CMS seeks feed­back on sur­vey for post-hos­pi­tal care fa­cil­i­ties

Modern Healthcare - - NEWS - By Vir­gil Dick­son

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion, for bet­ter or worse, has trained hos­pi­tals’ at­ten­tion on pa­tient ex­pe­ri­ence by ty­ing rat­ings and pay­ment in­cen­tives to how well providers score on sur­veys. Now the CMS wants to know more about how Medi­care pa­tients and their fam­ily mem­bers per­ceive care in long-term acute-care hos­pi­tals.

The CMS is so­lic­it­ing feed­back on what should be in­cluded in a new sur­vey tai­lored to those fa­cil­i­ties. The find­ings may be posted on the Medi­care web­site for con­sumers. The sur­veys also could be used in Medi­care’s qual­ity re­port­ing pro­gram, mean­ing fa­cil­i­ties could get hit with a 2 per­cent­age-point re­duc­tion in their pay­ment up­date for fail­ing to de­liver the data.

The use of the Hos­pi­tal Con­sumer As­sess­ment of Health­care Providers and Sys­tems in rat­ings and pay­ment-in­cen­tive pro­grams has been some­what con­tro­ver­sial.

Some ex­perts say it leads hos­pi­tals to fo­cus on things that make pa­tients happy, but aren’t clin­i­cally valu­able or even ap­pro­pri­ate. Some crit­ics also say the HCAHPS sur­vey is un­fair to hos­pi­tals that treat dis­pro­por­tion­ate num­bers of pa­tients with com­plex med­i­cal con­di­tions, who are less likely to say they were sat­is­fied with their care. Long-term-care hos­pi­tals are cer­ti­fied as acute-care hos­pi­tals but spe­cial­ize in care for pa­tients who need hos­pi­tal-level care for an ex­tended pe­riod.

Medi­care spent $5.4 bil­lion in 2011 on care fur­nished in 424 such fa­cil­i­ties, ac­cord­ing to the Medi­care Pay­ment Ad­vi­sory Com­mis­sion.

Hos­pi­tals are ex­press­ing mixed re­ac­tions to the new long-term­care sur­vey pro­posal.

“The CMS must care­fully bal­ance the value of sur­vey data with the time and re­sources needed to col­lect them,” said Akin De­me­hin, se­nior as­so­ciate di­rec­tor of pol­icy at the Amer­i­can Hos­pi­tal As­so­ci­a­tion.

The sur­veys could be used in Medi­care’s qual­ity re­port­ing pro­gram.

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