Health Plan Survey

The CAHPS Health Plan Survey is a tool for collecting standardized information on enrollees' experiences with health plans and their services. Since its launch in 1997, this survey has become the national standard for measuring and reporting on the experiences of consumers with their health plans. A version of this survey is conducted in almost every State in the U.S.

Read about the Health Plan Survey

The NQF-endorsed Health Plan Survey includes standardized questionnaires and optional supplemental items that can be administered to adults and children in commercial plans and Medicaid plans and programs. Version 5.0 of the Health Plan Survey was released in 2012. To be accredited by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, health plans must submit the results of a modified version of the commercial questionnaire. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services also administers a version of the CAHPS Health Plan Survey designed for Medicare beneficiaries.

Get Health Plan Survey and Instructions

You can download for free everything you need to conduct the Health Plan Survey:

  • The Medicaid and commercial questionnaires for adults and children.
  • Supplemental items that you can add to your questionnaire.
  • Guidance on administering the survey and preparing the data for analysis.
  • SAS®-based analysis programs and instructions for analyzing survey results.
  • Guidance on reporting survey results and using the information to improve performance.

Compare Health Plan Survey Data

Using Health Plan Survey results submitted by survey sponsors around the country, the CAHPS Database reports aggregated data that you can use to:

  • Assess the overall performance of different kinds of health plans and
  • Analyze the performance of a single health plan relative to appropriate benchmarks.

Improve Enrollees' Experiences with Health Plans

You can use the results of the Health Plan Survey to identify opportunities for improvement and track progress towards goals. Resources available to inform and support the improvement process include the CAHPS Improvement Guide, recorded Webcasts, presentations, and case studies.

Report Health Plan Survey Scores to Consumers

The results of the CAHPS Health Plan Survey can be shared with consumers as well as health plans and other audiences. You can report:

  • Composite measures, which combine two or more related survey items into a single indicator, and
  • Ratings, which represent a score on a scale of 0 to 10.

Available resources include guidance on reporting CAHPS scores to consumers, presentations, and examples of consumer-oriented reports.

Page last reviewed May 2016
Page originally created October 2011
Internet Citation: Health Plan Survey. Content last reviewed May 2016. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.