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Announcements

By HHCAHPS on 11/1/2018
The HHCAHPS Survey Vendor Participation Form (application) is now available on the HHCAHPS website. Survey organizations interested in becoming approved HHCAHPS Survey vendors must complete the following tasks:

Complete and submit a Vendor Participation Form. To access this Form, which is housed on the private side of the HHCAHPS website, vendors must first register for login credentials at this link: Vendor Registration Designate a staff member as the HHCAHPS Survey project manager. Agree to implement the HHCAHPS Survey using standardized protocols and procedures described in the Protocols and Guidelines Manual located on the https://homehealthcahps.org Complete and submit a Quality Assurance Plan within 6 weeks after the vendor’s first quarterly HHCAHPS Survey data submission. In addition to the above,

The HHCAHPS Project Manager must attend Sessions I and II of the Introduction to Home Health Care CAHPS Survey Webinar...
By HHCAHPS on 8/27/2018
To accommodate the new Armenian translation, please update your XML file documentation to add a 6th level to the “language” variable for language in which the survey was completed. The next version of the Protocols and Guidelines Manual—to be released in January 2019—will include updated appendices with this information; however, vendors anticipating implementing the survey in Armenian may want to make this change to their programs sooner. The XML validation tool will be updated to accommodate this change by September 1.

Survey Language This administration data element should only occur once per patient. Example: 1

Identify language in which survey completed 1 = English 2 = Spanish 3 = Chinese 4 = Russian 5 = Vietnamese 6 = Armenian M = Missing

...
By HHCAHPS on 2/23/2018
The HHCAHPS Coordination Team is issuing this guidance in response to vendors' requests about what information needs to be included in the Exceptions Requests required to print home health agency (HHA) names and/or logos on outgoing mailing envelopes.

To display an agency's name and/or logo on a mailing envelope, vendors must obtain the HHA's permission to display the name and/or logo and assurances that the agency does not consider displaying the name and/or logo to be a HIPAA risk. It is up to each vendor to determine what kind of documentation or assurances it needs from its HHA clients for its own internal recordkeeping to feel comfortable submitting the Exceptions Request Form (ERF). The Coordination Team will not review any documentation pertaining to this ERF during oversight visits.

The ERF submitted to the Coordination Team should include a statement that the vendor has discussed or will discuss the potential for HIPAA risks with its current and future client(s) and has or will obtain approval...
By HHCAHPS on 11/1/2017
The HHCAHPS Survey Vendor Participation Form (application) is now available on the HHCAHPS website. Survey organizations interested in becoming approved HHCAHPS Survey vendors must do the following:

Complete and submit a Vendor Participation Form, which is located on the HHCAHPS Survey website at the following link: https://homehealthcahps.org/Forms-for-Vendors/Vendor-Participation-Form Designate a staff member as the HHCAHPS Survey project manager. Agree to implement the HHCAHPS Survey using standardized protocols and procedures described in the Protocols and Guidelines Manual located on the https://homehealthcahps.org Complete and submit a Quality Assurance Plan within 6 weeks after the vendor’s first quarterly HHCAHPS Survey data submission. In addition to the above,

The HHCAHPS Project Manager must attend Sessions I and II of the...
By HHCAHPS on 11/1/2016
The HHCAHPS Survey Vendor Participation Form (application) is now available on the HHCAHPS website. Survey organizations interested in becoming approved Home Health Care CAHPS Survey vendors must do the following:

Complete and submit a Vendor Participation Form, which is located on the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey website at the following link: https://homehealthcahps.org/FormsForVendors/VendorParticipationForm.aspx Designate a staff member as the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey project manager. Agree to implement the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey using standardized protocols and procedures described in the Protocols and Guidelines Manual located on the https://homehealthcahps.org website. Complete and submit a Quality Assurance Plan within 6 weeks after the vendor’s first quarterly HHCAHPS Survey data submission. In addition to the above,

...
By HHCAHPS on 2/18/2016
The HHCAHPS Survey Coordination Team has added three additional ICD-10 codes to the previously identified ESRD codes listed in the Protocols and Guidelines Manual, v.8.0. These codes should be used to assign the ESRD flag. All identified codes are shown below:

ICD-10 Code

Text associated with Code

N18.6

ESRD

Z91.15

Patient’s noncompliance with renal dialysis

Z99.2

Dependence on renal dialysis

I12.0

Hypertensive chronic kidney disease with stage 5 chronic kidney disease...
By HHCAHPS on 12/10/2015
CMS has issued an updated protocol for when it is acceptable to provide aggregated responses to the "About You" questions (Questions 26-32). This supersedes the announcement posted on July 20, 2015. The only change to the protocol for reporting the "About You" responses is the minimum number of completed interviews required before a vendor can aggregate and report the data. The text of the July 20, 2015 announcement, shown below, has been updated to reflect the new minimum (11 responses) in bold.

July 20, 2015 announcement:

In an effort to ensure that patients' confidentiality and right to privacy are protected, reporting aggregated responses to the About You questions will only be permitted if there are least 11 responses for every response option for each of the About You questions.

For example, this means that to report the Race question at the aggregated level, an HHA must have at least 11 respondents who have indicated that they are White, 11 respondents who have indicated that they are...
By HHCAHPS on 12/3/2015
The purpose of this announcement is to alert survey vendors that there are now some restrictions for submitting Primary Diagnosis ICD-10 codes to the HHCAHPS Data Center. HHCAHPS vendors must ensure that their XML files comply with these restrictions before submitting their April 21, 2016 data files, which is the first time that ICD-10 codes will be submitted to the HHCAHPS Data Center.

To give survey vendors time to test changes to their systems and file structures, the HHCAHPS Coordination Team has updated the relevant appendices in the Protocols and Guidelines Manual, the XML file schema, and the XML schema validation tool to reflect these new restrictions. These materials are now available on the "Transition to ICD-10-CM" dedicated webpage on the HHCAHPS website. Vendors can access these materials at the link below, once they are logged in to the website. (Updated versions of the Protocols and Guideline Manual will be made available in January 2016, incorporating these changes.)

https://homehealthcahps.org/DataSubmission/TransitiontoICD10CM.aspx

...
By HHCAHPS on 10/30/2015
The HHCAHPS Survey Vendor Participation Form (application) is now available on the HHCAHPS website. Survey organizations interested in becoming approved Home Health Care CAHPS Survey vendors must do the following:

Complete and submit a Vendor Participation Form, which is located on the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey website at the following link: Vendor Participation Form Designate a staff member as the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey project manager. Agree to implement the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey using standardized protocols and procedures described in the Protocols and Guidelines Manual located on the https://homehealthcahps.org Complete and submit a Quality Assurance Plan within 6 weeks after the vendor's first quarterly HHCAHPS Survey data submission. In addition to the above,

The HHCAHPS Project Manager must...
By HHCAHPS on 8/7/2015
CMS and the HHCAHPS Coordination Team are issuing the following clarification to the protocol described in pages 37-38 of the HHCAHPS Survey Protocols and Guidelines Manual, Version 7.0, regarding how vendors should work with HHAs that administer other surveys in addition to HHCAHPS.

