Patient Experience Surveying/Reporting: CG-CAHPS & Practice Level

About the CAHPS Survey

Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) surveys ask consumers and patients to report on and evaluate their experiences with health care. These surveys cover topics that are important to consumers and focus on aspects of quality that consumers are best qualified to assess, such as the communication skills of providers and ease of access to healthcare services.

CG-CAHPS Surveys

The CAHPS Clinician & Group Surveys (CG-CAHPS) ask patients about their recent experiences with clinicians and their office staff. The Clinician & Group Surveys include standardized questionnaires and optional supplemental items for adults as well as children and can be implemented in primary care or specialty care. You can read more about CG-CAHPS surveys, and survey implementation at your practice HERE.

CG-CAHPS and Current Public Reporting

The Maine Health Management Coalition’s (MHMC) Pathways to Excellence (PTE) Program currently publicly reports CG-CAHPS data results, at the practice level, on its public reporting website, GetBetterMaine.org. The source of data for this reporting is received via the National CAHPS Database. If your practice and/or health system does CG-CAHPS surveying, using a CG-CAHPS verified survey (version 2.0 or 3.0), via a CG-CAHPS certified vendor, you may submit your data to the National CAHPS Database and allow the MHMC’s PTE Program to use your data for public reporting.

CG-CAHPS data results were first publicly reported on July 1, 2014 on the GetBetterMaine.org website for practices that participated in the Dirigo Health Agency/Maine Quality Forum (DHA/MQF) Patient Experience Matters initiative for survey year 2012, or those that voluntarily allowed the MHMC to obtain their results from the National CAHPS Database for survey year 2013. Since this time, the MHMC has updated this data, as available, for practices that have submitted their data to the National CAHPS Database and allowed the MHMC access to it.

For information about how CG-CAHPS data is computed to PTE ratings for practices, please see our Adult or Pediatric Practice Rating Methodologies by visiting the Download PTE Materials page.

Survey Results via Independent Surveying of Health Systems and Practices

If your practice has appeared on GetBetterMaine.org with a score in CG-CAHPS/Patient Experience Reporting in the past, or if you are new to this surveying and would like your practice reported, you must complete the steps described in the next section of this communication. The MHMC’s PTE Program is unable to accept data directly from practices. Only data submitted to the MHMC’s PTE Program from the National CAHPS Database, with your organization’s explicit permission, will be accepted.

Please note that if you do not authorize the MHMC’s PTE Program access to your data from survey year 2016, you may be reported with a score of “Did Not Report” on our public facing website, GetBetterMaine.org.

1. Ensure that your CG-CAHPS vendor is submitting your data to the National CAHPS Database (for important information about why you should submit your data to the National CAHPS Database, download this form).

While many survey vendors have previously done this submission process for their clients voluntarily, more are only doing this in regions where programs like the MHMC’s exist if practices explicitly request their vendor to do so. Please contact your survey vendor directly to ensure that your survey data from 2016 will be submitted to the National CAHPS Database during the submission period. Please DO NOT assume that the vendor is voluntarily doing this on your behalf; please contact them directly and confirm!

The submission period for data is February 20 – March 3, 2017. All required items must be submitted no later than March 3, 2017. At the following link, you will find all the information you need to ensure that your data from 2016 is submitted to the National CAHPS Database: https://cahpsdatabase.ahrq.gov/CGDSS/login.aspx.

2. Once you have ensured that your CG-CAHPS data is being submitted to the National CAHPS Database, one item to be submitted is the DUA that each participating organization is required to sign and submit. Within this DUA there is an additional page (page 5) entitled: “AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF CAHPS CLINICIAN & GROUP (CG-CAHPS) SURVEY DATA IN COALITION REPORTS”. This page must be completed (please see item #2 on this page: “2. Maine Health Management Coalition”). Completion of this page by a practice/health system authorizes the National CAHPS Database to release 2016 survey year data to the MHMC’s PTE Program. If a DUA is submitted, and the “Authorization for Use of CAHPS Clinicians Group (CG-CAHPS) Survey Data in Coalition Reports” is not submitted, the MHMC will not receive your data and will be unable to publicly report your results. Please Note: There is a version of the DUA that does not include the “Authorization for Use of CAHPS Clinician Group (CG-CAHPS) Survey Data in Coalition Reports” page. Please make sure to complete the version of the DUA that contains this form if you intend to share your data with the MHMC. The correct version of the DUA is linked above.

CG-CAHPS Survey Vendors

For practices participating in CG-CAHPS Surveying for the first time, you will need to have an “approved” survey vendor. “Approved” vendors are those vendors that are CMS-approved to conduct a CAHPS Survey (e.g., HCAHPS, ACO, etc.) or certified by NCQA. If your practice is affiliated with a hospital system, it is likely that they already have a CAHPS approved vendor through mandatory HCAHPS reporting for hospitals. For information on approved CG-CAHPS vendors, please click HERE.

Questions Regarding CAHPS and CG-CAHPS?

For practices looking for technical assistance regarding the CAHPS database, please email the CAHPS Help Line at CAHPSDatabase@Westat.com or call 1-888-808-7108.