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what are cahps surveys?

What is CAHPS and why was it developed?
The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) survey began in 1995 based on a need for more complete information about the quality of healthcare services, especially for vulnerable populations. While other surveys at the time measured client satisfaction, none of them were reliable due to inconsistency in questions from one year to the next and differences in how they were administered. 

Who completes the survey? 
One of the founding principles of CAHPS is that the person using healthcare services is one of the best sources of information about quality of care. Most of the time, CAHPS surveys are completed by the people using healthcare services such as home healthcare and outpatient and ambulatory surgery patients.

Who administers the survey? 
Healthcare providers are required to contract with a vendor who has been certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to administer the CAHPS survey. Use of a certified vendor ensures consistency in procedures used and accuracy of the information being reported. 

What is done with the information CAHPS collects? 
Consumer responses to CAHPS surveys are published through medicare.gov. The information on this website compares patient ratings of different healthcare organizations, which can be used by consumers to make informed choices when selecting a provider. Survey responses are displayed on medicare.gov using a 1-5 star rating scale for three composite measures: care of patients, communication between providers and patients and specific care issues. Patients also rate the overall care they received from the healthcare organization and a survey summary star is generated that combines the first four star ratings as a simple average of the patients care. Patient Survey Star Ratings create an incentive for healthcare organizations to uphold quality care because the opinions of people using their services are publicly available to others who are seeking services.

For Home Healthcare and Outpatient and Ambulatory Surgery Providers

Who is exempt?

The following may apply for exemption through the coordinating CAHPS website:

Publicly Reported Quality Measures
Home Health Care CAHPS

Outpatient and Ambulatory Surgery CAHPS

For more information about CAHPS, or to find out how we can help your organization with CAHPS surveys, please email cahpssurvey@benrose.org or call 216.373.1746.