Patient Experience Scores Skew by Region, Providers Say
For discharges in FY 2014, which begins Oct. 1, 2013, CMS proposes to add three 30-day mortality scores, eight hospital acquired condition measures and nine patient safety indicators, inpatient quality indicators or composite measures established by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
The period of evaluation would begin this July and extend nine months to March 31, 2012. Scores achieved during this period would be relayed to the hospital at least 60 days prior to Oct. 1, 2012. Payment based on these scores would begin for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1, 2012.
CMS declined comment on the controversy. In its 126-page proposal, it says in part, "We believe assigning a 30% weight to the patient experience of care domain is appropriate because the HCAHPS measure is comprised of eight dimensions that address different aspects of patient satisfaction."
The proposal also says that "Measures or measurement domains need not be given equal weight, but over time, scoring methodologies should be more weighted towards outcome, patient experience and functional status measures."
In summary, Childs of Premier notes that "it's a different world for hospitals now, with a different approach for payment and performance is being valued in a new way. Management of hospitals have really got to pay attention here."
Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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