Survey Administration

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 the patient survey be administered?

The survey is administered on an annual basis. For Performance Year 2019, the survey will be administered from October 2019 to January 2020.

The patient survey includes the core questions contained in the CAHPS Clinician & Group Survey (Version 3.0.), 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 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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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. Shared Savings Program ACOs can find additional information regarding beneficiary communication on the Shared Savings Program ACO 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 changes will CMS make to the survey for Performance Year 2019?

CMS adopted a streamlined version of the survey in 2018, and a description of those revisions can be found here. CMS continues to offer a single survey version for the Performance Year 2019 survey administration. While no survey content has changed for 2019, two survey measures move to pay for reporting status in 2019: Courteous and Helpful Office Staff and Care Coordination. More information on survey content and the survey can be found on the Survey Instruments 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 Summer 2019.

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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 Summer 2019. The vendor authorization period will open in late July 2019. ACOs must authorize a vendor for the 2019 CAHPS for ACOs Survey by September 18, 2019, choosing from the 2019 final list of approved vendors. ACOs must communicate a vendor authorization each year.

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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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Where can I find a list of approved survey vendors?

You can find the final list of the 2019 approved survey vendors on the Approved Vendor List page.

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My ACO entered into a Shared Savings Program or Next Generation Model agreement on July 1, 2019. Does my ACO need to report CAHPS for Performance Year 2019?

Yes, ACOs with agreement start dates of July 1, 2019 are required to authorize a CMS approved survey vendor to administer the CAHPS for ACOs Survey and report CAHPS data to CMS.

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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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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 beneficiaries assigned to the ACO.

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

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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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