About the Survey

The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) Survey for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) lets accountable care organizations participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (Shared Savings Program ACOs) and Next Generation ACO Model meet their requirement to measure patient experience of care.

The yearly CAHPS Survey for ACOs collects data through a survey mailing and a follow-up phone call to non-respondents to measure the seven required patient experience-of-care summary survey measures included in the Medicare Shared Savings Program and Next Generation ACO Model. CAHPS ask patients about the interpersonal aspects of health care—aspects for which patients may be the best, if not the only source of information, and areas that patients have identified as being important to them.

ACOs are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers, who come together voluntarily to give coordinated high quality care to their Medicare patients.

For vendors

  • Vendor Registration for the 2017 CAHPS for ACOs Survey is now closed. We anticipate the next application period to become a CAHPS for ACOs Survey vendor will be in Spring 2018. For more information, please contact the CAHPS for ACOs Survey Technical Assistance Email at acocahps@HCQIS.org

  • The final list of approved vendors for 2017 survey administration will be posted in late July.

For ACOs

  • Have questions about your ACO’s responsibility for survey administration? Visit our Shared Savings Program and Next Generation ACO Model pages.
  • All ACOs must select a CMS approved CAHPS for ACOs Survey vendor. ACOs must complete the 2017 CAHPS for ACOs Survey vendor authorization process, which will open in late July. The survey vendor authorization process must be completed no later than September 19, 2017. Each ACO participating in the CAHPS for ACOs Survey will receive information about how to access the electronic vendor registration in July 2017. ACOs must select a vendor from the final list of 2017 CMS approved survey vendors, to be posted in late July 2017.

More information

The CAHPS Survey for ACOs participating in Medicare Initiatives will be carried out yearly. The first surveys were collected in 2013 for the 2012 reporting period.

The survey administration allows two types of ACOs to meet their requirement to measure patient experience of care:

  • Next Generation ACO Model. CMS launched this new ACO model in 2016, partnering with ACOs that are experienced in coordinating care for populations of patients and whose provider groups are ready to assume higher levels of financial risk and reward. This is in accordance with the Administration’s goal of tying 30 percent of traditional, or fee-for-service, Medicare payments to alternative payment models, such as ACOs, by the end of 2016 -- and 50 percent by the end of 2018. Next Generation ACOs are selected through an open and competitive process and 2018 application materials and information are available now.
  • Shared Savings Program. This national program aims to help health care providers coordinate care to improve overall quality of care for Medicare Fee-for-Service beneficiaries. This program accepts applications each year from organizations to become a Shared Savings Program ACO.

CMS has provided two versions of the CAHPS for ACOs Survey to assess patient experience for ACOs in reporting period 2017: ACO-9 and ACO-12.

  • The ACO-9 survey captures the core CG-CAHPS Survey plus the Summary Survey Measures that are part of the ACO quality standard and were finalized in the Shared Savings Program final rule.
Measure SSM Content Source
ACO 1-7
  • Getting Timely Care, Appointments & Information
  • How Well Your Providers Communicate
  • Patient's Rating of Provider
  • Access to Specialists
  • Health Promotion and Education
  • Shared Decision Making
  • Health Status & Functional Status

CG CAHPS Core,
CG CAHPS Supplemental,
Program Specific - Scored

ACO-34
  • Stewardship of Patient Resources
CG CAHPS Supplemental - Scored

CG-CAHPS CORE requirement
  • Courteous & Helpful Office Staff
CG CAHPS Core - Not part of ACO Quality Score

 

  • ACO-12 is the survey that was used to measure reporting periods 2012, 2013 and has been an optional survey version since the 2014 reporting period.
Measure SSM Content Source
ACO 1-7
  • Getting Timely Care, Appointments & Information
  • How Well Your Providers Communicate
  • Patient's Rating of Provider
  • Access to Specialists
  • Health Promotion and Education
  • Shared Decision Making
  • Health Status & Functional Status

CG CAHPS Core, CG CAHPS Supplemental, Program Specific - Scored

ACO-34
  • Stewardship of Patient Resources
CG CAHPS Supplemental - Scored
CG-CAHPS CORE requirement
  • Courteous & Helpful Office Staff
CG CAHPS Core - Not part of ACO Quality Score
Additional SSMs
  • Care Coordination
  • Between Visit Communication
  • Helping you Take Medications as Directed
CAHPS Supplemental,
Program Specific items - Not part of ACO Quality Score


ACOs contracting with an approved vendor for reporting period 2017 data collection have the option of using either the ACO-9 or ACO-12 survey. The CAHPS for ACOs Data Warehouse will accept data for both versions of the survey.

The two survey versions can be found on the Survey Instruments page.

The survey is administered through a Mixed-Mode data collection protocol:

  • CMS pre-notification letter
  • Two survey mailings
  • Up to six follow-up phone call(s) to non-respondents
Click the Survey Vendor Participation Process for New Vendors link below for steps on becoming an approved CAHPS for ACOs Survey Vendor.

Survey Instruments for the 2016 reporting period.

Click here for information about training for survey vendors.
The survey administration protocols are contained in the CAHPS for ACOs Survey Quality Assurance Guidelines