@CMS just released the 2016 Measures under Consideration. These are the measures CMS is considering for adoption through rulemaking for the Medicare program. We have an advance look at the questions that are being considered to replace the current pain questions on the HCAHPS Survey.

 

Communication about Pain During the Hospital Stay

The following questions (or a subset of questions) would replace the current Pain Management measure in the HCAHPS Survey with a new measure(s). The following items were tested in early 2016. CMS is currently analyzing the results, as well as discussing these potential new pain management items with focus groups and hospital staff. Multi-item measure (composite):

 

HP1: “During this hospital stay, did you have any pain?”

HP2: “During this hospital stay, how often did hospital staff talk with you about how much pain you had?”

HP3: “During this hospital stay, how often did hospital staff talk with you about how to treat your pain?”

HP4: “During this hospital stay, did you get medicine for pain?”

HP5: “Before giving you pain medicine, did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?”

 

Communication about Treating Pain Post Discharge

The following questions (or a subset of questions) would replace the current Pain Management measure in the HCAHPS Survey with a new measure(s). The following items were tested in early 2016. CMS is currently analyzing the results, as well as discussing these potential new pain management items with focus groups and hospital staff. Multi-item measure (composite):

 

DP1: “Before you left the hospital, did someone talk with you about how to treat pain after you got home?”

DP2: “Before you left the hospital, did hospital staff give you a prescription for medicine to treat pain?”

DP3: “Before giving you the prescription for pain medicine, did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?”

 

 

There are currently three pain questions on the HCAHPS Survey. Time will tell if CMS will add all eight of the proposed questions to the survey. There are several steps that must happen before the questions or a subset of the questions could be added to the survey and to Hospital Value-based Purchasing. For example, CMS added the Care Transition questions to the survey in 2013, but they won’t impact HVBP until FY 2018.