The national implementation of the HHCAHPS Survey began in October 2009 with agencies participating on a voluntary basis prior to when quality reporting requirements for the home health annual payment update (APU) began in the third quarter of calendar year 2010. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began publicly reporting results from the HHCAHPS Survey on Home Health Compare on the Medicare.gov Web site in April of 2012.
As described in the 2010 Home Health Prospective Payment System (HHPPS) Final Rule (42 CFR 409, 424, 484 [10 November 2009]), HHCAHPS was linked to the quality reporting requirement for the CY 2012 annual payment update (APU). As described in the 2011 HHPPS Final Rule (42 CFR Parts 409, 418, 424 et al. [17 November, 2010]), quality reporting for the 2013 APU was required of all Medicare-certified home health agencies who served 60 or more patients between April 1, 2010 and March 31, 2011 who met survey-eligibility criteria. Medicare-certified home health agencies that served 59 or fewer patients between April 1, 2010 and March 31, 2011 who met survey-eligibility criteria were able to apply for exemption from participating in the HHCAHPS Survey.
To receive the annual payment update (APU) for any given year, home health agencies that do not qualify for an exemption from participating in the HHCAHPS Survey for the specified APU must contract with an approved HHCAHPS Survey vendor and administer the survey on an ongoing (monthly) basis and submit HHCAHPS Survey data to the HHCAHPS Data Center on a quarterly basis. More information about the HHCAHPS Survey and participation requirements is available in the "HHA Responsibilities" document. To apply for an exemption, HHAs must count and report to CMS the number of patients served during the specified 12-month period via the online HHCAHPS Survey Participation Exemption Request Form, which is available on this website under the "For HHAs" tab.
The HHCAHPS Survey data submission deadlines can be found here.