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 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

  • The vendor application period for the 2019 survey administration is now closed.
  • The final list of approved vendors for the 2019 survey administration is now available on the Approved Vendor List  page.

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 2019 CAHPS for ACOs Survey vendor authorization process, which will open in Summer 2019. Each ACO participating in the CAHPS for ACOs Survey will receive information about how to access the electronic vendor authorization in Summer 2019. ACOs must select a vendor from the final list of 2019 CMS approved survey vendors.

More information

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

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. The Model will consist of three initial performance years and two optional one-year extensions.
  • 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 uses a single version of the CAHPS for ACOs Survey to assess patient experience for ACOs.

  • The ACO-CAHPS 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

  • Stewardship of Patient Resources
CG CAHPS Supplemental - Scored
ACO 45-46*
  • Courteous & Helpful Office Staff
  • Care Coordination

* Measure is pay for reporting for all ACOs in 2019 and 2020.

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.

Survey instruments for the 2019 performance year.

Click here for information about training for survey vendors.

The survey administration protocols are contained in the CAHPS for ACOs Survey Quality Assurance Guidelines