Archive for the ‘CAHPS’ Category


With patient-centered healthcare on the rise, CAHPS® surveys are more prevalent now than ever before. Being such an essential aspect of your organization’s success, how do you go about deciding which CMS-approved CAHPS vendor to partner with for your surveying? If you’re in the position of participating in any of the CAHPS surveys, here are some factors you should look for in a prospective vendor:

Partnership – Whether it’s your first time conducting CAHPS surveys or the tenth time, a prospective vendor should be willing and able to walk you through the process in its entirety. It’s important to feel confident and prepared in how the surveying works and what your organization can expect from the beginning of the engagement all the way through to the final survey reporting. A vendor worth choosing will be readily available to answer your questions.

Transparency – It’s important that a vendor is very clear and honest about their capabilities since your scores will be publicly reported. Providing references for a prospective client is a good show of their reputation amongst current clients. Vendors willing to provide this information really do want you to call and hear actual testimonies from happy CAHPS clients.

High Response Rates – Proven high response rates are what vendors, as well as organizations, strive for. Be sure the prospective vendor can provide statistically sound response rates for each modality.

Pricing – While pricing is a huge factor in selecting a vendor, be sure to compare past the initial number. Low price isn’t necessarily bad just like a high price isn’t necessarily good – take the time to look into what is included in that price, such as set-up cost, languages, and reporting.

Reporting Capabilities –Trained analysts who will prepare and submit your data accurately and promptly is more than a cherry on top when participating in surveying. Ask for a sample report to understand what you can expect.

Consulting/Analyzing the Data – Do you ever wonder what you’re supposed to do with the data your vendor collected? Be sure that they offer you recommendations and strategies for improvements across the board.

On-site Offerings – There’s a comfort in knowing that the vendor you’re partnering with has quality control over the surveying. Look for a vendor with some internal control, such as a call center. On-site call centers with live-dialing can help increase telephone-mode responses.

Multiple Survey Mode Capabilities – Choosing a survey modality is crucial. A good survey vendor will offer all CMS-approved modes for you to choose from. Though they will offer suggestions, it’s up to you to choose what works best for your patients and your pocket.

Portal Access – Seek out a vendor who can offer you real-time, interactive access to your data at any time. Continually follow how your organization is doing by tracking your patient’s responses question-by-question. Online portals should also allow you to compare your organization to the nationwide CAHPS data.

Dedicated CAHPS Team – Chances are the initial person you speak with won’t be the one handling your surveying. Be sure the prospective vendor has a team solely dedicated to your CAHPS surveying.

Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) is a full service marketing and market research and consulting firm located in Baldwinsville, NY. As an approved CAHPS Vendor, the team is responsible for several aspects of the CAHPS Survey Administrations including the following product lines: ACO CAHPS®, ED CAHPS®, CG CAHPS®, HCAHPS®, HHCAHPS®, Hospice CAHPS®, ICH CAHPS®, PQRS CAHPS® and OAS CAHPS®. To learn more about our healthcare services, contact Christine Benn at ChristineB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at RMSresults.com.


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The following post was written by Samadhi Moreno, Healthcare Research Associate at RMS.


I recently listened to a new AHRQ Podcast on the common concerns and misconceptions regarding the CAHPS surveys. The title of the podcast series was “CAHPS Surveys: Sorting Fact from Fiction” by Rebecca Anhang-Price.

CAHPS results are used for pay per performance measures and are publicly reported to encourage consumer’s involvement in their healthcare and promote quality improvement initiatives. Survey results impact reimbursement, so it is important to understand the common misconceptions providers may have regarding CAHPS surveys.

Some of the important points of the podcast include:

  • It is a common misconception that patient surveys do not provide valid information about care quality. The Institute of Medicine identifies patient centeredness as an important element of quality of care. The CAHPS surveys offer valid and reliable data to measure patient centeredness and patient experience.
  • CAHPS surveys measure patient experience, which is an important factor in quality of care that can only be measured by patient surveys. Good patient experience is correlated with good clinical outcomes, and is the reason CAHPS surveys are used for payment programs and performance measures.
  • CAHPS Survey offer patients an opportunity to voice their opinions. The results in contrast, help patients choose a provider based on the experience of care.
  • There seems to be a common misconception on whether patients are “knowledgeable” enough to report good care. However, if we take a look at the CAHPS surveys, these instruments ask patients to report on their experience of care. Patients are the best source for this type of information because they experience the care first hand. The CAHPS surveys do not assess any type of technical work, but rather complement existing technical measures.
  • Patient’s experience is not influenced by whether the physician chooses a treatment protocol that fulfills the patient desires, but focuses on how well the providers communicate about the treatment option chosen. There is no evidence that offering unnecessary care will increase CAHPS scores in providers.
  • There are certain strategies physicians can utilize to improve patient experience, such as:
    • Involving the patient in the decision making process
    • Discussing the context of the patient’s requests
    • Proposing alternatives to patient requests
  • Lastly, providers might be concerned with how the patient population served can affect the providers CAHPS scores. However, CAHPS scores included in the publically reported results are case-mix adjusted to account for the variation in the populations served by physicians.

Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) is a full service marketing and market research and consulting firm located in Baldwinsville, NY. As an approved CAHPS Vendor,  RMS’ Healthcare Department is composed of two divisions:(1) Healthcare Analytics and (2) Healthcare Practice Transformation. The Healthcare Analytics team is responsible for several aspects of the CAHPS Survey Administrations including the following product lines:  HCAHPS®, HH-CAHPS®, CG-CAHPS®, and ICH CAHPS®. The Practice Transformation team handles the coordination of quality initiatives to assist clients achieving Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) recognition. To learn more about our healthcare services, contact Sandy Baker, Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at www.RMSresults.com.

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