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 or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at