Submitting CAHPS Data

To participate in the CAHPS Database, participating organizations must meet certain requirements and submit specified information, including their survey data, through an online data submission system.

  • All participants (or their vendors) must register for an account to access the CAHPS Data Submission System.
  • All required information must be received during the submission period and approved by the CAHPS Database by the deadline.

Standards for CAHPS Health Plan and Clinician & Group Surveys

All submissions of CAHPS survey results to the CAHPS Database must comply with the following guidelines. Failure to follow these guidelines will result in your data not being included in the Database and may compromise our ability to provide you with a Private Feedback Report.

  • Survey instruments must include all core questions from the CAHPS survey. If you omit any of these questions, your data will be excluded from the overall and regional results.
  • Survey instruments must not alter the wording of any core questions. If you alter the wording, response options, or response values of these questions, your data will be excluded from the overall and regional results.
  • Survey instruments must not omit any of the survey items related to respondent characteristics. These items are used to adjust results for case mix. If you fail to provide this data, your results will not be included in the Database.
    • Characteristics for adults: Respondent's age, education, and self-reported health status.
    • Characteristics for children: Parent's age, parent's education, child's age, and parent's rating of child's health status

Submitting Health Plan Survey Data

Participation in the Health Plan component of the CAHPS Database is open to all Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Programs (CHIP), provided the questionnaires are administered independently and survey data is submitted according to CAHPS specifications.

Supported versions: The CAHPS Database supports the following versions of the CAHPS Health Plan Survey 5.0/5.0H:

  • Adult Medicaid
  • Child Medicaid (or CHIP) without the Children with Chronic Conditions Item Set
  • Child Medicaid (or CHIP) with the Children with Chronic Conditions Item Set

What to submit: To participate in the Health Plan Survey component, you must provide the CAHPS Database with the following elements:

  • Copy of CAHPS questionnaire used
  • Signed Data Use Agreement
  • Health plan characteristics and information
  • Data file in CSV format

The CAHPS Database will review and approve your questionnaire, Data Use Agreement, and data file. Learn more about submission requirements and submitting Health Plan data.

Submitting Clinician & Group Survey Data

Participation in the Clinician & Group component of the CAHPS Database is open to all health systems, medical groups, practices, clinicians, and vendors that administer surveys according to CAHPS specifications.

Supported versions: The CAHPS Database supports multiple versions of the Clinician & Group Survey.

What to submit: To participate in the Clinician & Group Survey component, you must provide the CAHPS Database with the following elements:

  • Copy of CAHPS questionnaire used
  • Signed Data Use Agreement
  • Practice site characteristics and information
  • Data file in ASCII/flat format

The CAHPS Database will review and approve your questionnaire, Data Use Agreement, and data file. Learn more about submission requirements and submitting Clinician & Group data.

Page last reviewed April 2018
Page originally created May 2012
Internet Citation: Submitting CAHPS Data. Content last reviewed April 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/cahps/cahps-database/submitting-data/index.html