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AHA Objects to New Patient Experience Surveys

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, March 28, 2013

The American Hospital Association has a message for the federal government on the topic of patient experience surveys: Enough already!

In a letter this week to Marilyn Tavenner, acting administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, AHA suggested that plans to add a new survey about patient experiences in hospital outpatient surgical departments and ambulatory surgical centers would be a lesson in overkill that would confuse patients and prove burdensome and expensive for hospital administrators.

Ashley Thompson, AHA's vice president and deputy director of policy, wrote in the letter to Tavenner that AHA has long supported and recognized the value of Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems surveys "as tools to help hospitals improve the engagement and satisfaction of patients and families."

"However, the AHA urges CMS to reconsider the necessity of a new, separate survey tool for ASCs and HOSDs," Thompson said in the letter.

"We are concerned that the CAHPS program already includes multiple overlapping survey tools creating confusion about how to assess the patient experience across multiple care settings, as well as excessive survey administration burden. Instead of a separate survey, CMS should incorporate a small number of supplemental survey questions targeted at facility-level issues for ASCs into an existing CAHPS survey."

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