Meeting of the Citizens' Health Care Working Group
In accordance with section 10(a) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, this notice announces a meeting and hearing of the Citizens' Health Care Working Group mandated by section 1014 of the Medicare Modernization Act.
General Testing of the CAHPS Hospital Survey (HCAHPS®)
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is providing the opportunity for hospitals, vendors, and other interested parties to voluntarily test the 27-item Hospital CAHPS (HCAHPS[reg]) instrument suggested by the National Quality Forum's Review Committee. The purpose of this project is to provide another opportunity to the hospital industry to use the revised draft of the HCAHPS[reg] instrument with the option to add items to the instrument, if desired. It should be noted that the HCAHPS[reg] instrument may undergo further refinement prior to finalization for the national implementation effort as a result of the National Quality Forum (NQF) Consensus process. In effect, this project provides an occasion to test items that survey vendors, hospitals, and others wish to add to the HCAHPS[reg] instrument and to evaluate the impact of integrating HCAHPS into the instruments currently being used, as well as to try out and evaluate the methods of data collection prior to national implementation of HCAHPS[reg]. After permission to use the instrument is granted by AHRQ, a site or sites may field the instrument until the start of the ``dry run'' of the survey, which is expected in the Summer/Fall of 2005. As part of the dry run, hospitals and vendors will begin collecting HCAHPS data and transmitting it to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), but it will not be publicly reported. For more information about this project or to download an application for authorization, please visit the CAHPS User Network Web site at http: //www.cahps-sun.org.
National Advisory Council for Healthcare Research and Quality: Request for Nominations for Public Members
42 U.S.C. 299c, section 921 of the Public Health Service (PHS Act), established a National Advisory Council for Healthcare Research and Quality (the Council). The Council is to advise the Secretary of HHS and the Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) on matters related to actions of the Agency to enhance the quality, improve the outcomes, and reduce the costs of health care services, as well as improve access to such services, through scientific research and the promotion of improvements in clinical practice and in the organization, financing, and delivery of health care services. Seven current members' terms will expire in November 2005. To fill these positions in accordance with the legislative mandate establishing the Council, we are seeking individuals who are distinguished in the conduct of research, demonstration projects, and evaluations with respect to health care; individuals distinguished in the fields of health care quality research or health care improvement; individuals distinguished in the practice of medicine; individuals distinguished in the other health professions; individuals either representing the private health care sector (including health plans, providers, and purchasers) or individuals distinguished as administrators of health care delivery systems; individuals distinguished in the fields of health care economics, management science, information systems, law, ethics, business, or public policy; and individuals representing the interests of patients and consumers of health care. Individuals are particularly sought with experience and success in activities specified in the preceding summary paragraph above, describing the statutory mandates and work of the Agency.