BMA Study Takes Aim at CAHPS Survey Improvements

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  • Written by Karen Pierce

Better Medicare Alliance releases the results of a study, taking inventory of the current limitations of the CAHPS survey experience

A new study conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago, commissioned by Better Medicare Alliance / Center for Innovation in Medicare Advantage, found that the current CMS CAHPS survey is outdated and contributing to low response rates, resulting in a call for modernization.

As a refresher, the CAHPS (Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Provider and Systems) survey is used to evaluate member experience and is the sole contributor to eight experience measures within the Star Rating system.

CAHPS has been receiving extra industry attention over the last few months as a recent CMS announcement proclaimed that CAHPS and administrative measures will now be 2x-weighted for 2021 ratings and then doubled to a 4x-weight for the 2023 ratings.

The study concluded the following policy recommendations:

  • Modernize patient experience measurement in MA by updating the survey language to reflect the diversity of today’s beneficiaries, along with the evolution of MA benefit offerings and how care is delivered today.
  • Provide more granular CAHPS results to health plans while protecting beneficiary confidentiality to empower better health plan quality improvement.
  • Remove MA-PD CAHPS questions from the patient experience MA Star Ratings that health plans cannot directly impact, and increase the patient experience MA Star Ratings weights from two to four, only after changes are made to modernize MA patient experience measurement.
  • Explore ways to reduce the burden on the beneficiary survey respondent to improve response rates.

Will CMS take action around these reccomendations and modernize a system that was launched in the ’90s and has since seen little change? We’ll have to wait and see.

Interested in discussing CAHPS with us? We love talking all things member experience and are always eager to learn more from industry colleagues as well as share our ongoing findings. Don’t hesitate to head to this link to set up some time with one of our CAHPS experts.