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Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS)

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Ambulatory Care  and Facility Surveys

Dataset Summary

The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) comprises a family of standardized surveys to assess patients’ experience with care in ambulatory and institutional settings.   The most well-known CAHPS product is the Health Plan Survey, which is widely used by a variety of private and public health plans for public reporting, accreditation, and quality monitoring.

Data from the CAHPS Health Plan Survey and the Hospital Survey are available to researchers following an application process.   The Health Plan Survey data contains information on patient experience with care from a large number of private and public health plans.  As of 2007, over 1000 hospitals submitted data from the Hospital Survey.  Information is also available about the characteristics of the health plans and hospitals participating in the surveys.

Dataset Details

Dataset owner / manager 

Funded and administered by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

Study and sample characteristics

Serial cross-sectional survey of health care consumers (approximately 100,000 per year).  Health Plan Survey data is available starting in 2000, and Hospital Data starting in 2005.

Major foci  

The Health Plan Survey covers patient ratings of the following topics:

•    Access to care
•    Global ratings of quality of care
•    How well doctors communicate
•    Health plan administration

… and also information on the respondents’ demographics, health status, and health services utilization.

The Hospital survey covers patient ratings on a variety of topics, including:

•    Respect and engagement with doctors and nurses
•    Communication
•    Assistance with pain management
•    Hospital environment
•    Discharge planning

… and also respondent demographics and health status

Papers published

Click here for a PubMed search for articles using this dataset.

Examples of papers published using CAHPS include:

Inpatient care intensity and patients' ratings of their hospital experiences.
Wennberg JE, Bronner K, Skinner JS, Fisher ES, Goodman DC.
Health Aff (Millwood). 2009 Jan-Feb;28(1):103-12.

Patients' perception of hospital care in the United States.
Jha AK, Orav EJ, Zheng J, Epstein AM.
N Engl J Med. 2008 Oct 30;359(18):1921-31.

Measuring patients' experiences with individual primary care physicians. Results of a statewide demonstration project.
Safran DG, Karp M, Coltin K, Chang H, Li A, Ogren J, Rogers WH.
J Gen Intern Med. 2006 Jan;21(1):13-21.

Competition and health plan performance: evidence from health maintenance organization insurance markets.
Scanlon DP, Swaminathan S, Chernew M, Bost JE, Shevock J.
Med Care. 2005 Apr;43(4):338-46.

Patients' global ratings of their health care are not associated with the technical quality of their care.
Chang JT, Hays RD, Shekelle PG, MacLean CH, Solomon DH, Reuben DB, Roth CP, Kamberg CJ, Adams J, Young RT, Wenger NS.
Ann Intern Med. 2006 May 2;144(9):665-72.

Dataset accessibility and cost  

Data are free and available to researchers after an application process.  More information on the process can be found at:

Help Desk  

Information on data requests can be directed to:
Dale Shaller
Phone: 651-430-0759
or to