Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Melanie Smith


Patient perception of care has become a main priority in the delivery of high-quality health care. The creation of the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey provided a nationally standardized method of evaluating patient perception to be incorporated in the reimbursement process defined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between HCAHPS scores and readmission rates in 2 states in the South Atlantic region of the United States. Using social construction theory, this quantitative study utilized multiple regression analysis to analyze HCAHPS scores (independent variables [IV]) and readmission rates (dependent variable [DV]) with secondary data from the Hospital Compare website, controlling for external hospital characteristics. The IVs were found to significantly contribute to the variance in readmission scores collectively at 14.2% but were not significant individually. When controlling for covariates, RN communication and care transition accounted for 4.1% and 4.4% of the variance, respectively. RN communication and MD communication accounted for 7.3% and 4.4%, respectively, of the variance when controlling for covariates. RN communication and care transition accounted for 12.2% of the variance in readmission, but only care transition was found to be significant by itself. These findings highlight for administrators the importance of investing resources in provider communication and the discharge transition process to improve patient perception, improve quality care by reducing acute care readmissions, and contribute to the health of patients in acute care hospitals.