Due to the promise of confidentiality stated in the HHCAHPS Survey cover letters and the nature of care that this population receives (ongoing from their provider), HHCAHPS Survey vendors are not permitted to share with their HHA clients the identities of patients who are sampled for HHCAHPS each month.

This announcement is being issued because the following protocol statement in the manual is not clear: "Approved HHCAHPS Survey vendors are expected to work closely with their client HHAs to identify patients who are eligible for inclusion in other surveys the agencies conduct." This statement is only applicable if the HHCAHPS Survey vendor is administering all "other surveys" for their client in addition to the HHCAHPS...
By HHCAHPS on 7/20/2015
Effective immediately, CMS has amended the protocol for when it is acceptable to provide aggregated responses to the "About You" questions (Questions 26–32). In an effort to ensure that patients' confidentiality and right to privacy are protected, reporting aggregated responses to the About You questions will only be permitted if there are least 10 responses for every response option for each of the About You questions.

For example, this means that to report the Race question at the aggregated level, an HHA must have at least 10 respondents who have indicated that they are White, 10 respondents who have indicated that they are Black, 10 respondents who have indicated they are Asian, and so on for each of the other race categories. It is no longer acceptable to provide aggregated data based on the total number of respondents who answered the question with any response —rather, the "rule of 10" must now be based on the number of responses to each response option for that question.

Note that it is still...
By HHCAHPS on 6/1/2015
The purpose of this announcement is to remind survey vendors of the change in the XML data file structure needed to accommodate the use of ICD-10 diagnosis codes that will be submitted for the first time with the April 21, 2016 data submission (Quarter 4, 2015).  Updated versions of the Protocols and Guideline Manual and the Website User and Data Submission Manual will be made available in January 2016, with the changes described below incorporated.

The ICD-10 codes are 7 digits, rather than the 5 currently allowed on the HHCAHPS XML file for the ICD-9 codes. To give HHCAHPS survey vendors time to test changes to their systems and file structures, the HHCAHPS Coordination Team has created updated versions of relevant appendices in the Protocols and Guidelines Manual, as well as updated versions of the file layouts/ file schema. These materials are available under the Data Submission tab on the HHCAHPS website, once vendors have logged in, via this link:

https://homehealthcahps.org/DataSubmission/TransitiontoICD10CM.aspx

...
By HHCAHPS on 11/3/2014
The HHCAHPS Survey Vendor Participation Form (application) is now available on the HHCAHPS Website. Survey organizations interested in becoming approved Home Health Care CAHPS Survey vendors must do the following:

Complete and submit a Vendor Participation Form, which is located on the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey Website at the following link: https://homehealthcahps.org

Designate a staff member as the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey project manager. Agree to implement the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey using standardized protocols and procedures described in the Protocols and Guidelines Manual located on the https://homehealthcahps.org Website. Complete and submit a Quality Assurance Plan within 6 weeks after the vendor’s first quarterly HHCAHPS Survey data submission. In addition to the above,

The CAHPS Project Manager must successfully complete both Sessions I and II of the Introduction to Home Health Care CAHPS Survey Webinar training. If interim approval as an HHCAHPS Survey vendor is granted, newly approved vendors must attend all vendor update training sessions. All other vendor staff and the vendor’s subcontractor’s staff (if a subcontractor will be used) are encouraged to attend the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey training....
By HHCAHPS on 2/4/2014
CMS and the Coordination Team thank our HHCAHPS vendors for attending the Update training session on January 29, 2014. We wanted to provide responses to two questions that were asked during training and call your attention to some updated slides.

"Lookback Period Visits" Protocol Clarification

Q: How should it be handled if a patient is sampled (and the case is fielded) but is later deemed ineligible because of updated information from the HHA indicating that the patient did not have the required number of lookback visits? In our situation, the HHA said that the patient had a lookback period visit count of greater than 1, but the updated information indicated that the lookback period visit count was equal to 1. A: The XML validation program is designed to reject files that have values outside allowed ranges. Therefore, files will be rejected if the lookback period visits variable (lb-visits) has a value of 1 rather than a value of M or 2-999. Vendors that receive updated files from...
By HHCAHPS on 11/1/2013
The HHCAHPS Survey Vendor Participation Form (application) is now available on the HHCAHPS Web site. Survey organizations interested in becoming approved Home Health Care CAHPS Survey vendors must do the following:

Complete and submit a Vendor Participation Form, which is located on the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey Web site at the following link: https://homehealthcahps.org Designate a staff member as the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey project manager. Agree to implement the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey using standardized protocols and procedures described in the Protocols and Guidelines Manual located on the https://homehealthcahps.org Web site. Complete and submit a Quality Assurance Plan within 6 weeks after the vendor’s first quarterly HHCAHPS Survey data submission. In addition to the above,

The CAHPS Project Manager must successfully complete both Sessions I and II of the Introduction to Home Health Care CAHPS Survey Webinar training. If interim approval as an HHCAHPS Survey vendor is granted, newly approved vendors must attend all vendor update training sessions. All other vendor staff and the vendor’s subcontractor’s staff (if a subcontractor will be used) are encouraged to attend the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey training....
By HHCAHPS on 3/19/2013
The purpose of this announcement is to provide clarification about the documentation HHAs are required to submit to vendors if they do not have any eligible sample patients in a given month. Vendors are still required to submit 0-eligible files to the Data Center for these situations, but this announcement clarifies the documentation that vendors should expect to receive from their HHA clients. As per the HHCAHPS Protocols and Guidelines Manual, "HHAs administering the HHCAHPS Survey must submit a monthly patient information file to its contracted HHCAHPS Survey vendor each month, even though the HHA may not have served any patients eligible for the survey during the sample month." (p. 30, v. 5.0)

To provide an audit trail for CMS and the HHCAHPS Coordination Team, effective immediately, HHCAHPS survey vendors are required to obtain from any HHAs that do not have eligible patients in a given sample month either:

A 0-eligible file; meaning, a file with information in the Header Record stating...
By HHCAHPS on 2/13/2013
A new Discrepancy Notification Report (DNR) template is now available for use by approved survey vendors. To access the template, log onto the HHCAHPS Web site, go to the “Forms for Vendors” tab, and click on the “Discrepancy Notification Report” link. A link to the template is available under Section III of the online DNR form.

