Revised HCAHPS Pain Management Questions: What You Need to Know

CMS has proposed removing the current Pain Management composite, which consists of the following three questions.

  • During this hospital stay, did you need medicine for pain?
  • During this hospital stay, how often was your pain well controlled?
  • During this hospital stay, how often did the hospital staff do everything they could to help you with your pain?

They are proposing replacing these questions with a new composite made up of the following three questions, which reflect communication about pain.

  • During this hospital stay, did you have any pain?
  • During this hospital stay, how often did hospital staff talk with you about how much pain you had?
  • During this hospital stay, how often did hospital staff talk with you about how to treat your pain?

The new questions were developed to address concerns expressed by hospitals and physicians that the wording of the current Pain Management composite encourages inappropriate prescribing of opioids. While the available evidence indicates that there is no relationship between opioid prescribing and patient experience scores, the revised pain composite shifts the focus to evaluations of pain and discussions about pain treatment options.

Source: Revised HCAHPS Pain Management Questions: What You Need to Know