Every three years, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requires all acute inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) hospitals to complete the Occupational Mix Survey. The information gathered is used to determine the nursing salary portion of the hospital’s average hourly wage (AHW), which affects the organization’s wage index. This year, the survey is due Aug. 3. It previously was due July 1; however, CMS extended the deadline to aid hospitals nationwide that might not be able to complete the survey in time due to the COVID-19 crisis.1
The occupational mix factor has a direct impact on a hospital’s average hourly wage, and even a 1% difference in the calculation can make a difference of millions of dollars in additional reimbursement for providers. The occupational mix factor is calculated using hospital survey data and national AHW rates. This year’s survey uses 2019 calendar year labor data.
The survey comprises many data components. One area that hospitals often struggle with is correctly classifying the job descriptions within the survey’s nursing job categories. The following is an overview of the job descriptions within those categories and recommendations for correctly compiling this data for the survey.