The Excel template (spreadsheet) is to accompany the online DNR form. The template contains fields for each of the pieces of information that the Coordination Team and CMS need to evaluate the submission. Please note that we are not changing the DNR submission process. Vendors are still required to submit the online DNR form. However, as is customary, vendors may choose to include information about the reported discrepancy in an Excel file and submit the file via e-mail to the Coordination Team, rather than include all of the information in the DNR form itself. If vendors choose to use an Excel file, they will now be required to use the new Excel template available at the location...
By HHCAHPS on 11/1/2012
The HHCAHPS Survey Vendor Participation Form (application) is now available on the HHCAHPS Web site. Survey organizations interested in becoming approved Home Health Care CAHPS Survey vendors must do the following:

Complete and submit a Vendor Participation Form, which is located on the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey Web site at the following link: https://homehealthcahps.org/FormsforVendors/VendorParticipationForm/SubmitOnline.aspx Designate a staff member as the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey project manager. Agree to implement the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey using standardized protocols and procedures described in the Protocols and Guidelines Manual located on the https://homehealthcahps.org/SurveyandProtocols/SurveyMaterials.aspx#catid1 Web site. Complete and submit a Quality Assurance Plan within 6 weeks after the vendor’s first quarterly HHCAHPS...
By HHCAHPS on 9/13/2012
HHCAHPS Survey vendors are reminded that a sample identification (SID) number cannot be assigned more than once, as per the protocol described on Page 49 in the HHCAHPS Survey Protocols and Guidelines Manual, Version 4.0. Once an SID number is assigned, it must never be used again. If a patient is sampled more than once, a new SID number must be assigned to that patient each time he or she is sampled.

During the sample selection process, all survey vendors should check the sample file to make sure that the same SID number is not assigned to two different patients, and that the SID being assigned has not been assigned to a sample patient in a preceding sample month.

When constructing XML data files, survey vendors should also implement a quality control procedure to make sure that 1) a SID appears only once on an XML file being submitted that quarter and 2) the same SID has never been included on any XML files previously submitted to the Data Center.

Please contact the HHCAHPS Coordination...
By HHCAHPS on 9/5/2012

CMS and the Coordination Team are issuing this clarification to the use of supplemental questions added to the HHCAHPS Survey instrument. It is not acceptable for vendors/HHAs to include items worded identically to an existing HHCAHPS core question, even if the response scale is different.

Please review the supplemental questions that you are fielding for your HHA clients to ensure that your questionnaires are in compliance with this revised guidance as soon as possible.

Please contact the HHCAHPS Coordination Team at hhcahps@rti.org if you have any questions.

By HHCAHPS on 8/16/2012
Some Medicare-certified home health agencies (HHAs) serve patients who have a physical or mental disability who live in group homes. The purpose of this announcement is to alert HHCAHPS Survey vendors that it is acceptable to for an employee of a group home to serve as a proxy respondent for a sample patient who lives in a group home who is physically or mentally incapable of responding to the survey. However, care should be taken by the HHCAHPS vendor to ensure that:

the patient is physically or mentally incapable of responding for him or herself; the proxy respondent is an employee of the group home and not of the home health agency; and the proxy respondent is knowledgeable about the sample patient’s home health care. Providing these conditions are met, employees of the group home may serve as a proxy for the sample patients. Please contact the HHCAHPS Coordination Team at hhcahps@rti.org if you have any questions.

 

...
By HHCAHPS on 7/16/2012
As you know, HHCAHPS Survey approved vendors can provide survey responses linked to a sample patient’s name and other identifying information only if the sample patient gives his or her consent on the "Consent to Share Identifying Information" question (added to the mail survey questionnaire or if phone interview, added to the telephone script). It was recently brought to our attention that some HHCAHPS Survey vendors are providing their HHA clients with de-identified responses from surveys completed by all respondents, regardless of whether the patients gave their consent to release their survey responses to the home health agency (HHA). Although it is acceptable to provide de-identified survey responses to the core HHCAHPS questions (Questions 1–25) without the patient’s consent to share his or her survey responses, providing survey responses to the questions that ask for health status and demographic information (Questions 26–32) may enable HHAs with small sample sizes to link survey responses to a specific...
By HHCAHPS on 5/14/2012

The Spanish non-proxy telephone interview and the regular and scannable mail survey instruments have been updated with additional words that were inadvertently deleted from Q20 and Q24 when the last set of updates was made. Please review your Spanish instruments if you are using them, to ensure that the text reflects the most current wording for these two questions.

By HHCAHPS on 5/8/2012
As indicated in previous announcements and in the Home Health Care CAHPS Protocols and Guidelines Manual, Version 4.0, HHCAHPS Survey vendors must indicate on the XML file (the variable) whether a completed mail survey or telephone interview was completed by the sample patient or by a proxy respondent.  This announcement serves to clarify the procedures for assigning proxy flags. First, we review the guidance for mail surveys, then for telephone surveys.

For mail surveys, HHCAHPS Survey vendors are asked to follow the guidance provided on Page 131 in the Protocols and Guidelines Manual.  The determination of whether a mail survey was completed by the sample patient or by a proxy respondent is based on the respondent’s answers to Questions 33 and 34 in the completed mail survey.  If response option 3 (answered the questions for me) is marked in Q34, code 1 should be entered for the variable on the XML file for that sample patient. For convenience, the table illustrating the applicable code to enter in the variable on the XML for mail survey cases is repeated here:

...
By HHCAHPS on 4/4/2012
Some HHCAHPS Survey vendors have reported to the HHCAHPS Coordination Team that some of their client home health agencies (HHAs) sometimes do not submit a monthly patient information file for 2 or more months. The vendors have reported that the HHAs do not respond to the vendors’ efforts to determine why a monthly patient information file is not being submitted. Therefore, the vendor does not know if the HHA switched vendors, closed, or stopped participating in the HHCAHPS Survey for some other reason.

