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2003 National Healthcare Quality Report

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Consumer Assessment of Health Plans (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; courteous and helpful office staff 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).

National CAHPS® Benchmarking Database (NCBD)

The NCBD is a national database of CAPHS survey data. It is intended to support benchmarking and research related to consumer assessments of care. The database for 2000 includes CAPHS survey data from nearly 400,000 survey respondents distributed over more than 900 health plan sampling units.

Demographic Data

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

Years Collected

Since 1998.



Geographic Estimates

State; Census Bureau Regions.

Contact Information

Agency homepage:

Data system homepage:

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


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