The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is readying a new Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, known as CAHPS, with a survey focusing on hospice care.

The number and range of CAHPS surveys continues to grow, covering physician practices, hospitals, surgical care, dental, home health, nursing homes, patient-centered medical homes and hemodialysis centers, among others. There’s even a survey for adults in Medicaid.

Now, CMS is creating a survey for primary caregivers such as family members or close friends of patients who died in hospice care to assess the experiences the patient had during the care. CMS wants to survey--via mail, telephone or a combination of both--more than 500,000 individuals.

Questions would cover perceptions on the safety of care, patient and family engagement in care, effective communication and coordination of care, effectiveness of prevention and treatment practices for leading causes of death and making care more affordable. As with other CAHPS surveys, data gathered will enable consumers to make meaningful comparisons between hospices, according to CMS.

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