As per current HHCAHPS protocol, HHCAHPS Survey vendors are required to submit a Discrepancy Notification Report (DNR) whenever an HHA client does not submit a monthly patient information file for a sample month. CMS and the Coordination Team are amending this protocol to allow HHCAHPS Survey vendors to stop submitting DNRs for HHAs that are not submitting monthly patient information files once the HHA has failed to submit a monthly patient information file for 3 consecutive sample months. If the HHA fails...
By HHCAHPS on 3/9/2012
The purpose of this announcement is to remind home health agencies (HHAs) and survey vendors that supplemental questions added to the Home Health Care CAHPS (HHCAHPS) Survey questionnaire must comply with guidelines provided in Chapters V, VI and VII in the HHCAHPS Protocols and Guidelines Manual.

In addition to those guidelines, it is not acceptable to add questions to the HHCAHPS Survey that are intended to market or promote services provided by the HHA or any other organization, nor is it acceptable to add questions asking sample patients to identify other individuals who may need home health care services. Questions about other individuals needing home health care are not permitted, due to privacy and confidentiality issues they raise if personally identifying information (i.e., name, telephone number) were to be shared with the home health agency without that person’s knowledge and permission. Survey vendors should review the appropriateness of supplemental questions added to the HHCAHPS Survey and...
By HHCAHPS on 2/22/2012

During the HHCAHPS Survey Vendor Update Training Session held on February 1, 2012, it was reported that some home health agencies or their IT vendors are unable or refuse to provide the total number of visits in the lookback period on the monthly patient information files that they submit to the vendor.

As indicated in the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey Protocols and Guidelines Manual, Version 4.0, HHCAHPS Survey vendors must include on the XML files the number of lookback visits provided by the HHA. However, if an HHA or its IT vendor provides the dates of all visits in the lookback period instead of the total number of visits, it is acceptable for the vendor to calculate the total number of visits in the lookback period. Note, however, that this is the only reason that a vendor should calculate the number of lookback visits.

Please contact the HHCAHPS Coordination Team at hhcahps@rti.org if you have any questions about this announcement.

By HHCAHPS on 2/10/2012
The Home Health Care CAHPS (HHCAHPS) Coordination Team is posting this announcement to remind vendors of the protocol for handling and coding questionnaires returned blank as part of a mail only survey implementation. The text below is taken directly from the HHCAHPS Survey Protocols and Guidelines Manual, Version 4.0.

For the mail-only mode it is appropriate to send a second questionnaire to the sample member if the first questionnaire is returned blank, as long as it is mailed before the end of the data collection period.

If the second questionnaire is also returned blank, the vendor should assign a final survey disposition code “320 – refusal.” If the first questionnaire for the mail-only mode is never returned and the second questionnaire is returned blank, then that case should also be assigned a final disposition code of “320 – Refusal.” If the first questionnaire for the mail-only mode is never returned and the second questionnaire is not returned at all, the vendor should...
By HHCAHPS on 2/10/2012
The purpose of this announcement is to remind Home Health Care CAHPS (HHCAHPS) Survey vendors about how to report the total count of deficits in the activities of daily living (ADLs).

Home health agencies are not required to include in the monthly patient information files that they provide to their survey vendors information about the ADL Feed (M1870–Feeding or Eating) because this ADL is not reported for OASIS Follow-Up assessments. As per the announcement posted on the HHCAHPS Web Site on July 7, 2011 and included in Chapter IV of the HHCAHPS Protocols and Guidelines Manual, Version 4.0, vendors are to report ADL information on the XML file exactly as it was reported by the HHA. As per the announcement posted on the HHCAHPS Web site on July 15, 2011, the acceptable value for the ADL deficits count is 0-5 and M only. If you have client HHAs that continue to include the Feeding and Eating ADL in the total count of ADL deficits, the following two items apply:

If an HHA submits...
By HHCAHPS on 12/20/2011
This is a reminder that Home Health Care CAHPS (HHCAHPS) Survey protocols require that HHCAHPS Survey vendors initiate the survey within 21 days after the close of a sample month. With the approaching holidays, vendors are urged to work diligently with their HHAs to make sure that the November sample file can be fielded by December 21st.

In accordance with protocols, vendors do not need approval to initiate the HHCAHPS Survey between the 22nd and 26th day after the sample month ends; however, survey vendors must continue to submit a Discrepancy Notification Report (DNR) to document the fact that the survey was not initiated within 21 days after the sample month ended.

If the survey cannot be initiated within 26 days after the sample month ends, the vendor must request approval from CMS to field the survey for the specific sample month.

Due to holiday schedules, the HHCAHPS Coordination Team will not be available for Technical Assistance from Friday, December 23 through Monday December 26th....
By HHCAHPS on 12/2/2011
The HHCAHPS Survey Vendor Participation Form (application) is now available on the HHCAHPS Web site. Survey organizations interested in becoming an approved Home Health Care CAHPS Survey vendor must do the following.

Complete and submit a Vendor Participation Form, which is located on the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey Web site at the following link: https://homehealthcahps.org/FormsforVendors/VendorApplication/SubmitOnline.aspx. Designate a staff member as the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey project manager. The CAHPS Project Manager must successfully complete both Sessions 1 and 2 of the Introduction to Home Health Care CAHPS Survey webinar training. If interim approval as an HHCAHPS Survey vendor is granted, newly approved vendors must attend all vendor update training sessions. All other vendor staff and the vendor’s subcontractor’s staff (if a subcontractor will be used) are encouraged to attend the Home Health Care...
By HHCAHPS on 11/21/2011
The Coordination Team wishes to remind HHCAHPS Survey vendors that a Discrepancy Notification Report (DNR) must be submitted as soon possible after the discrepancy occurs, even if additional information that is required for the DNR is not known until a later point in time.

For example, if a home health agency (HHA) is unable to provide a monthly patient information file in time to initiate the survey between the 21st and 26th days after a sample month ends, the vendor should submit a DNR indicating that the HHA was unable to provide the monthly file for the affected month within a few days after the 21st day after the sample month ends. If the vendor cannot immediately provide the number of affected eligible patients, the vendor will be responsible for resubmitting a revised DNR once that information is known.

All HHCAHPS Survey vendors should keep in mind that submitting a DNR for an HHA several months after the discrepancy occurs is not acceptable. Vendors are also reminded that they must notify...
By HHCAHPS on 11/17/2011
The Coordination Team wishes to remind HHCAHPS Survey vendors that their home health agency (HHA) clients must provide the number of visits in the lookback period for each patient, and the vendor should use that number to determine whether the patient meets the minimum number of visits required for survey eligibility. The vendor must also report the number of visits in the lookback period provided by the HHA as the value in the Lookback Period Visit variable on the XML data file.

