CMS Pilot Survey Shows High Satisfaction Scores in Home, Hospice Settings

Average overall rating of hospice care is 93 out of 100, according to the latest results of a survey by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). 

In the Hospice Experience of Care Survey, more than 1,100 individuals reported experiences from decedents receiving hospice care from 29 different hospice organizations. The survey is meant to act as a pilot to test the future Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) Hospice Survey, which will be implemented nationally beginning in 2015. 

CMS issued a final rule earlier this month, which will provide hospices serving Medicare beneficiaries an estimated 1.4%, or $230 million, increase in their reimbursements for fiscal year 2015. The ruling also called for nationwide implementation of the CAHPS survey.


For its field test, surveys for three hospice care settings were utilized: home (which includes both home care and assisted living facilities), nursing home (which includes both skilled and regular nursing facilities) and inpatient care (including acute care hospitals and freestanding hospice IPUs). 

Overall, across hospice, decedent and caregiver characteristics, the mean overall rating of hospice care was 93 out of 100. The score for home care was slightly less at 92.2. 

Respondents ranked overall hospice care based on a number of criteria, which generally received high scores. 


The composite, Hospice Care Training — for the home setting only — received a score of 85.2 and included questions such as, “Did the hospice team give you enough training about what to do if your family member became restless or agitated?” and “Did the hospice team give you enough training about if and when to give more pain medicine to your family member?” 

Other composite scores that weren’t directed specifically at the home setting ranged from 81.0 for Understanding the Side Effects of Pain Medication to 95.7 for Treating Your Family Member with Respect and 96.2 for Providing Support for Religious and Spiritual Beliefs.

The survey was developed to aid beneficiaries and family members in their decision to select a hospice program, to help hospitals with their internal quality improvement efforts and external benchmarking with other facilities, and to provide CMS with information for monitoring the care provided. 

Eligible hospices will be required to administer the CAHPS survey for a dry run for at least one month in the first quarter of 2015. Beginning in the second quarter of 2015, hospices will be required to participate on a monthly basis in order to receive the full Annual Payment Update.

To view the survey results, click here

Written by Emily Study

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