The following blog post was written by Sara Cruz, Research Associate at RMS.

Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) standardized surveys are designed to help health care organizations use data collected from patients to identify strengths and areas of improvement, as well as track the improvement of quality care over time.

CAHPS surveys focus on assessing the patient experience, which can include how timely a patient is able to see a medical provider, how easily a patient receives information, and how often a patient communicates with a health care provider. Gathering data in categories related to the patient experience allows a medical organization to assess how the organization is perceived when a patient seeks and receives medical care.

Results from the surveys can be used by organizations to create and implement action steps to improve patient experience and quality care.

There are several CAHPS lines and some are mandated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). If a CAHPS line is mandated and the organization is not exempt from participation, the results can be used for reporting, value-based payment, and/or to maintain the ability to receive their full Annual Payment Update. All surveys officially designated as CAHPS surveys have been approved by the CAHPS Consortium, which is overseen by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Some CAHPS results are publicly reported, but participation in the CAHPS database is voluntary. Participation in the database has its benefits, including being able to benchmark against other organizations. Simply stated, benchmarking means an organization can see how they measure up in comparison to other similar organizations.

For CAHPS surveys that are mandated, there are strict guidelines to follow for every step of the process, protocols for reporting, and priorities for patient privacy. That’s where an experienced approved CAHPS survey vendor comes in.

Here at Research & Marketing Strategies, we are an approved CMS CAHPS vendor. We have a dedicated Healthcare division that specializes in CAHPS administration and reporting. If you are interested in learning more about RMS as your CAHPS vendor, contact our Vice President of Corporate Development, Sandy Baker at or by calling 1-866-567-5422.