The ACO CAHPS survey is the patient experience measurement survey used for public ACOs and is intended to measure the patient’s experience with his/her primary physician within the ACO.

Press Ganey is a CMS-certified vendor of the CAHPS for ACOs survey required by the Pioneer, Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP), and Next Generation Model ACO programs. Press Ganey supported 53% of Pioneer and MSSP ACOs during data collection in early 2015.

Using funding from the Affordable Care Act, CMS offers three programs to test the effectiveness of ACOs. MSSP is open to any organization that provides primary care to at least 5,000 Medicare beneficiaries. The Pioneer ACO program is coordinated by the CMS Innovation Center and is intended to allow an organization which had already been acting as an integrated health system to begin participating in an ACO program more rapidly. The Next Generation (also referred to as Next Gen) program is also coordinated by the CMS Innovation Center and allows these provider groups to assume higher levels of financial risk and reward than are available under the current Pioneer MSSP programs.

Patient experience is one of the quality measures required for each of the ACO programs.

Press Ganey advocates continuous measurement of the patient experience to drive performance improvement in overall care and coordination. An ongoing approach prepares practices for the once annual ACO CAHPS survey, which is tied to 25% of the shared savings quality score.

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