It has come to our attention that some HHCAHPS Survey vendors are calculating the total number of visits in the lookback period by adding the number of skilled visits the patient had in the current sample month to the number of visits reported for the patient in the preceding sample month. Effective immediately, HHCAHPS Survey vendors must use the total number of skilled visits reported by the HHA on the monthly patient information file when determining whether the patient is eligible for the survey.

As indicated in an e-mail message sent to HHCAHPS Survey vendors on May 27, 2011, if an HHA does not or cannot provide all of the information required to determine whether a patient is eligible for the survey, the vendor should consider the patient as eligible and include the patient on the sample frame. If the information required to determine eligibility is missing on the monthly patient information file, the vendor should contact the HHA to obtain the missing information. If the HHA cannot provide that information or does not provide it in time for sampling to be conducted, the vendor should consider the patient eligible, include information about him or her on the sample frame, and, if the patient is sampled, include that patient in the survey.

...
By HHCAHPS on 11/8/2011
Home Health Care CAHPS (HHCAHPS) Survey vendors and Medicare-certified home health agencies (HHAs) should note that the deadline for submitting HHCAHPS Survey data to the HHCAHPS Data Center will change with the submission of data for sample months in Quarter 3 of calendar year (CY,Q3) data, as noted below.

The deadline for submitting Home Health Care CAHPS Survey data for sample months in Quarter 3 of CY11 has been changed to 11:59 PM Eastern Time on Monday, January 23, 2012.

As noted in the Home Health Prospective Payment System Update Final Rule for CY 2012, the deadline for submitting HHCAHPS Survey Data is being changed to the third Thursday in each data submission month beginning with the submission of data for Q4, CY11. The following table shows the data submission deadlines for the next five CY quarters.

Click here to view the Data Submission Deadlines.

HHCAHPS Survey vendors and HHAs should contact the HHCAHPS Coordination...
By HHCAHPS on 10/21/2011
Please note that the information in the box below is additional clarification of the protocol for fielding the survey more than 26 days after the sample month ends, which was originally described in an announcement posted on the HHCAHPS Web site on October 13, 2011.

Home Health Care CAHPS (HHCAHPS) Survey protocols require that HHCAHPS Survey vendors initiate the survey—that is, begin data collection activities—within 21 days after the close of a sample month. The rationale for this protocol is that sample patients will be better able to recall and accurately report their experiences with home health care if the survey is administered as soon as possible after the care is received.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is issuing the following guidance to HHCAHPS Survey vendors and home health agencies (HHAs) regarding initiating the HHCAHPS Survey more than 21 days after the sample month ends.

Effective immediately, if the survey cannot be fielded within 21 days after the sample...
By HHCAHPS on 10/13/2011
Home Health Care CAHPS (HHCAHPS) Survey protocols require that HHCAHPS Survey vendors initiate the survey—that is, begin data collection activities—within 21 days after the close of a sample month. The rationale for this protocol is that sample patients will be better able to recall and accurately report their experiences with home health care if the survey is administered as soon as possible after the care is received.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is issuing the following guidance to HHCAHPS Survey vendors and home health agencies (HHAs) regarding initiating the HHCAHPS Survey more than 21 days after the sample month ends.

Effective immediately, if the survey cannot be fielded within 21 days after the sample month ends, HHCAHPS Survey vendors will be permitted to field the survey by the 26th day after the sample month ends. Survey vendors, however, should still make a concerted effort to initiate the survey within 21 days after the sample month ends. HHAs and vendors do not...
By HHCAHPS on 10/10/2011

Effective immediately, HHCAHPS Survey vendors are required to notify their home health agency (HHA) clients whenever a Discrepancy Notification Report (DNR) or Exceptions Request Report is submitted on an agency’s behalf. The notification should be sent to the HHA via an e-mail message and should contain the following pieces of information:

  • The date the DNR or Exceptions Request Report was filed
  • The affected CCN(s)
  • The reason for the DNR or Exceptions Request
  • The number of affected patients (if known)

The e-mail message will serve as documentation to the HHA that a DNR or Exceptions Request was filed on its behalf. There is no need to copy the Coordination Team on the e-mail message sent to the HHA, as the actual DNR/Exceptions Request Form will be submitted to the Coordination Team.

By HHCAHPS on 7/15/2011

As per the announcement posted on the HHCAHPS Web site on July 7, 2011 directing HHCAHPS Survey vendors to include both the total count of activities of daily living (ADLs) deficits and the value for the individual ADLs on the XML data file if both of these data are provided by the HHA, the Coordination Team wishes to remind vendors that the acceptable value for the ADL deficits count is 0-5 and M only. If an HHA submits a value for the ADL deficit count variable that exceeds 5, vendors should recode the variable to 5, as this is the maximum that the HHCAHPS Data Center will accept.

By HHCAHPS on 7/7/2011
The HHCAHPS Coordination Team is issuing guidance regarding coding the Count of Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) Deficits on the XML data files for which the sample patient is not fully independent. As you know, home health agencies (HHAs) can provide ADL information in one of two ways:

The total count of ADLs for which the sample member is NOT fully independent, OR The value for each individual ADL data field. If the HHA provides the value for each individual ADL data field (rather than the total ADL count), some HHCAHPS Survey Vendors have been using the HHA-provided values to calculate and report on the XML data file only the total count of ADLs for which the sample member is not fully independent.

Effective immediately, HHCAHPS Vendors should enter on the XML file the same information that is provided by the HHA. That is, if the HHA provides a total count of ADL deficits, that value should be entered as the variable on the XML file.

Alternatively, if the HHA provides...
By HHCAHPS on 7/7/2011

HHCAHPS Survey vendors are reminded that if they are unable to field a monthly sample for a client home health agency, they must submit a Discrepancy Notification Report (DNR) using the link available on the HHCAHPS Web site under the “Forms for Vendors” tab. The DNR is necessary to inform CMS and the Coordination Team why the month was missed and whether it was the result of an issue on the part of the home health agency or the vendor. The vendor should be prepared to include in its DNR the reason the sample was not fielded, whether it was because of the home health agency or the vendor, the number of affected cases, and what actions the vendor or home health agency is taking to avoid the problem in the future.

Please contact the HHCAHPS Coordination Team via e mail at hhcahps@rti.org or call toll-free at (866) 354-0985 if you have any questions about when a DNR should be submitted.

