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National Healthcare Disparities Report, 2005

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Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®)


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Participating sponsors include State Medicaid agencies, State Children's Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP), public and private employers, individual health plans, Medicare, and the Department of Defense.

Mode of Administration

By responding to a standardized set of questions administered through a mail or telephone questionnaire, health plan members report on their experiences and rate their health plans and providers in several areas.

Survey Sample Design

CAHPS® surveys are administered to a random sample of health plan members by independent survey vendors, following standardized procedures.

Primary Survey Content

Consumer experiences in obtaining health care, including the following five major areas: getting needed care; getting care without long waits; how well doctors communicate; courtesy and helpfulness office staff, and customer service.

Population Targeted

CAHPS® has specific populations for specific surveys and databases, such as adults, children, children with chronic conditions, commercial, Medicaid, Medicare and/or Medicare managed care, etc. See specific table and measure specification information.

Estimates for tables based on CAHPS® data were calculated using plan-level weights; i.e., all respondents in a plan received the same weight. Further, all plans within a State were weighted to contribute equally to the State-level statistic. CAHPS® data were provided by the National CAHPS® Benchmarking Database (NCBD).

The primary purpose of the NCBD is to facilitate comparisons of CAHPS® survey results by survey sponsors. By compiling survey results from a variety of sponsors into a single national database, the NCBD enables participants to compare their own results to relevant benchmarks. The NCBD also offers an important source of primary data for specialized research related to consumer assessments of quality as measured by CAHPS®.

The NCBD currently contains seven years (1998–2004) of data from the CAHPS® Health Plan Survey. The 2004 database holds survey results for approximately 415,000 adults and children enrolled in Commercial, Medicaid, SCHIP, and Medicare plans.

Demographic Data

Age, gender, education, race, ethnicity, region, insurance coverage, health status.

Years Collected

Since 1998. CAHPS® was formerly known and is sometimes referred to as the Consumer Assessment of Health Plans Study.



Geographic Estimates

State; Census Bureau regions.

Contact Information

Agency homepage:

Data system homepage:



The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


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