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AAMC Submits Comments on Hospital Outpatient Surgery Department Survey Design

March 29, 2013—The AAMC March 26 submitted comments  in response to the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS) request for information (RFI) on developing and designing a survey regarding patient experience of care in hospital outpatient surgery departments/ambulatory surgical centers (HOSD/ASC).

The AAMC’s comments mirror those submitted in response to a CMS RFI on patient experience of care survey in the emergency department [see Washington Highlights, March 22]. The association reiterates concerns with the proliferation of patient surveys across multiple settings (surgery departments, hospital inpatient stays, physician offices, emergency departments, nursing homes, etc.) and the potential unintended consequences that may result from an over-surveyed patient population; particularly if these tools are incorporated into pay-for-performance programs.

The AAMC letter advocates that any additional questions relating to the patient experience in the HOSD/ASC settings should be added to the Surgical Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (SCAHPS) survey and should not be developed into a new survey. The SCAHPS currently allows inpatient and outpatient surgery patients to evaluate the care provided by their physicians. Under this RFI, CMS proposes to use a separate survey to allow patients to also assess the HOSD/ASC at the facility level.

The AAMC expresses concerns that two surgical surveys, containing duplicative questions, would be unnecessarily confusing for patient and burdensome for providers. The association also recommends that all new questions should be submitted to the National Quality Forum for endorsement and to the Measures Applications Partnership (MAP) for approval before being used in any public reporting programs.


Scott Wetzel, M.P.P.
Lead, Quality Reporting
Telephone: 202-828-0495


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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