By HHCAHPS on 6/30/2011
The HHCAHPS Coordination Team is issuing guidance regarding coding the Count of Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) Deficits on the XML data files for which the sample patient is not fully independent. As you know, home health agencies (HHAs) can provide ADL information in one of two ways:

The total count of ADLs for which the sample member is NOT fully independent, OR The value for each individual ADL data field. If the HHA provides the value for each individual ADL data field (rather than the total ADL count), some HHCAHPS Survey Vendors have been using the HHA-provided values to calculate and report on the XML data file only the total count of ADLs for which the sample member is not fully independent.

Effective immediately, HHCAHPS Vendors should enter on the XML file the same information that is provided by the HHA. That is, if the HHA provides a total count of ADL deficits, that value should be entered as the variable on the XML file.

Alternatively, if the HHA provides...
By HHCAHPS on 6/6/2011
This announcement has been updated. Please see the additional text below, in red.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will permit home health agencies to exclude from the monthly patient information files that they submit to their HHCAHPS Survey vendors information about patients who

have harmed or endangered the health or well-being of the home health provider or attempted to harm or endanger the health or well-being of the home health provider. For an agency (and HHCAHPS Survey vendors) to use this exclusion criterion, the reason for the exclusion must be documented by the agency and also provided to the HHCAHPS Survey vendor. The vendor will be requested to provide the reason for the exclusion during HHCAHPS oversight visits.

Clarification of Documentation Required:  If an HHA excludes a patient from the monthly patient information file because the patient has harmed or attempted to harm a home health care provider, the HHA should send an email message to the vendor which...
By HHCAHPS on 5/18/2011
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will permit home health agencies to exclude from the monthly patient information files that they submit to their HHCAHPS Survey vendors information about patients who

have harmed or endangered the health or well-being of the home health provider or attempted to harm or endanger the health or well-being of the home health provider. For an agency (and HHCAHPS Survey vendors) to use this exclusion criterion, the reason for the exclusion must be documented by the agency and also provided to the HHCAHPS Survey vendor. The vendor will be requested to provide the reason for the exclusion during HHCAHPS oversight visits.

CMS and the HHCAHPS Coordination Team wish to point out that to date, only one or two incidents of this type have been reported to the Coordination Team. Therefore, the Coordination Team expects that this exclusion criterion will rarely be implemented.

If an agency is not sure whether a patient should be excluded from the...
By HHCAHPS on 3/3/2011
Patients included in the Home Health Care CAHPS (HHCAHPS) Survey have the right to voluntarily choose to participate in the survey. They also have the right to answer the questions in the HHCAHPS Survey based on their own perception of the care that they receive, and to express opinions freely and without fear of later repercussions or threat of perceived repercussions from their health care providers.

Although HHCAHPS Survey vendors may share a patient’s individual responses to the HHCAHPS Survey with the patient’s home health agency provided that the respondent has given permission via the use of the “Consent to Share Responses Question,” the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the HHCAHPS Coordination Team are hereby providing guidelines on how agencies may use the data provided.

Home health agencies are not permitted to contact HHCAHPS Survey respondents to ask them about their answers to the HHCAHPS Survey unless one of the two conditions described below applies. This means that...
By HHCAHPS on 2/25/2011
As indicated on Page 35 of the Home Health Care CAHPS (HHCAHPS) Survey Protocols and Guidelines Manual, Version 3.0, home health patients who meet survey eligibility criteria can only be sampled once in a 6-month period. Survey vendors must check the sample frame for the current sample month against the samples selected for the preceding 5 months to identify patients sampled previously, and remove any patient who has been sampled in the previous 5 months from the sample frame.

Despite HHCAHPS Survey vendors’ best efforts, there may be instances where a patient is inadvertently sampled more than once in a 6-month period. If your organization inadvertently samples a patient more than once in a 6-month period, treat that patient as eligible for the survey. If the patient responds to the survey, assign the completed survey disposition code to the case. Similarly, if a patient sampled more than once in a 6-month period does not respond to the survey, assign the applicable non-interview disposition code to the...
By HHCAHPS on 1/18/2011
This announcement is to notify HHCAHPS vendors that if a respondent reports that he or she did not receive home care from the sample home health agency (Q1 in the HHCAHPS Mail Survey is answered no) and does not answer any of the other questions in the questionnaire, the disposition code that should be assigned is “220 Ineligible: Does Not Meet Eligible Population Criteria.” The definition for Disposition Code 220 is being expanded as noted below to include this category of respondents.

Ineligible: Does Not Meet Eligible Population Criteria Assign this code if it is determined during the data collection period that the sample member does not meet all of the required eligibility criteria for being included in the survey sample. This includes the following:

The sample member is under age 18. The sample member’s home health care was not paid for by either Medicare and/or Medicaid. The sample member reports that he or she did not have at least one skilled care visit by the sample HHA...
By HHCAHPS on 12/30/2010

The online HHCAHPS Vendor Participation Form has been temporarily removed. New online applications will be accepted from organizations interested in applying to become an HHCAHPS-approved survey vendor beginning approximately one month before the next scheduled Introduction to HHCAHPS Survey Webinar training session. At this time, the next training session has not yet been scheduled. Please monitor the HHCAHPS Web site announcements page for information on when the next Introduction to HHCAHPS Survey Webinar training session will be held.

By HHCAHPS on 12/6/2010
This announcement is to inform agencies that hospices (agencies that provide care only to hospice patients) are not required to participate in the Home Health Care CAHPS (HHCAHPS) Survey for the annual payment update. Some home health agencies serve both hospice and NON-hospice patients. In this case the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) assigns one CMS Certification Number (CCN) for the part of the agency that serves non-hospice patients and a different CCN for the hospice. Only the CCN that serves non-hospice patients is required to participate in the HHCAHPS Survey to receive the annual payment update.

In addition, patients who received skilled home health care during a sample month but who were discharged for hospice care are not eligible to participate in the HHCAHPS Survey. If your agency has provided monthly patient information files to your approved HHCAHPS Survey vendor for a hospice, and/or included information about patients discharged to hospice on a monthly patient information file that the vendor uses to sample and survey patients for the HHCAHPS Survey, please contact your approved HHCAHPS Survey vendor immediately.

