Vendor Authorization
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H-CAHPS Vendor Authorization Instructions

Hospitals must use the self-serve feature on the QualityNet secure pages to authorize their HCAHPS Survey vendors.  The “Hospital: Inpatient Patient Satisfaction” link is displayed on the secure home page of QualityNet under the “Authorize Vendors to Submit Data” task group for hospital users who have been assigned the HCAHPS Vendor Auth role. 

Hospitals may select from a list of approved survey vendors, and will then need to enter Transmission and Discharge Dates. The definitions of the Transmission and Discharge Start and End Dates are as follows: 

  • The Transmission Start Date represents the first calendar day the survey vendor is authorized to submit data on a hospital’s behalf. It defaults to the current date.
  • The Transmission End Date can be completed with the last date the hospital wishes the survey vendor to submit data on their behalf. However, it is strongly recommended that this field be left blank.
  • The Discharge Start Date represents the first day of the month the survey vendor has been contracted to work and from which eligible discharges will be sampled for surveying.
  • The Discharge End Date can be completed with the last day of the last month the hospital wishes the survey vendor to sample from eligible discharges for the purpose of administering the survey. However, it is strongly recommended that this field be left blank. 

Switching Survey Vendors

Hospitals that choose to switch from one survey vendor to another can only do so at the beginning of a calendar quarter. In order to switch from one survey vendor to another, a QualityNet user with the HCAHPS Vendor Auth role (ask your Security Administrator to make changes to your QualityNet account if you do not have this role) must enter or change the Transmission and Discharge End Dates associated with the current survey vendor before they can authorize the new survey vendor. The following steps must be completed before a new survey vendor can be successfully authorized:

1. In the current survey vendor’s account, the Transmission End Date should be the last day for which the current survey vendor will be submitting data on the hospital’s behalf
Note: This will be the last date the QualityNet system will allow this vendor to upload. Make sure to provide the survey vendor with enough time to submit the data. For example, if the survey vendor is authorized to submit 3Q19 data, the survey vendor must have a transmission end date after the submission deadline for that quarter (January 2, 2020 with Review and Correct Period until January 9, 2020). Therefore, the transmission end date for the above example should be at least January 10, 2020.

2. In the current survey vendor’s account, the Discharge End Date should be the last day of the month the hospital will allow the current survey vendor to sample from eligible discharges
The Discharge End Dates of the new and expiring survey vendor CANNOT overlap.

3.  After setting the Transmission End Date and the Discharge End Date for the expiring survey vendor, the user must wait overnight before they can enter the new survey vendor’s start dates

4. The new survey vendor’s Transmission Start Date must be the first day that this survey vendor will submit data for the hospital. The QualityNet system will default the Transmission Start Date to the date the hospital’s QualityNet user logs on to authorize the new survey vendor. The hospital is encouraged to use this default date, unless the survey vendor’s contractual arrangements with the hospital dictate otherwise.
Note: The Transmission Start Date of the new survey vendor CAN overlap the Transmission End Date of the former survey vendor. Due to the lead time between discharge quarters and submission deadlines, the new survey vendor will need the ability to begin submission of their collected HCAHPS data before the previous survey vendor has completed data submission. For example, if 3Q19 is the last quarter the expiring survey vendor can collect and submit data, their transmission deadline will have to be at least January 10, 2020. However, the new survey vendor for 4Q19 should be allowed to begin HCAHPS Survey administration as soon as October 1, 2019. Therefore, the new survey vendor should have a Transmission Start Date as soon as October 1, 2019.

5. The new survey vendor’s Transmission End Date can be completed with the last date that the hospital wishes the survey vendor to submit data on their behalf. However, it is strongly recommended that this field be left blank.

6. The new survey vendor should be given a Discharge Start Date of the first day of the quarter for which the new survey vendor will be collecting data for the hospital
Note: The Discharge Start Date of the new survey vendor CANNOT overlap with the DISCHARGE END DATE of the previous survey vendor. QualityNet will not allow such an overlap to occur. If a user receives an error for overlapping dates, the user must review and correct the Discharge End Date of the previous survey vendor prior to adding the new survey vendor. After editing the previous survey vendor’s Discharge End Date, the user must wait overnight before they can set the new survey vendor’s Discharge Start Date.

7. The new survey vendor’s Discharge End Date should be the last date that the hospital contracts with the new survey vendor to collect data for the hospital. However, it is strongly recommended that this field be left blank.