CMS Proposes More Hospital Public Reporting

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) wants to add five new patient experience of care measures that hospitals would report on beginning next fall. Currently hospitals must survey discharged patients on 27 Hospital Consumer Assessment of Health Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) questions addressing experience of care in order to receive full annual Medicare payment updates. Under the CMS proposal now under review at the Administration’s Office of Management of Budget, hospitals would survey patients on five additional measures beginning next October-three questions addressing Care Transitions, one addressing admission through the emergency room and another addressing overall mental health. CMS proposes to require this additional data collection as part of its implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s Value-Based Purchasing program. That program will offer quality-based incentive payments to hospitals. The proposal appears in the April 27 Federal Register, which is available through www.federalregister.gov.