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Beyond HCAHPS, Patient Surveys Dig Into Functional Outcomes

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, May 17, 2012

The change is coming gradually, in the form of  specialty disease or procedure measure questionnaires such as WOMAC (the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index), OMERACT (Outcome Measures in Rheumatology),  and CCORP, (the California Clinical Registry for Orthopedic Procedures) a fledging effort that specifically includes patient self-reported functional outcomes after joint replacement surgeries.

There's also the SF-36 (Short Form-36) and the VR-12 (Veterans Rand 12-item Health Survey). And there are many mental status surveys that attempt to measure depression and fatigue. For Medicare Managed Care Patients, there's the federal Health Outcomes Survey. Some of these have been around for awhile, but recently, they're being adapted for new uses.

Now, there are overt signs that federal regulators want to do more to link such self-assessment surveys to incentive payments. Indeed, in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' proposed Meaningful Use rule stage 2, providers are being asked to attest that they obtained "patient reported" functional assessments both at baseline, (about 180 days before), and 60 days after undergoing any of three procedures or episodes of care:

  • Total knee arthroplasty, for patients 18 years of age and older
  • Total hip arthroplasty, for patients 18 years of age and older
  • Care for patients with congestive heart failure who also have two or more high impact conditions, for patients 65 years of age and older.
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3 comments on "Beyond HCAHPS, Patient Surveys Dig Into Functional Outcomes"


abiola olagoke (5/23/2012 at 2:56 PM)
Realising that the patient is the goal of any treatment modality, these measures being put in place are really welcome. Thanks for sharing this. I hope those of us in developing countries get to that point too where we make provider hospitals more responsible to patients and patients can say more about treatment modality outcome

Anthony_Cirillo_32556 (5/21/2012 at 8:33 PM)
Having just returned from the Assisted Living of America's annual conference, resident acuity, partnering with hospitals and positioning the industry as a transitional care provider were hot topics. This is great if providers actually collaborate and cooperate. However, there is still much silo thinking that abounds. Actual quality of life outcomes are important to measure. And outcomes will only be aided by an industry working together. I also look at this laundry list of additional reporting and wonder how providers and particularly front line staff will be able to actually care for patients and chart all of this for the bean-counters, regulators and watchdogs.

Kristin Baird, RN, BSN, MHA (5/17/2012 at 2:00 PM)
Cheryl, Thanks for another great article. This is such an important topic and once more validates the need for more consistent, high quality post-discharge follow up.