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CAHPS® Corner

CAHPS® (Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems)  

CAHPS® is a standardized patient survey developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to determine patient satisfaction with their providers, health plan and healthcare. This provides the patients’ perspectives of the healthcare they have received. It includes the accessibility to medical services, physicians and specialists, as well as the physician's communication skills, customer service and information provided by their health plan.

Please refer to the AHRQ CAHPS® web page for additional information regarding CAHPS® surveys.

Use of CAHPS® Scores 

Iowa Total Care (ITC) participates in CAHPS® satisfaction surveys annually in the spring for both the adult and child membership served. The survey results provide data that allows ITC to identify strengths and opportunities for improvement regarding the healthcare ITC members received from network physicians and specialists, including behavioral health. ITC values the responses and perspectives of our members as we strive to improve their experiences.

CAHPS® scores are one component of NCQA Accreditation. Accreditation is not only a contractual requirement with the State of Iowa but is also symbolic of excellence in health plan quality for consumers. ITC is committed to being a top accredited health plan to provide the best care for our members.

Please refer to the NCQA website for additional information about accreditation. 

What does the CAHPS® survey ask patients about their physician? 

The CAHPS® survey focuses on the patient's experience with their healthcare and the areas that they are best qualified to evaluate. These areas include:

  • Explaining things in a way that is easy for the patient to understand
  • Listening carefully to the patient
  • Showing respect for what the patient had to say
  • Spending enough time with the patient
  • Seeming informed and up-to-date about the care the patient got from their specialist(s)
  • Advising the patient on health improvement strategies, such as tobacco cessation
  • A rating of the patient’s personal care doctor
  • A rating of the healthcare the patient received
  • A rating of the patient’s specialist(s)

How to Improve CAHPS® Scores 

Providers can directly influence their CAHPS® scores with every interaction they have with their patients. The A.L.E.R.T. is a model intended to help physicians improve CAHPS® questions and scores:

  • Always
  • Listen to members/patients carefully
  • Explain in an understandable way
  • Respect what the member/patient says
  • Time management perceptions