CMS To Create Long-Term Care Hospital Patient Satisfaction Survey
CMS is developing a new patient satisfaction survey in an effort to collect more information about the quality of care Medicare beneficiaries receive at long-term care hospitals, Modern Healthcare reports.
In a notice published in the Federal Register on Friday, CMS said, "A rigorous, well-designed LTCH Survey will allow us to understand patient experiences throughout their LTCH care, as reported by the patients themselves, if possible, or by family members."
According to Modern Healthcare, if CMS moves forward with the survey, it will publish the results online to help provide consumers with more information about long-term care settings. In addition, publicly posting the results could help to drive improvements in care quality.
CMS is seeking comments until Jan. 19, 2016 on what types of data it should collect.
According to Modern Healthcare, providers so far have expressed mixed reaction to the proposal. For example, Akin Demehin, senior associate director of policy at the American Hospital Association, said, "Collecting survey data entails significant costs for providers." He added, "CMS must carefully balance the value of survey data with the time and resources needed to collect them."
Rochelle Zapol, general counsel at the National Association of Long-Term Hospitals, noted that the surveys could give long-term care hospitals valuable data to help them determine whether patients and their families are engaged, as well as "promote effective communication and coordination of care."
Patient advocates have also expressed mixed reactions to the proposal. Rhonda Richards, a senior legislative representative at AARP, said, "These surveys can provide important information to help improve the quality of care and services that people receive."
However, Jack Halpern, CEO of My Elder Advocate, dismissed the survey as a public relations "ploy." He said, "CMS already has all the information it needs on all the (LTCHs) in the country," adding, "If CMS acts upon these surveys to improve care, then it would have some meaning."
Meanwhile, CMS is also considering whether to develop a similar survey to assess patient satisfaction among pediatric patients and their parents, Modern Healthcare reports (Dickson, Modern Healthcare, 11/23).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.