immediately, HHCAHPS survey vendors may no longer share individual responses to
certain questions with home health agencies (HHAs) unless the patient gives
permission, according to an announcement
on the HHCAHPS website. The
change supports an effort to ensure that patients survey data are kept
confidential and their right to privacy is protected.
survey vendors are able to supply survey responses linked to a sample patients
name and other identifying information if the sample patient gave his or her
consent. However, it was reported in the announcement that some vendors give
HHA clients de-identified responses from surveys completed by all respondents,
regardless of whether the patients gave their consent to release their survey
responses to the HHA.
is acceptable to provide de-identified survey responses to the core questions
(Questions 125) without the patients consent, providing survey responses to
the questions that ask for health status and demographic information (Questions
2632) may enable HHAs with small sample sizes to link survey responses to a
announcement notes that as a result, CMS has decided that it is unacceptable
for HHCAHPS vendors to provide responses to the About You questions in the
HHCAHPS Survey questionnaire to HHAs, even if those responses are
de-identified. Unless survey respondents give their consent to share their
survey responses linked to their identifying information, HHCAHPS vendors can
no longer share responses to Questions 2632 with HHAs.
information, visit the HHCAHPS
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