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Understanding the 
CAHPS® survey

The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) is a survey tool. It collects standardized information to help advance our understanding of patient experience with health care.

What does CAHPS measure?

What does CAHPS measure?

Members rate their experience with their health plan and providers in the annual CAHPS member survey. It covers health care topics important to members — those they are best qualified to assess. Some examples are the ease of access to services and communication with the health plan and providers. 

A vendor certified by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) administers the survey, which is anonymous. A random sample of members are chosen to take part.

Here are the Mercy Care segments, survey fielding periods and the periods for measurement:

Survey fielding period: February to May

Survey period for measurement: Past 6 months

Survey fielding period: March to May

Survey period for measurement: Past 6 months

Why does CAHPS matter?

Why does CAHPS matter?

We’re committed to providing quality care and service. The CAHPS survey results help pinpoint areas of strength, as well as areas that could benefit from improvements.  

The NCQA Health Plan Accreditation and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) require and rely on CAHPS to assign Star Rating scores. 

Why is CAHPS important to providers?

Why is CAHPS important to providers?

Mercy Care shares our CAHPS results and overall performance of the health plan with our providers. This provides:

  • An opportunity for collaboration to help enhance member experiences where needed 
  • A way to see the health care experience through the members’ eyes 
  • The potential to positively impact the patient-provider relationship

You’re in a unique position to encourage members to take part in the survey if they are chosen. It can empower them and give them a voice to share what the health plan does well and where we need to improve. 

What does CAHPS ask?

What does CAHPS ask?

Questions focus on the member experience and ask “How often in the past 6 months…” questions with these answers:

  • Never
  • Sometimes
  • Usually 
  • Always

Here are the question categories and topics:

  • Member gets needed care, tests, or treatment with ease
  • Member gets appointment with specialist as soon as needed

  • Member gets needed care right away
  • Member gets appointments for a checkup or routine care as soon as needed
  • Member gets in to see the person they came to see within 15 minutes of appointment time 

  • Doctors have medical records/information about member’s care
  • Doctors communicate about tests (follow-up, available as soon as needed)
  • Doctors discuss prescription medications
  • Doctors are informed and up to date about specialist care 
  • Member gets help from doctor’s office when needed in managing care among different providers and services

  • Provide clear explanations, easy to understand
  • Listen carefully and show respect for what member says
  • Spend enough time

Member rating

Members assign a rating on a 1 to 10 scale to:

  • Health plan
  • Drug plan
  • Health care quality
  • Personal doctor 
  • Specialist

You can learn more about the CAHPS survey

Legal notices

CAHPS® is a registered trademark of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).