CAHPS Hospice Survey

The CAHPS Hospice Survey is designed to measure and assess the experiences of patients who died while receiving hospice care, as well as the experiences of their primary informal caregivers.

  • The survey is sent to caregivers (i.e., family member, friend, etc.) after the death of the hospice patient.
  • It asks questions about domains that are important to patients and their families.
  • The survey is used in a CMS pay-for-reporting program which started with the fiscal year (FY) 2017 Annual Payment Update (APU) and continues for subsequent APU periods.


Authorizing your CAHPS Hospice Survey vendor is a critical part of fulfilling CMS requirements.

Your organization’s compliance relies on completing your vendor authorization.

Click here for vendor authorization instructions

The instructions page will open in a new tab so you can keep your place on this page and continue reading the CMS-mandated requirements. Hospices are responsible for understanding and fulfilling these requirements to demonstrate compliance and prevent penalization by CMS.

In general, all Medicare-certified hospices must participate in the CAHPS Hospice Survey in order to receive their full APU. However, certain exemptions are granted by CMS for size or newness.

Exemption for Size:

If your hospice has served fewer than 50 survey-eligible decedents/caregivers during the reference period, you can apply for an exemption from the CAHPS Hospice Survey. If approved by CMS, your exemption on the basis of size is active for one year. If your hospice remains eligible for this exemption in subsequent years, your organization will need to request this exemption on an annual basis.

Exemption for Newness:

The exemption for newness is based on how recently the hospice received its CCN, also known as Medicare Provider Number. The criterion for this exemption is that the hospice must have received its CCN on or after the first day of the performance year for the CAHPS Hospice Survey. For the calendar year (CY) 2018 data collection period, hospices who received their CCN on or after January 1, 2018 are eligible for a one-time exemption for newness.

For example, if a hospice receives its CCN any time in 2018 whether it is in January 2018 or December 2018, it is exempt from survey administration for the remainder of 2018. A hospice that receives its CCN any time in 2018 is required to start participating in the CAHPS Hospice Survey beginning with January 2019 decedents. This is a one-time exemption for each hospice as identified by CCN. Hospices eligible for this exemption will be identified by CMS, as this exemption is based on when the hospice’s CCN is assigned. There is no form for hospices to submit.


Development of the CAHPS Hospice Survey

CMS developed the CAHPS Hospice Survey with input from industry stakeholders, government agencies, consumer groups, and other key individuals and organizations involved in hospice care. Since the CAHPS Hospice Survey focuses on experiences of care, implementation of the survey supports the following national priorities for improving care: involving patients and families in care and promoting effective communication and coordination.

Survey Domains

The CAHPS Hospice Survey instrument is composed of 47 questions grouped by category into domains that are important to hospice patients and their families. The survey domains include six composite measures and two global rating measures:

Composite Measures

  • Communication with Family
  • Getting Timely Help
  • Treating Patient with Respect
  • Emotional and Spiritual Support
  • Help for Pain and Symptoms
  • Training Family to Care for Patient

Global Rating Measures

  • Rating of the Hospice
  • Willingness to Recommend the Hospice

Use the menu on the left to explore additional information, or click here to visit the official CMS website for news and information about the CAHPS Hospice Survey.