...
By HHCAHPS on 9/3/2010

The Home Health Care CAHPS Survey Protocols and Guidelines, Version 3.0 has been released and has replaced the January 2010 version on the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey website. All of the survey materials and documents included in the links under the “Survey Materials” tab on this website have also been replaced. The protocols and guidelines described in Version 3.0 of this manual are effective September 4, 2010, and supersede those described in the January 2010 manual. An electronic version of the Version 3.0 manual in both MS Word and PDF formats is available on Home Health Care CAHPS Survey website. To conserve paper, the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey Coordination Team is printing a limited number of hardcopy versions of this manual. Organizations may request a hardcopy manual by sending an e-mail message to the HHCAHPS Coordination Team at hhcahps@rti.org

By HHCAHPS on 9/1/2010

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Home Health Care CAHPS (HHCAHPS) Survey Coordination Team are changing the requirement that vendors mail HHCAHPS Survey questionnaires using first-class postage or indicia to be a recommendation. Vendors should discuss with their client home health agencies the advantages and disadvantages of using first-class postage versus bulk rate mailing and make an appropriate decision about the postage to use for their particular survey. This change is effective immediately and will be reflected in the next version of the HHCAHPS Protocols and Guidelines Manual, which will be posted on the HHCAHPS Web site in early September.

If you have any questions about this change in survey protocol, please contact the HHCAHPS Coordination Team by e mail at hhcahps@rti.org or by calling (866) 354-0985.

By HHCAHPS on 7/26/2010

The following variables have been changed in the XML files and will be reflected in the next version of the Protocols and Guidelines Manual, which will be posted on the HHCAHPS web site in September 2010. Please make a note of these changes for your records.

The XML templates and the XML file validation schema posted on the HHCAHPS Web site have been updated as follows.

  1. A value of 0 is now allowed for the number of patients the HHA served during the sample month .
  2. A value of 0 is now allowed for the number of patients who were eligible for the survey .
  3. A value of 0 is now allowed for the number of patients sampled for the sample month .
By HHCAHPS on 7/22/2010
Some states have regulations or laws that govern the release of confidential and private health information for specific patient populations. For example, some states prohibit the release of health information to outside parties for individuals with HIV or AIDs or certain psychiatric conditions or diagnoses. Other states have regulations related to abused patients. Medicare-certified home health agencies administering the HHCAHPS Survey are responsible for making sure that the agency complies with all applicable state laws restricting the release of information for certain patient populations.

CMS and the Coordination Team are allowing Medicare-certified home health agencies that serve patients whose health information is regulated or restricted by state law to exclude these patients from the HHCAHPS-eligible patient population. Thus, agencies located in states that have laws or regulations restricting the release of health information for specific patients or those with certain types of health conditions...
By HHCAHPS on 6/24/2010

This document describes How to Handle Missing Payer Source Data on the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey.

By HHCAHPS on 6/24/2010

This document describes the Use of Census Sampling on the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey.

By HHCAHPS on 6/3/2010

The Web Site User and Data Submission Manual has been posted and is located under the 'Data Submission' tab.

By HHCAHPS on 5/28/2010

This document clarifies the protocol to be used by home health agencies (HHAs) that choose to administer other patient surveys (i.e., in addition to HHCAHPS).

By HHCAHPS on 4/29/2010

The HHCAHPS Coordination Team welcomes technical assistance and general questions from home health agencies (HHAs) regarding the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey. To respond as efficiently as possible to inquiries made via e-mail messages and calls to the project’s toll-free telephone number, the HHCAHPS Coordination Team is requiring that all HHAs provide their CMS Certification Number (CCN)—formerly known as the Medicare Provider Number (MPN)—in e-mail messages sent to the HHCAHPS Coordination Team and during telephone calls to the toll-free number.

Please make sure that the CCN you include contains only 6 digits. If your CCN contains leading zeroes, please make sure that you include those leading zeroes in your e-mail or voice message.

If you do not include your CCN in your e-mail or voice message, a member of the HHCAHPS Coordination Team will contact you and request that you provide your CCN number as soon as possible.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

By HHCAHPS on 4/27/2010

A crosswalk linking the OASIS Admission Source and Payer Sources to the HHCAHPS Admission Source and Payer Variable values has been posted on the website. This crosswalk is being provided to assist vendors in the data coding process.

By HHCAHPS on 4/27/2010

It has come to our attention that some home health agencies are interpreting the sampling exclusion shown on Page 23 of the Protocols and Guidelines Manual, Version 2.0 (see the excerpt shown in the box below) to mean that they should ask their patients if they want to be included in the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey (or permission for the HHA to release their names on the monthly patient information files).

HHAs should exclude from the files submitted to survey vendors only the following types of patients:

  • Patients who requested that the HHA not release their names to anyone outside the HHA.

This bullet is intended to protect the privacy of patients who are served by an agency and would like their identity protected from the public. These patients would have specifically asked the HHA not to release their identifying information to the media, to marketers (for marketing purposes) or to other entities for similar reasons. For example, a local news anchor or sports personality may request that the HHA not release their name to anyone outside of the agency.

CMS requests that HHAs do not ask their patients if they would like to be included in the survey. All patients selected to participate in the survey can decide after they receive the HHCAHPS Survey whether they wish to participate or not. Similarly, sampled patients included in HHCAHPS Survey being administered by telephone mode can tell the interviewer if they choose not to participate in the survey.

HHAs are asked to refrain from contacting their patients about the HHCAHPS Survey. In addition, as indicated in the Protocols and Guidelines Manual, Version 2.0, agency personnel should not offer to help their patients complete the HHCAHPS Survey or to influence their responses to the survey in any way.

HHAs’ help with this matter is greatly appreciated.

By HHCAHPS on 4/1/2010

This announcement is to alert survey vendors that the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey Coordination Team is changing the valid values for the Number of Skilled Visits: in the patient administrative data record of the XML submission tool from 1-99 to 001-999. This change is being made to allow vendors to record more than 99 visits if the patient had more than 99 skilled home health care visits within a sample month. The variable in Appendices L, M, and N in the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey Protocol and Guidelines Manual, Version 2.0 will reflect this change in the next iteration of the Manual.

By HHCAHPS on 3/9/2010

This announcement is about sharing identifiable survey data with Home Health Agencies. It is an addendum to Chapter VIII of the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey Protocols and Guidelines Manual, Version 2.0.

By HHCAHPS on 3/8/2010

This announcement provides guidance to survey vendors on appropriate procedures for handling distressed respondents during telephone interviews. Vendors are urged to review this information to ensure that their own protocols for handling distressed respondents complies with expected HIPAA and HHCAHPS guidelines.

