The Importance of Conducting OAS CAHPS Now

September 19, 2016 Cpayne

The OAS CAHPS Survey measures patients’ experiences with overall care received from Medicare-Certified Hospital Outpatient Departments and Ambulatory Surgery Centers.

Many high-performing centers are already conducting the survey in advance of anticipated mandates. These facilities are surveying their patients and collecting data to help understand patients’ perceptions and identify current strengths and weaknesses in the facilities’ processes and performance.

This valuable information can be used to make changes to improve care and increase overall patient satisfaction.

Why is it important to conduct OAS CAHPS now?

While the Outpatient and Ambulatory (OAS) CAHPS® Survey is currently voluntary, facilities should begin conducting this survey now for the following reasons:

  1. Know where you stand before mandatory reporting begins
  2. Take action on identified issues to improve reporting results
  3. Understand your patients’ perceptions and make changes to increase overall satisfaction

Know where you standPatient leaving healthcare facility in wheelchair. He is a possible OAS CAHPS respondent.

As mentioned, many high-performing facilities are already conducting this survey to obtain current information about patient perceptions. This provides valuable information to gauge overall patient satisfaction with the facility and identify strengths and areas for improvement.

Take targeted action to improve reporting results

With the information obtained from conducting the OAS CAHPS Survey, facilities can take targeted actions to improve their future survey results before submitting to CMS. Facilities can develop performance improvement initiatives and goals based on reliable survey data.

Understand patient perceptions and improve overall satisfaction

Understanding current patient perceptions is the first step in making changes to improve overall satisfaction. Survey results identify areas for targeted improvements in patient care. With focused effort and insights based on patient feedback, facilities are empowered to make meaningful changes resulting in improved overall patient satisfaction.

What is OAS CAHPS?

The OAS CAHPS Survey is a patient experience survey administered to patients of ambulatory and outpatient facilities.

The survey was designed by CMS to collect statistically valid data from the patient’s perspective about these facilities. The survey also serves as a resource for monitoring and guiding quality improvements.

CMS has outlined three objectives for the OAS CAHPS Survey:

  1. Provide a standardized and comparative source of information to assist beneficiaries in making informed decisions about an HOPD or ASC facility
  2. Aid facilities with their internal quality improvement efforts and external benchmarking with other facilities
  3. Provide reliable information for monitoring facilities and future public reporting

Who should conduct the survey?

Medicare-Certified Hospital Outpatient Surgery Departments and Ambulatory Surgery Centers can voluntarily report OAS CAHPS results beginning in 2016.

How is the survey conducted?

There are three survey methodology options for conducting the survey:

  • Mail-only,
  • Telephone-only, and
  • Mixed mode

How often is the survey conducted?

This survey is conducted monthly on an ongoing basis to assess the patients’ experience soon after their surgery or procedure is performed.

How many surveys should be completed annually?

The goal is a minimum of 300 completed surveys annually for each outpatient facility. If a facility’s patient volume is too low to obtain 300 completed surveys per year, a census will be surveyed. The number of patients needed to be selected each month to yield a minimum of 300 completed surveys per year will ultimately be determined by each facility and its survey vendor.

How to get started

Facilities need to select a CMS-approved survey vendor to administer the OAS CAHPS Survey.

SPH Analytics is approved by CMS to conduct the OAS CAHPS Survey and submit results, and our innovative solution goes beyond mandated reporting with advanced analytics that provide online access to survey results in near real-time, as well as comprehensive reports and benchmarking.

Armed with these powerful insights, our customers can take actions to enhance patient care, increase operational efficiency, and improve survey results.

Contact SPH Analytics today to get started conducting OAS CAHPS.


Additional Resources:


CAHPS® is a registered trademark of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).


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