Tools for Quality Measurement: CAHPS(R)

Tools for Quality Measurement.

Tools for Quality Measurement


What is CAHPS®?
The CAHPS® project has developed a comprehensive set of easy-to use surveys and reporting tools for assessing the experience of care for children and adults in health care plans.

Who should use CAHPS® for quality measurement?
  • Employers or public agencies contracting with health plans can use CAHPS® data to assess how well plans are meeting performance standards.
  • Families can use CAHPS® to obtain the type of information needed to guide their selection of a plan in easily understood formats.
  • Plans can use CAHPS® data to assess their own performance and the performance of the medical groups with whom they contract.
  • Plans and medical groups can use CAHPS® data to identify priority areas for improvement.

What about CAHPS® is specific to children?
The most recent version of the CAHPS® questionnaires (CAHPS® 2.0) contains two components specific to children: the Child Core Survey (CCS) and the Child Supplemental questions. They can be used to assess the care children receive in any type of health care plan, including managed care and fee-for-service settings. This type of data makes plans more accountable to the needs of children, and it can help guide specific improvement initiatives for child health.

What kind of questions does CAHPS® ask related to children?
  • The CCS asks questions on specific plan features with detailed information such as access to care and quality of physician interaction with both parent and child.
  • Child health supplemental questions include questions for children with chronic conditions or disabilities and children who are Medicaid recipients.
  • Additional CAHPS® questionnaires are being designed for children with special health are needs and for adolescent self-reporting.

How is CAHPS® used by HEDIS?

CAHPS® is now required as part of the National Committee for Quality Assurance's Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set (HEDIS) reporting and accreditation. CAHPS® adds important information from the patients' perspective.

HEDIS is a set of standardized performance measures collected by managed care plans designed to ensure that the purchasers and consumers have the information they need to reliably compare the performance of managed health care plans.


Where can you get additional resources?
  • The CAHPS® 2.0 Survey and Reporting Kit can be obtained from AHRQ CAHPS® Downloading Information. It contains:
    1. Set of questionnaires that evaluate consumers' experiences with their health plans.
    2. Statistical Analysis Systems (SAS) program to analyze the data.
    3. Sample formats for reporting results to consumers.
    4. Handbook to help implement the surveys and produce the reports.
  • The CAHPS® 2.0 Kit is available from the the AHRQ Clearinghouse: Call toll free 800-358-9295 and ask for Publication Number 99-0039.
  • Select for CAHPS® 2.0 Questionnaires. If you wish to use the CAHPS® 2.0 Questionnaires or other products, you are strongly urged to contact the Survey User Network. Call toll-free 800-492-9261 in the United States, register as a CAHPS® user, and inquire about technical assistance.
  • Select for online version of the Consumer Assessment of Health Plans (CAHPS®) Overview.
Page last reviewed February 2000
Internet Citation: Tools for Quality Measurement: CAHPS(R). February 2000. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/quality-patient-safety/quality-resources/tools/tqmcahpsim/index.html