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15 HCAHPS Buzzwords Every Provider Should Know

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, July 11, 2011

The value-based purchasing sweepstakes race is on. It's hospital against hospital in a national contest to see which acute care teams can please their patients the most on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey.

The prize is a chance to win back each facility's share of $850 million that will be deducted from Medicare's payments to 3,500 hospitals in FY 2013. That's 1% of each hospital's Diagnostic Related Group payment.

How patients answer 17 questions posed in Medicare's HCAHPS survey determines 30% of each hospital's score. The clock started ticking for patient stays on July 1, and will stop with discharges as of March 31, 2012.

How each hospital ranks will be publicly reported on HospitalCompare.gov, so not only will providers see how they ranked, but patients will see too. 

Patient experience surveys can be tough, with responses varying according to types and geographic locations of hospitals, whether they are urban or rural, serve sicker or healthier patients, are overcrowded, and whether they have an expansive list of racial and ethnic populations which can make communication far more difficult.

Though the scorekeepers determining the winners and losers say they have adjusted for most variables, many providers remain concerned.

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Comments are moderated. Please be patient.

5 comments on "15 HCAHPS Buzzwords Every Provider Should Know"


Abby (7/22/2011 at 6:55 PM)
Hurrah! for the Yack Track concept. In both areas of specialty that I work in (ER and PACU), the noise level can ratchet up quickly and bursts of noise or loud conversations are very disturbing to patients under stress or in pain. I find (to my dismay) that I'm frequently the one shushing co-workers and the ironic part is that I'm hard of hearing! I'd LOVE to see a red light signaling 'too loud' in the center of the nursing station. Less yap, more tap people!

SLP (7/15/2011 at 5:31 AM)
The minimum 300 surveys that will be submitted, I would like to know more about that.

Claude Albertario, RPSGT (7/12/2011 at 4:34 PM)
I am AMAZED that Dr.Bell (First reply) says: " I could most definitely do without the #3. "Yack Track" or "Yap Track." Sleep, the ONLY time the body regenerates itself and you think the patient can do without that? I am totally befuddled by your lack of sensitivity to this most spiritual and required aspect to human life. Really shows me the mountain we in the sleep field have to climb to get respect for the time supposedly devoted to sleep in the healthcare environment. Truly troubling to read that.