C5. Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems – Health Plan Measures


Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS)

In 2016, Version 5.0 was released.

The information below pertains to Version 4.0:

IBHC Measure PDF

The CAHPS Health Plan Survey is a tool for collecting standardized information on enrollees' experiences with health plans and their services. 

January 2009
Relevant Submeasures

The domains listed below include all relevant domains from adult and children’s surveys, including supplemental modules.

a.     Getting care quickly

b.     Getting needed care

c.     How well doctors communicate

d.     From item set for children with chronic conditions

  • Parents’ experience getting specialized services for their child
  • Parents’ experience with getting needed information about their child's care
  • Parents’ experience with prescription medicines
  • Parents’ experience with shared decisionmaking
  • Parents’ experience with the child’s personal doctor or nurse
  • Parents’ experiences with coordination of their child’s care 
Format/Data Source

The CAHPS 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. 

Development and Testing

The CAHPS Health Plan Survey has probably been tested more completely than any previously used consumer survey.

There are two different and complementary approaches to assessing the reliability and validity of a questionnaire: (1) cognitive testing, which bases its assessments on feedback from interviews with people who are asked to react to the survey questions; and (2) psychometric testing, which bases its assessments on the analysis of data collected by using the questionnaire. Although many existing consumer questionnaires about health care have been tested primarily or exclusively using a psychometric approach, the CAHPS team views the combination of cognitive and psychometric approaches as essential to producing the best possible survey instruments. Consequently, both methods have been included in the development of the CAHPS survey.

Past or Validated Applications
  • Setting. Health care plans
  • Population. Health care plan consumers
  • Level of evaluation. Health system

The contract that supports the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) program expired on June 27, 2012. This will result in a delay in updating the data that compose the CAHPS Database for the SECOND HALF OF CALENDAR YEAR 2012. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is now working to award a new CAHPS contract, and when it is in place, the benchmarking database will be updated with the latest data available, including data collected in 2012.

Copyright/Licensing Statement

All CAHPS surveys are in the public domain, which means that anyone can download and use these surveys to assess experiences with care. Users of CAHPS survey results include patients and consumers, quality monitors and regulators, provider organizations, health plans, community collaboratives, and public and private purchasers of health care. These individuals and organizations use the survey results to inform their decisions and to improve the quality of health care services.

Relevant Functional Domains From the Integration Framework