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CMS has updated one of the questions in their Hospcie CAHPS FAQ (available here). The question provides clarification on determining eligibility of decedents and caregivers for participation in CAHPS surveys.  

More information on the update is available here. The updated question is summarized below: 

How do you determine the eligibility of decedents/caregivers?

  • Decedents/Caregivers are eligible for the 2015 CAHPS Hospice Survey if all of the following criteria are met:
    • Decedents age 18 and over
    • Decedents with death at least 48 hours following last admission to hospice care
      • To determine if a decedent meets the “…death at least 48 hours following last admission to hospice care” criterion, one would establish date of admission plus two calendar days. For example, if the patient is admitted to the hospice on 1/02/2015 and passes away on 1/04/2015; day one is 1/03/2015 and day two is 1/04/2015. The 48 hours after admission would be met (admission [1/02/2015] plus two days [1/03/2015 and 1/04/2015]).
    • Decedents for whom there is a caregiver of record
    • Decedents whose caregiver is someone other than a non-familial legal guardian
      • It is anticipated that a familial legal guardian will also fall into one of the other answer categories available provided in the Sample File Layout of Appendix D of the CAHPS Hospice Survey Quality Assurance Guidelines V1.0 (1 = Spouse/partner; 2 = Parent; 3 = Child; 4 = Other family member; 5 = Friend; 7 = Other). Therefore, the hospice should only indicate the caregiver relationship as 6 = Legal guardian if the caregiver is a non-familial legal guardian.
    • Decedents for whom the caregiver has a U.S. or U.S. Territory home address

Decedents/caregivers who request that they not be contacted (those who sign “no publicity” requests while under the care of hospice or otherwise directly request not to be contacted) will be excluded from the sample frame. Patients whose last admission to hospice resulted in a live discharge will be excluded. 

Note: Decedents/caregivers must be included in the CAHPS Hospice Survey sample frame unless the survey vendor has positive evidence that a decedent/caregiver is ineligible. If information is missing on any variable that affects survey eligibility when the sample frame is constructed, the decedent/caregiver must be included in the sample frame.

Note: If a hospice or survey vendor becomes aware that the caregiver is under 18 years old, the caregiver should be excluded from the sample.