This blog post was written by our guest blogger Megan O’Donnell, Manager at Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) Healthcare Division.


The Affordable Care Act mandates that all eligible professionals in practices of two or more physicians, who are receiving payment for Medicare Part B fee-for-service under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS), participate in public reporting of patient experience with Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). The goal is to have clinical and patient experience data publicly available to Medicare beneficiaries, allowing for comparison between health care providers based on clinical and patient experience quality outcomes.

As part of the requirements for PQRS, practices with 100 or more physicians have included patient experience measures for calendar year 2013 and 2014. As of 2015, these practices will be required to contract with a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved survey vendor to administer the CAHPS for PQRS survey. Practices with two to 99 providers have the option of administering the CAHPS for PQRS survey, using an approved vendor, but are not required to do so at this time. Any practice that is required to, or chooses to administer the CAHPS for PQRS survey, must use one of the CMS-approved survey vendors.

CMS has currently provided conditional approval to survey vendors to conduct the CAHPS for PQRS survey on behalf of medical practices, including RMS – Research and Marketing Strategies, Inc. The following timeline of activities are anticipated for the CAHPS for PQRS survey administration for 2015:

JULY – survey vendor training (the final approval step for all survey vendors)

AUGUST – CMS posting of all survey vendors receiving final approval to administer the CAHPS for PQRS survey for 2015

SEPTEMBER – deadline for each group practice to authorize its CMS-approved survey vendor to administer the survey on behalf of its organization

NOVEMBER – beginning of survey administration process

FEBRUARY 2016 – end of survey administration process and submission of survey data to CMS by survey vendor

All dates are subject to change by CMS. Interested stakeholders can watch for additional details and information as it becomes available on our RMS blog or the official CAHPS for PQRS website.

RMS Healthcare is an approved vendor for the CAHPS® for PQRS surveying process. If you are interested in learning more about our survey services, please contact the Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy, Sandy Baker at or by calling 1-866-567-5422.