OAS CAHPS | What ASCs And HOPDs Should Know

January 08, 2024


Navigating OAS CAHPS in ASCs and HOPDs

In the rapidly evolving landscape of outpatient and ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), understanding and complying with the Outpatient and Ambulatory Surgery Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (OAS CAHPS) measure is crucial to receiving maximum reimbursement. As a leading innovator in patient-reported outcome collection, including patient experience surveys, CODE Technology is here to guide you through the intricacies of OAS CAHPS, offering a comprehensive understanding of the mandatory measure to ensure your ASC excels in reporting.

What is OAS CAHPS?

OAS CAHPS, or Outpatient and Ambulatory Surgery Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems®, is a survey aimed at measuring the patient experience in Medicare-certified HOPDs (Hospital Outpatient Departments) and ASCs. This mandatory measure, administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) under the Outpatient Quality Reporting (OQR) and Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality Reporting (ASCQR) programs respectively, has become a focal point for healthcare facilities.

Unraveling OAS CAHPS: Key Questions Answered

1. Why is OAS CAHPS Essential for ASCs and HOPDs?

As of 2024, OAS CAHPS is a mandatory measure for HOPDs and will become mandatory for ASCs in 2025. Failure to comply can result in a 2% penalty of annual Medicare payment updates. 

Additionally, OAS CAHPS results from HOPDs and ASCs are made publicly available on the Provider Data Catalog website. 

2. Who Needs to Participate in OAS CAHPS? Who is excluded? 

ASCs and HOPDs that perform outpatient surgeries and procedures are eligible. Specific criteria, including CPT codes and G-codes, determine eligibility.

There are two overarching exemptions to the OAS CAHPS mandatory measure. Firstly, Medicare-certified Hospital Outpatient Departments (HOPDs) and Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs) may seek an exemption if they treat fewer than 60 survey-eligible patients during the “eligibility period,” defined as the year preceding the data collection period. Secondly, Medicare-certified ASCs qualifying for an exemption from the ASCQR Program due to having fewer than 240 Medicare claims in the year before the data collection year for payment determination also qualify for an exemption from OAS CAHPS during the same period. 

3. What are the Survey Requirements?

HOPDs must complete 300 OAS CAHPS surveys per year, while ASCs must complete 200. These thresholds are essential for meeting the reliability target of 0.8 or higher.

4. What Does OAS CAHPS Measure?

OAS CAHPS focuses on three core areas: Facilities and Staff, Communication About Procedures, and Preparing for Discharge and Recovery. Global measure questions provide an overall rating and recommendation.


man in leg cast on couch on his phone

Survey Modes

To assess the feasibility of implementing web-based survey administration, CMS conducted a mode experiment testing five administration modes: mail only, telephone only, web only, web with mail follow-up, and web with a telephone follow-up. Preliminary response rates showed no significant differences based on survey mode.

As a result, CMS now allows five modes of survey administration: mail-only, telephone-only, mail with telephone follow-up of nonrespondents, web with mail follow-up of nonrespondents, and web with telephone follow-up of nonrespondents.

Administering OAS CAHPS and Other Surveys

For facilities considering the administration of other patient surveys alongside OAS CAHPS, careful coordination is essential. Recognizing the potential impact on patient response rates, guidelines are in place to strike a balance between gathering valuable insights and avoiding survey fatigue. In this challenging landscape, CODE stands out as a proficient partner. Leveraging advanced healthcare communication audits, CODE specializes in efficiently collecting Patient-Reported Outcomes (PROs) without contributing to survey fatigue. CODE ensures a streamlined survey experience for patients, optimizing response rates for the OAS CAHPS Survey while balancing other important patient-reported outcome collection initiatives.

    close up of a phone screen that says 'healthcare survey' with someone's finger about to tap on the screen

    Certified Vendor Requirement for OAS CAHPS Submission

    Participation in the OAS CAHPS Survey mandates that Hospital Outpatient Departments (HOPDs) and Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs) authorize an approved survey vendor to submit their data. This involves completing an online authorization form accessible from a customized dashboard. It is crucial for HOPDs and ASCs to understand that all survey vendors listed in the authorization process are qualified and have met the necessary requirements to administer the OAS CAHPS Survey on behalf of Medicare-certified facilities.

    Unlock OAS CAHPS Success with CODE Technology

    Schedule a brief consultation to customize an OAS CAHPS strategy that aligns perfectly with your HOPD’s or ASC’s unique needs.