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 and Next Generation ACO Model meet their requirement to measure patient experience of care.

The yearly CAHPS for ACOs Survey collects data through survey mailings and follow-up phone calls to non-respondents to measure the ten required patient experience-of-care summary survey measures included in the 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.

Next Generation 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

  • The vendor application period for the 2021 survey administration was open from April 5, 2021 to April 26, 2021.
  • The final list of approved vendors for the 2021 survey administration is now available on the Approved Vendor List page.

For Next Generation ACOs

  • Have questions about your Next Generation ACO’s responsibility for survey administration? Visit our Next Generation ACO Model page.
  • All Next Generation ACOs must select a CMS-approved CAHPS for ACOs Survey vendor. Next Generation ACOs must complete the 2021 CAHPS for ACOs Survey vendor authorization process, which will open in Summer 2021. Each Next Generation ACO participating in the CAHPS for ACOs Survey will receive information about how to access the electronic vendor authorization in Summer 2021. Next Generation ACOs must select a vendor from the final list of 2021 CMS approved survey vendors.

More information

  • Learn about accountable care organizations by visiting the Next Generation ACO Model page.
  • Learn more about the set of CAHPS surveys and find a link to reports by visiting our CAHPS page.

The CAHPS for ACOs Survey allows Next Generation 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 Next Generation 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. The Model will consist of three initial performance years and two optional one-year extensions.
  • The CAHPS Survey for ACOs captures the core CG-CAHPS Survey plus the Summary Survey Measures that are part of the Next Generation ACO quality standard.
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

  • Stewardship of Patient Resources
CG CAHPS Supplemental - Scored
ACO 45-46
  • Courteous & Helpful Office Staff
  • Care Coordination
Please refer to Appendix F-2 of the Quality Assurance Guidelines Version 2021 for a list of CAHPS Summary Survey Measures (SSMs) and the survey item(s) included in the measure.

The survey 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 above for steps on becoming an approved CAHPS for ACOs Survey Vendor.

The sample survey (mail version) for performance year 2021 is now available. 

Click here for information about training for survey vendors.

The survey administration protocols are contained in the CAHPS Survey for MIPS and Next Generation Model Quality Assurance Guidelines Version 2021.