate the status of data submissions and the quality of the data submitted.

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Public Reporting of Data

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The survey is ultimately done for public education to aid choice and offers these benefits:

  • Produces comparable data on the patient’s perspective that allows objective and meaningful comparisons.
  • Creates incentives for quality improvement.
  • Enhances public accountability.

All publicly reported data is available on the Home Health Compare Web site. Results from the HHCAHPS Survey will be published quarterly and will include each home health agency’s (HHA’s) most recent four quarters of data.

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As more and more care moves out of the hospital setting, more scrutiny will be put on providers in community based settings. That is good. It weeds out bad players. It establishes common measures. And it helps the consumer make informed decisions of where to go for care.

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