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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 intent of the HCAHPS initiative is to provide a standardized survey instrument and data collection methodology for measuring patients' perspectives on hospital care. While many hospitals have collected information on patient satisfaction, prior to HCAHPS there was no national standard for collecting or publicly reporting patients' perspectives on care that would enable valid comparisons to be made across all hospitals. In order to make "apples-to-apples" comparisons to support consumer choice, it was necessary to introduce a standard measurement approach: the HCAHPS survey, which is also known as the CAHPS Hospital Survey, or Hospital CAHPS. HCAHPS is a core set of questions that can be combined with a broader, customized set of hospital-specific items. HCAHPS survey items complement the data hospitals currently collect to support improvements in internal customer services and quality-related activities. 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).