Agent Bulletin

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March 2019

2019 CAHPS Survey Timing and Details 

Patients with their doctor

The surveys are on their way: As a requirement of the National Committee of Quality Assurance (NCQA), the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) survey series is a standardized tool that measures patient perceptions of their care. CAHPS also helps compare performance of health plans, capturing information about:

  • Health plan customer service
  • Ease of health plan forms and materials
  • Ability to get care when needed
  • Claims accuracy

The role of CAHPS isn’t meant to measure customer satisfaction, but rather how well patients are communicating with doctors, understanding medication instructions, and getting their healthcare needs met. Results of the survey are used to guide improvement activities throughout the year.

Sampling integrity and timing

The survey is composed of a random sample of patients. Groups indicating a "no contact" clause (a provision effective Jan. 2018) are not included in the sampling. Also: 

  • Member participation in the survey is confidential
  • Results only reveal composited data rather than member-specific information.

Surveys are administered by SPH Analytics; the vendor is sending surveys to members by mail or email over the next several weeks:

  • Commercial members will be receiving surveys through April 24.
  • Exchange members will be receiving surveys through April 28.
  • Medicare members will be receiving surveys through June 1.

Members with an email address on file (excluding individuals on Medicare) may receive a reminder and link to complete the survey online. Members who haven’t responded to the survey by a certain date may receive a phone call from SPH Analytics; a surveyor will ask the member to complete the survey over the phone.  

Agent role 

As an agent, do not assist any member in the completion of the survey, but you’re welcome to offer reassurance about the legitimacy and merit of the survey. Member participation in the survey is always encouraged.  

Survey respondents who have questions or wish to receive the questionnaire in another language are advised to call the dedicated toll-free number that appears with their survey. 


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