Survey Administration

What changes will CMS make to the survey for the 2017 reporting period?

CMS will make no changes to the survey for the 2017 reporting period, and will continue to offer two survey versions. The two survey versions can be found on the Survey Instruments page.

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Can our ACO supplement the sample CMS selects to generate clinician-level results?

No. Oversampling may be considered as an option in the future.

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When will the patient survey be administered?

The survey is administered on an annual basis. For the 2017 reporting period, the survey will be administered from November 2017 to February 2018.

The patient survey includes the core questions contained in the CAHPS Clinician & Group Survey (Version 2.0.), plus additional questions:

The patient survey measures:

  • Access to and use of specialist care
  • Experience with care coordination
  • Patient involvement with decision-making
  • Experience with a health care team
  • Health promotion and patient education
  • Patient functional status
  • General health

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Can ACOs notify beneficiaries that they may be asked to participate in the CAHPS for ACOs Survey?

Yes. If an ACO chooses to inform beneficiaries that they may be asked to participate in the survey, the ACO must notify all Fee-for-Service Medicare beneficiaries assigned to that ACO using the CMS-approved template. Next Generation ACOs can find the appropriate template on the Next Generation Model Connect Site.

Shared Savings Program ACOs may find the appropriate template here and on the Shared Savings Program Portal.

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Who pays to administer the patient survey?

ACOs are responsible for the cost of administering their patient survey.

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What is the source of beneficiary phone numbers provided by CMS?

Beneficiary phone numbers are sourced from a matching service. For this reason, we are unable to provide matches for 100% of beneficiaries.

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When will my vendor be made aware that I have completed the survey vendor authorization process?

Vendors should not expect notification of their participating ACOs prior to the vendor authorization process deadline.

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How do I authorize a vendor?

ACOs communicate their vendor authorization via a web-based tool, and all ACOs will receive instructions for vendor authorization in July 2017. The vendor authorization period will open when the final list of vendors approved for 2017 survey administration is posted (late July 2017). ACOs must authorize a vendor for the 2017 CAHPS for ACOs Survey by September 19, 2017, choosing from the 2017 final list of approved vendors. ACOs must communicate a vendor authorization each year.

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Where can I find a list of approved survey vendors?

You can find the final list of the 2017 approved survey vendors on the Approved Vendor List page.

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I authorized my vendor last year. Do I still need to complete the vendor authorization process, even if using the same vendor?

Yes, ACOs must authorize a survey vendor every year, even if using the same vendor year to year. ACOs communicate their vendor authorization via a web-based tool, and all ACOs will receive instructions for vendor authorization in July 2017.

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What is the ACO’s responsibility in monitoring their survey vendor?

The ACO is responsible for assuring that the contracted vendor delivers the services according to the contract. The CAHPS for ACOs Survey Project Team reviews the vendor’s Quality Assurance Plan and conducts site visits on behalf of CMS. These activities do not replace the ACO’s role in monitoring their vendor contract.

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How many patients seen by our ACO will be sampled?

We anticipate sampling 860 patients per year. We may adjust this number based on the survey’s response.

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How will CMS select a sample of patients seen by our ACO? Which of our ACO’s patients will be sampled?

We will select a random sample of people with fee-for-service Medicare who got primary care services from your ACO. However, we will limit the sample to beneficiaries age 18 and older, who are known not to be institutionalized or deceased.

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Who identifies which patients are eligible to be used in the survey?

We will identify beneficiaries eligible for the survey from the pool of Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) beneficiaries assigned to the ACO.

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Survey Measures and Reporting

Will the survey provide clinician-level results?

No. The survey will generate results and scores at the ACO level.

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What format will the results be in?

You’ll get both narrative reports and an Excel workbook of scores based on the survey data.

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