Doctor and Patient

Please see announcement below regarding the CMS Proposed Rule for Calendar Year 2019 for OAS CAHPS. The announcement is followed by additional thoughts from SPH Analytics.

CMS Proposed Ruling for 2019

The Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems and Quality Reporting Programs Proposed Rule is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on July 31, 2018.  The Proposed Rule is available on the OAS CAHPS website at the link provided here.

In this Proposed Rule, CMS proposes to continue voluntary participation in the Outpatient and Ambulatory Surgery Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (OAS CAHPS) Survey Based Measures OP-37a-e/ASC-15a-e, until further action in future rulemaking. If approved in the Final Rule (to be published in November 2018), this means that OAS CAHPS would continue with voluntary reporting throughout 2019.

CMS continues to believe that these measures address an area of care that is not adequately addressed in the current measure set and will be useful to assess aspects of care where the patient is the best or only source of information. These measures will enable objective and meaningful comparisons between hospital outpatient departments and ambulatory surgery centers.

If you have questions, you can contact the OAS CAHPS Survey Coordination Team via e-mail at oascahps@rti.org or call 1-866-590-7468.

Reasons for the Proposed Delay

CMS stated there were several factors that led to a proposed delay in the mandatory implementation of OAS CAHPS, namely the overall lack of important operational and implementation data requirements, ensuring that the survey measures appropriately account for patient response rates, both aggregate and by survey administration method, and the additional burden associated with administering the survey in the outpatient setting of care.

CMS did clarify that they will continue to ask ASCs and HOPDs to participate during the voluntary reporting period for the rest of 2018 and for 2019. CMS strongly believes that these measures address an area of care that is not adequately addressed in the current measure set and that the data collected continues to provide objective and meaningful comparisons between hospital outpatient departments.

SPH Analytics Recommendations

SPH echoes the comments from CMS that, in addition to continuing to provide meaningful and useful comparative data, there are a number of beneficial reasons for ASCs and HOPDs to participate during the voluntary reporting period. Voluntary participation provides ASCs and HOPDs the opportunity to:

  • Continue OAS CAHPS training and education
  • Know where they stand before mandatory reporting begins
  • Strengthen organization’s performance improvement efforts
  • Develop action plans
  • Build out processes for data submission
  • Begin service recovery now
  • Get ahead of the competition

SPH Analytics’ recommendation to their clients has not changed. CMS has proposed a ‘delay’ in reporting, but not a discontinuation. Although the implementation date may be delayed, ASCs and HOPDs will still need a process for submitting quality measures to CMS that affect reimbursement. It is better to plan ahead, than wait for the mandate and then try to build processes at that time.

Questions? Check out our recent webinar.

SPH Analytics hosted a webinar after the announcement to address additional questions or concerns individuals may have had regarding the update. The recorded webinar can be viewed below.




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