Using CAHPS Health Plan Survey Data
A version of the CAHPS Health Plan Survey is conducted in almost every State in the U.S. Sponsors of this survey include health plans, private purchasers, State agencies that purchase and regulate healthcare, and Federal agencies, such as the Department of Defense and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
These organizations use the Health Plan Survey for several purposes:
- To monitor and reward health plan performance.
- To inform consumers about enrollee experience with health plans.
- To improve enrollee experience.
Monitor and Reward Health Plan Performance
Many organizations use CAHPS Health Plan Survey data to track and compare the performance of individual health plans and different kinds of health plans. Included among these organizations are purchasers that incorporate the survey scores into value-based purchasing programs.
To support these efforts, AHRQ offers access to aggregated survey results in the CAHPS Data Tools, which includes annual Chartbooks. These aggregated results are based on data voluntarily submitted by survey sponsors. Comparative data are available for the past two years. Annual Chartbooks are available dating back to 2013.
Inform Consumers About Enrollee Experience with Health Plans
Various State and Federal government agencies, private purchasers, and community organizations report health plan survey scores to consumers to support informed decisionmaking. AHRQ offers specific guidance on reporting the results of CAHPS surveys as well as more comprehensive guidance on reporting quality information to consumers in TalkingQuality.
Improve Enrollee Experience
Many health plans use their Health Plan Survey results to identify strengths and weaknesses in their performance and then assess the impact of interventions to improve enrollees' experiences in specific areas. Several resources are available to support health plans in this effort.
The CAHPS Ambulatory Care Improvement Guide
The CAHPS Ambulatory Care Improvement Guide is a comprehensive resource for health plans seeking to analyze and improve their performance in the domains of quality measured by the CAHPS Health Plan Survey.
Presentations on Improving Enrollee Experience
AHRQ hosts meetings and webcasts to share insights, findings, and best practices related to improving enrollee experience with health plans.
- Research Meeting: Advancing Methods of Implementing and Evaluating Patient Experience Improvement Using CAHPS® Surveys (October 2020)
- Quigley DD, Qureshi N, Rybowski L, Shaller D, Edgman-Levitan S, Cleary PD, Ginsberg C, Hays RD. Summary of the 2020 AHRQ Research Meeting on "Advancing Methods of Implementing and Evaluating Patient Experience Improvement Using Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) Surveys". Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics & Outcomes Research. May 2002. DOI: 10.1080/14737167.2022.2064848.
- Summary of the presentations at the October 2020 research meeting on patient experience improvement methods.
- Webcast: Improving Patient Experience in Large Organizations
- Webcast: Lessons From Healthcare Organizations on Improving Patient Experience
- Webcast: Strategies for Improving CAHPS Health Plan Survey Scores
- Webcast: Excelling on CAHPS: Lessons from Top-Performing Medicaid and CHIP Health Plans
- Webcast: Using the CAHPS Database to Compare, Report, and Improve Organizational Performance
Case Studies on Improving Enrollee Experience
Improving Customer Service at Health Share of Oregon (PDF, 279 KB). This case study discusses the strategies implemented by Health Share of Oregon, a coordinated care organization serving Medicaid recipients, to ensure that its customer service staff understand and meet the needs of its members. Health Share of Oregon was selected for this case study because of its high scores on the "Health Plan Customer Service" composite measure in the CAHPS Health Plan Survey as well as its improvement in one of the two survey items.
Improving Performance for Health Plan Customer Service (PDF, 1 MB). This case study focuses on the successful quality improvement methods employed by a health plan to improve customer service for its members.