How To Improve Your Scores
  • Register for CAHPS Hospice

How To Improve Your Scores

Improving your Hospice CAHPS® rating can be broken down into three simple areas: training your staff, tracking your key performance indicators (KPIs) and informing your caregivers.


  • Familiarity with the CAHPS® survey can help you improve and maintain a high CAHPS® star rating.
    Click here for a copy of the official CMS Hospice CAHPS® survey

  • Train your staff - Make sure everyone interacting with caregivers understands the CAHPS® survey questions the caregiver will be asked. It is advantageous for your staff to know the specific areas in which they will be rated!

  • Staff should use the same verbiage as the CAHPS® survey when speaking with the caregiver.

    For example: The CAHPS® survey reads, "Did any member of the hospice team discuss side effects of pain medicine with you or your family member? Would you say…"
    When speaking with caregivers, ask them specifically if they have had any "side effects" with their medicines. Do not substitute "side effects" with "problems" or "issues". You don't want the caregiver's answer to be, "I don't remember anyone talking about side effects".

  • Happy employees translate to better service. Better service translates into higher satisfaction for the patient.

    • Make sure your staff is friendly and smiles - attitude is everything!

    • Establish and communicate the purpose of your organization to your staff.

    • Motivate your staff through your agency's mission, not by fear.

    • Help your staff hear the voice of the caregiver.

    • Help staff cope in a stressful environment.

    • Instill a feeling of self-worth.

    • Create a sense of belonging.

    • Recognize and reward individual success and your team's success!


Keep your eye on the prize

  • Check your survey results on our dashboard to see areas where you may need to improve and learn how your agency compares to other agencies.

  • Looks for trends across months to see where your performance is increasing, declining or holding steady.

  • If you see an area declining, compare your score with other agencies using our Dashboard report to see how common the problem is and how different your score is compared to others.

  • Take stock of your resources and time available: If you see an area in need of improvement, some changes are easy and inexpensive to implement, others are complex and require a significant investment. If there is a need that is overwhelming, it is ok to start small.

  • Keep track of administrative data that can help you: log employee complaints, log caregiver complaints, track employee work hours, etc.


The more you know, the better your decisions can be. ~ Do's and Don'ts ~ In accordance with CMS, this is acceptable:

  • Inform caregivers that they may be asked to respond to a caregiver experience survey. All caregivers must be notified in the same way.

  • Information to caregivers about the survey can include the following messaging:

    • The hospice is participating in the survey to learn more about the quality of health care that was received.

    • Caregivers may be selected to participate in a survey about the hospice.

  • Indicate that the caregiver should anticipate receiving a phone call from Fields Healthcare Research. Tell them that you value their feedback and give an example of how your agency has used caregiver feedback to improve the quality of care.


In accordance with CMS, it is NOT acceptable to do the following:

  • Provide a copy of the Hospice CAHPS® Survey questionnaire or cover letters to the caregivers;

  • Include words or phrases verbatim from the Hospice CAHPS® Survey in your marketing or promotional materials (CMS is encouraging agencies not to use text from Hospice CAHPS® questions in their marketing and promotional materials);

  • Attempt to influence caregivers' answers to the Hospice CAHPS® Survey questions;

  • Tell the caregivers that the agency hopes or expects that its caregivers will give it the best or highest rating or to respond in a certain way to the survey questions;

  • Offer incentives of any kind to the caregivers for participating (or not) in the survey;

  • Help the caregiver answer the survey questions, even if the caregiver asks for the hospice provider for help;

  • Ask caregivers why they gave a certain response or rating to any of the Hospice CAHPS® Survey questions;

  • Agencies should never ask their caregivers if they would like to be included in the survey. All caregivers selected to participate in the Hospice CAHPS® Survey must be able to decide on their own whether they wish to participate and will be provided an opportunity to do so as part of the survey process.