12/18/2014

Welcome


Welcome to the Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan (MA & PDP) CAHPS Web site. Check back frequently to review updated information. The Home Page of the MA & PDP CAHPS Web site contains an overview of the program. Topics include program background, data collection overview, public reporting and use of the Medicare CAHPS survey data, information about the survey, information for participation, contact information, and internet citation.

Return to Top

Background


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is committed to measuring and reporting information from the consumer perspective for Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) contracts. The Medicare Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) surveys are a set of surveys sponsored by CMS that collect information to fulfill a requirement of Congress (under the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 and Medicare Modernization Act of 2003). The surveys provide information to Medicare beneficiaries on the quality of health services provided through MA and Medicare and Part D programs. Consumer evaluations of health care, such as those collected through the Medicare CAHPS® surveys, measure important aspects of a patient's experience that cannot be assessed by other means.

The surveys have been rigorously developed and tested to assess the experiences of beneficiaries who receive health care through the Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS), MA and PDP programs. The Medicare CAHPS Surveys are part of the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) initiative, a family of surveys developed by a consortium of researchers from American Institutes for Research, Harvard Medical School, the RAND Corporation, and RTI International under a cooperative agreement between CMS and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), a component of the U.S. Public Health Service. For more information about the CAHPS Project, please go to https://www.cahps.ahrq.gov.

Return to Top

Data Collection Overview


Since 1998, CMS has conducted the Medicare CAHPS surveys annually with a sample of Medicare beneficiaries at least 18 years of age, currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage contract for six months or longer, and who live in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Surveys of beneficiaries enrolled in FFS were added in 2001 and surveys of PDP enrollees were added in 2007. Traditionally, CMS has paid for all data collection activities and has contracted with a single contractor for data collection. Beginning in 2011, CMS required all MA and PDP contracts with at least 600 enrollees to contract with approved survey vendors to collect and report CAHPS survey data following a specific timeline and protocols established by CMS. The CAHPS surveys will be conducted at the contract level for Medicare Advantage only (MA), Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MA-PD), and Stand-Alone Prescription Drug plans (PDPs). CMS will provide the sample for each contract. The Medicare CAHPS surveys will continue to be conducted on an annual basis.

Return to Top

Public Reporting and Use of the Medicare CAHPS Survey Data


The Medicare CAHPS surveys produce comparable data on the patient's experience of care that allow objective and meaningful comparisons between MA and PDP contracts on domains that are important to consumers. The survey data are publicly reported by contract. The results from the Medicare CAHPS surveys are published in the Medicare & You handbook and on the Medicare Options Compare Web site (www.medicare.gov). Public reporting of the survey results is designed to create incentives for contracts to improve their quality of care and also serves to enhance public accountability in health care by increasing the transparency of the quality of care provided by Medicare contracts. The measures derived from the surveys are used by beneficiaries to help choose a MA or PDP contract, help contracts identify areas for quality improvement, and allow the public and research community to assess Medicare program performance. Medicare administrators and policymakers also rely on the measures to manage the program; devise, implement, and monitor quality improvement efforts; and make policy decisions.

Return to Top

About the Survey


The 2014 Medicare CAHPS Survey includes three versions of the questionnaire: Medicare Advantage (MA-only), Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan (MA-PD), and Stand-Alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (PDP). Although all three versions have a nearly identical set of core questions, each version also includes additional questions and response categories related to the enrollees' experiences in their own particular contract type.

The MA-only questionnaire includes the following domains: Your Healthcare in the Last 6 Months, Your Personal Doctor, Getting Healthcare from Specialists, Your Health Plan, Your Medicare Rights, and About You.

The MA-PD questionnaire includes the following domains: Your Healthcare in the Last 6 Months, Your Personal Doctor, Getting Healthcare from Specialists, Your Health Plan, Your Medicare Rights, Your Prescription Drug Plan, and About You.

The PDP questionnaire includes the following domains: Your Prescription Drug Plan, and About You.

Many of the items in the questionnaires are preceded by screener questions, so that only those beneficiaries for whom the item is relevant (i.e., those with relevant needs or experiences) are asked to answer those questions.

For scoring and reporting purposes, some questions are combined into the following 7 composite measures:

  • Ease of Getting Needed Care and Seeing Specialists
  • Getting Appointments and Care Quickly
  • Doctors Who Communicate Well
  • Coordination of Members' Health Care Services
  • Health Plan Provides Information or Help When Members Need It
  • Ease of Getting Prescriptions Filled When Using the Plan (MA-PD and PDP)
  • Drug Plan Provides Information or Help When Members Need It (MA-PD and PDP)

The Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan CAHPS Survey is administered using only a mixed mode data collection protocol that includes two survey mailings and telephone follow-up of non-respondents to the mailed questionnaire.

Return to Top

Survey Vendor Participation


To participate in MA & PDP CAHPS Data Collection, all survey vendors must meet certain Survey Program Minimum Business Requirements and must be in compliance with the protocols in the Medicare CAHPS Survey Quality Assurance Protocols & Technical Specifications. In addition, survey vendors must submit a Participation Application Form to the MA & PDP CAHPS Project Team annually for approval.

Please note: At a minimum, a survey vendor's Project Manager, Mail Survey Supervisor and Telephone Survey Supervisor are required to participate in the Medicare CAHPS Training. MA and PDP contracts are not required to attend training.

View or download a copy of the Minimum Business Requirements.

Return to Top

To Provide Comments or Ask Questions


  • For information and technical assistance, contact the MA & PDP CAHPS Project Team via email at MA-PDPCAHPS@HCQIS.org or by calling toll free at 1-877-735-8882.
  • To communicate with CMS staff, please email: MP-CAHPS@cms.hhs.gov
Return to Top

Internet Citation


Please use the following citation when referencing material on this web site.
[www.MA-PDPCAHPS.org] Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Baltimore, MD. Month, Date, Year the page was accessed. www.MA-PDPCAHPS.org,

Return to Top

Helpful Link


For information about the availability of auxiliary aids and services, please visit:
http://www.medicare.gov/about-us/nondiscrimination/nondiscrimination-notice.html.

Top of Page



This page was last modified on 11/24/2014