As health care moves into the digital age, patient experience measurement—a cornerstone of today’s value-based health care movement—also must become digital. The results could mean a dramatic leap forward in how, and how well, the voice of the patient is heard.
Twenty-five years ago, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) launched the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) surveys, which established a standardized approach for measuring patient experience of care. It was a revolutionary step, and since then, CAHPS surveys have become critical components in a myriad of federal, state, and private value-based programs (VBP) today. At the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), we have incorporated CAHPS into our health plan accreditation, patient-centered medical home (PCMH), and other nationally leading programs.
CAHPS’s impact is still growing. Next year, Medicare will begin raising the weight of its results as part of the Medicare Advantage Star Ratings program, which is among the most successful VBPs. By 2023, measures of patient experience will count even more than clinical outcome measures in star ratings.