By HHCAHPS on 2/19/2010

The purpose of this announcement is to alert survey vendors and home health agencies (HHAs) about three important changes regarding reporting the total count of deficits in the activities of daily living (ADLs) or the OASIS value for each ADL. The changes described in this announcement will be made in Table 4.1 on page 25, in the discussion of ADLs on page 27, and in Appendices B, L, M, and N of the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey Protocols and Guidelines Manual. A revised version of the Manual reflecting these changes will be posted on the project Web site at https://homehealthcahps.org within the next few weeks. Until a revised version of the Manual is posted on the project Web site, survey vendors and HHAs should follow the guidelines and instructions related to reporting ADLs described in this document.

Error in Table 4.1 in the Protocols and Guidelines Manual, Version 2.0
Please be advised that there is an error in Table 4.1 on page 25 of the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey Protocols and Guidelines Manual, Version 2.0. Specifically, Table 4.1 on page 25 currently indicates that the HHA must provide the number of ADLs for which the patient is “not dependent.” The description of that variable in Table 4.1 should have indicated that the HHA must provide the number of ADLs for which the patient is not independent. The correct depiction of this variable in Table 4.1 is shown below, where the word “dependent” has been changed to “independent.”

Excerpt from Table 4.1 on Page 25 of the Protocols and Guidelines Manual, Version 2.0

Variable/Data Required Reason Needed
Number of ADLs for which patient is not independent (0-5) Survey analysis

Reporting the Feeding or Eating ADL
Home health agencies are no longer required to include in the monthly patient information files that they provide to their survey vendors the ADL item ADL Feed (M1870–Feeding or Eating), because this ADL is not reported for OASIS Follow-Up assessments. Consequently, the range of values in HHAs’ patient files for “ADL Deficits,” which is the total number of ADLs for which the patient is not independent, will be changed from 0–6 to 0–5 as shown in the excerpt from Table 4.1 above. This means that if an HHA is reporting the total count of ADL deficits rather than the OASIS value for each ADL, the Feeding or Eating ADL should not be included in the count. If an HHA reports the OASIS value for each ADL, the value for the Feeding or Eating ADL should not be reported.

Valid Values for the Bathing ADL in the XML Template and Related Documents for Data Submission
The valid range of the OASIS value for the Bathing ADL in OASIS-B is 0–5; however, the range of the OASIS value for the Bathing ADL in OASIS-C is 0–6. Please be advised that the valid range shown for reporting the OASIS value of the Bathing ADL shown in Appendices B, L, M, and N in the Protocols and Guidelines Manual, Version 2.0 is 0–5. This range will be changed in the aforementioned appendices from 0–5 to 0–6 so that the maximum OASIS value from OASIS-C can be provided.

By HHCAHPS on 1/22/2010
The Home Health Care CAHPS Survey Protocols and Guidelines, Version 2.0 has been released and has replaced the August 2009 version on the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey website. The protocols and guidelines described in Version 2.0 of this manual are effective January 22, 2010, and supersede those described in the August 2009 manual. An electronic version of the Version 2.0 manual in both MS Word and PDF formats is available on Home Health Care CAHPS Survey website. To conserve paper, the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey Coordination Team is printing a limited number of hardcopy versions of this manual. Organizations may request a hardcopy manual by sending an e-mail message to the HHCAHPS Coordination Team at hhcahps@rti.org

A summary of key changes in the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey Protocols and Guidelines Manual will be posted on this website on or before February 1, 2010. Reviewers should note that the most substantive changes in the manual were in Chapter 4, the...
By HHCAHPS on 12/14/2009
This announcement is directed to all approved Home Health Care CAHPS Survey vendors. As you market your services to home health agencies (HHAs), either through outbound calls or in response to inbound inquiries, please be mindful of the following:

The Home Health CAHPS Team requests that you do not lead agencies to believe that they are “required” to conduct the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey. An agency’s participation in the survey is voluntary until the third quarter of 2010. Participation in the Home Health Care CAPHS Survey will be linked to the annual payment starting in the fourth quarter of 2010. Even after the Survey is linked to the annual payment update, agencies can decide whether they will participate in HHCAHPS (however, those that do not may risk not receiving their full annual payment update). The Home Health CAHPS Team advises that you let agencies know that your organization is not the only survey vendor approved to administer the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey. As you know, there...
By HHCAHPS on 11/9/2009

The electronic version of the Exceptions Request Form for Vendors has been posted and can be found under the 'Forms for Vendors' tab once the approved survey vendor has logged into the private side of the portal

By HHCAHPS on 10/30/2009
The Home Health Care CAHPS Survey Coordination Team has reviewed the requirement to key and report open-ended responses to Q32 and Q34 of the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey instrument. The protocol is being clarified as follows:

 

The decision on whether to key the responses to open-ended survey items, specifically, the “Some other language” (response option 3) in Q32 and the “Helped in some other way” (response option 5) in Q34, is up to each individual home health agency. Vendors will not be required to key and include responses to open-ended survey items on the data files submitted to the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey Data Center. CMS, however, encourages survey vendors to review the open-ended entries so that they can provide feedback to the Coordination Team about adding additional preprinted response options to these survey items if needed.

Changes to the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey Data File Structure and the XML Layouts

The Not Applicable (Code 8) was inadvertently excluded...
By HHCAHPS on 10/23/2009
This announcement is to alert you that, based on feedback from home health care agencies, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has changed the patient eligibility criteria for the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey as indicated below.

Only patients whose home health care is paid by Medicare or Medicaid will be included in the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey. This means that patients whose home health care is paid solely by sources other than Medicare or Medicaid, such as private health insurance, the Department of Veterans Affairs, TRICARE, etc., are not eligible to participate in the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey. Patients with payers in addition to Medicare or Medicaid are eligible. Agencies may conduct the survey for these other patient groups, but the survey data would not be reported to CMS. Note that patients enrolled in a Medicare Advantage (MA) health plan such as a MA health maintenance organization, a MA preferred provider organization (PPO), or a Medicare private fee-for-service...
By HHCAHPS on 8/11/2009

The Vendor Consent Form and HHA Consent Form are now available.

By HHCAHPS on 8/11/2009

The printable version of the Vendor Participation Form has been updated to reflect changes to Section II and a new Section VIII. Vendors who have already submitted their participation form should complete these sections and re-submit their form.

By HHCAHPS on 5/15/2009

The Home Health CAHPS Survey Protocols and Guidelines Manual is now available.