CAHPS Hospice Survey 

What You Can You Do to Improve Yours

What is the CAHPS Hospice Survey?

It is an experience of care questionnaire. This survey is sent to caregivers (family and friends of the patient) after the death of the hospice patient. The survey is used in a CMS pay-for-reporting program, where all Medicare certified hospices must participate in order to receive their full APU (Annual Payment Update).

How Do I Find a Certified Survey Vendor?

You can find a list of approved vendors here

What Topics are Included in this Survey? 

  • Getting Timely Help 
  • Rating of this Hospice
  • Treating Patient with Respect 
  • Communication with Family 
  • Emotional and Spiritual Support
  • Help for Pain and Symptoms
  • Training Family to Care for Patient 
  • Willingness to Recommend this Hospice

Does My Hospice Need to Do This? 

If there are less than 50 survey-eligible decedents/caregivers during the prior calendar year,  the hospice is exempt from the CAHPS Hospice Survey data collection. But you must fill out the Participation Exemption for Size Form and submit it before the deadline. If there are over 50 survey-eligible participants then the hospice is not exempt. 

What are Score Trends by State? 

You can check out the CAHPS Hospice Survey Top-Box Scores by State from January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2018 here.

How to Improve Your Hospice CAHPS Score 

Make your patients feel important

Patients should always feel like they come first. If they believe that they are your #1 priority, they will be more likely to overlook any mistakes. Caregivers must be attentive and put their focus solely on the patient. 

Explain everything multiple times

When you are dealing with the elderly or those who require special care, it is important to explain what is going on. Detail what you are going to do and why it needs to be done. Get in the habit of explaining things more than once just in case the patient forgets. This is a necessary step to keep your patient relaxed and feeling settled. 

Go the extra mile 

Caregivers should not only do what is expected of them, but more. Get to know your client, their likes and dislikes. Do simple things to brighten their day. If you go above and beyond, your patients are more likely to share this with their family members, therefore increasing customer satisfaction scores. 

Cut down on wait times 

One of the biggest complaints in hospice is how long patients wait to be taken care of. This leads to frustration and patients feeling unimportant. If a patient indicates that they need help, they should be seen by someone immediately. Quick service will lead to satisfaction, while slow service will lead to discomfort and extremely unhappy family members. 

Have a positive attitude 

Patients may be in a bad mood due to the given circumstances. This is your chance to do your best to cheer them up. No matter the condition they are in, always have a positive attitude. Positivity can be contagious.

Train your staff 

Set high expectations for your nurses and caregivers. They are the ones who interact with the patients. Make sure customer satisfaction is their ultimate priority.  

Keep your staff happy 

A great way to improve scores is through happy staff members. A happy staff is more likely to do their job right and enjoy it too. If they feel they are treated well by the company they work for, they will want to continue working for you. Look into rewarding employees and offering exceptional benefits. Also, leverage technology that will make their job easier. Cut down on documentation time and simplify reporting with Elara.

Elara was designed by nurses to make their jobs easier and eliminate redundant documentation. Elara includes clinical forms for hospice and palliative care. There are also over 20 tabs to record patient information: RN, SW, SCC, Aides, etc. Reporting includes patient demographics, clinical, billing, HIS, CAHPS, ICD10, and e-signatures for documentation. Also for visits, there are over 20 tabs dedicated to body assessments.

Interested in More Information?

Check out these other articles

CMS Standards and Deficiencies in Hospice  

Important CMS Update for Hospices

Eliminate Redundant Documentation in Hospice