WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 29, 2021)—The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has submitted a proposal to conduct a mode experiment to test the effects of a web-based mode on response rates and scores, to the Office of Management and Budget.

The CMS proposal, an information collection request titled The Home Health Care CAHPS Survey (HHCAHPS) Mode Experiment, would be an addition to the three currently approved modes – mail, telephone and mail combined.

CMS is also interested in testing a revised, shorter version of the home health Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) survey, based on feedback from patients and stakeholders.

CMS’s contractor for the HHCAHPS survey and for the proposed mode experiment, RTI International, convened a technical expert panel (TEP) composed of representatives from the home health industry, consumer advocacy organizations, the government, and research organizations. Members of the committee provided guidance on the development of the design for the mode experiment and the survey content. RTI, CMS and members of the technical expert panel met on July 20, 2018, and April 17, 2019. The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) was represented on the TEP.

The data collected from the HHCAHPS Survey mode experiment will be used for the following purposes:

•    Test the shortened survey instrument, including several new items;
•    Compare survey responses across the four proposed modes to determine if adjustments are needed to ensure that data collection mode does not influence results; and
•    Determine if and by how much patient characteristics affect the patients’ rating of the care they receive and adjust results based on those factors.
•    The mode experiment is designed to examine the effects of the shortened survey on response rates and scores and to provide precise adjustment estimates for survey items and composites on the shortened survey instrument. Information from this mode experiment will help CMS determine whether the additional mode of administration should be included, and a shortened survey instrument should be used in the current national implementation of the HHCAHPS Survey.

Public comments on the burden estimate are due Nov. 15, 2021.

Click here for the supporting documentation on the information collection request.