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Surveys, Research, & Analysis

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Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (HOS)

The Medicare HOS is the first patient-reported outcomes measure used in Medicare managed care. The goal of the Medicare HOS program is to gather valid and reliable clinically meaningful data that have many uses, such as:

  • Targeting quality improvement activities and resources.
  • Monitoring health plan performance and rewarding top-performing health plans.
  • Helping beneficiaries make informed healthcare choices.
  • Advancing the science of functional health outcomes measurement.

Managed care plans with Medicare Advantage (MA) contracts must participate. For more information about the project, please visit www.hosonline.org.

Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (Hospital CAHPS®, HCAHPS®)*

The HCAHPS Survey is the first national, standardized, publicly reported survey of patients’ perspectives of hospital care. HCAHPS (pronounced “H-caps")—also known as the CAHPS® Hospital Survey—is a 29-item survey instrument and data collection methodology for measuring patients’ perceptions of their hospital experience. While many hospitals have collected information on patient satisfaction for their own internal use, until HCAHPS there were no common metrics and no national standards for collecting and publicly reporting information about patient experience of care. Since 2008, HCAHPS has allowed valid comparisons to be made across hospitals locally, regionally and nationally.

The first public reporting of HCAHPS results on Hospital Compare occurred in 2008. HCAHPS has been included in the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (Hospital IQR) Program since 2008, and HCAHPS has been included in the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Program since 2013. In addition, CMS also publishes HCAHPS Star Ratings on its Hospital Compare Web site. Star Ratings make it easier for consumers to use the information on the CMS Compare website and spotlight excellence in healthcare quality.

For more information about the project, please visit www.hcahpsonline.org.

Medicare Advantage (MA) and Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) CAHPS Survey

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is committed to measuring and reporting information from the consumer perspective for MA and Medicare PDP contracts. The Medicare CAHPS surveys are a set of surveys sponsored by CMS that collect information to fulfill a requirement of Congress (under the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 and Medicare Modernization Act of 2003). The MA and PDP CAHPS surveys provide information to Medicare beneficiaries on the quality of health services provided through MA, Medicare, and Part D programs. Consumer evaluations of healthcare, such as those collected through the Medicare CAHPS surveys, measure important aspects of a patient's experience that cannot be assessed by other means. For more information about the project, please visit www.ma-pdpcahps.org.

CAHPS Survey for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)

This CAHPS Survey lets ACOs participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program meet their requirement to measure patient experience of care. It asks patients about the areas they identify as being important to them, as well as about the interpersonal aspects of their healthcare experience, for which patients may be the best, if not the only, source of information. ACOs are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers, who come together voluntarily to give coordinated, high-quality care to their Medicare patients. For more information about the project, please visit http://acocahps.cms.gov.

CAHPS Survey for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS)

The CAHPS Survey for group practices participating in the PQRS was developed to collect information about patient experience and care within that group practice. The survey asks patients about the areas they identify as being important to them, as well as about the interpersonal aspects of their healthcare experience, for which patients may be the best, if not the only, source of information. For more information about the project, please visit www.pqrscahps.org.

CAHPS Hospice Survey

The CAHPS Hospice Survey was designed to measure and assess the experiences of patients who died while receiving hospice care, as well as the experiences of their informal primary caregivers. Since the CAHPS Hospice Survey focuses on experiences of care, implementation of the survey supports the following national priorities for improving care:

  • Involving patients and families in care.
  • Promoting effective communication and coordination.

For more information about the project, please visit www.hospicecahpssurvey.org.

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