The future of web modes in CAHPS Surveys

As healthcare evolves, so too does the landscape of patient experience surveys. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are at the forefront of this transformation, approving innovative web-first mixed modes of survey administration across various CAHPS surveys.

Starting in 2022, the OAS CAHPS introduced two web-first mixed modes, combining web-mail and web-phone approaches.

Looking ahead to 2025, HCAHPS will implement three web-first modes, adding a web-mail-phone option to the mix. The proposed 2025 CAHPS Hospice rule also includes a web-mail mode, further signaling a shift towards digital integration.

Preliminary experiments with web administration in ICH CAHPS suggest promising results, with mixed modes traditionally yielding higher response rates—a trend that is continuing with the web-first approaches.

Enhanced response rates are particularly notable when healthcare providers successfully capture a high percentage of patients’ email addresses, setting the stage for more efficient and effective patient feedback mechanisms.

NRC Health CAHPS - web modes

What to know about web modes:

  • OAS CAHPS – 2 web-first mixed modes of survey administration (web-mail and web-phone) were approved by CMS for use beginning in 2022
  • Three web-first mixed modes (web-mail, web-phone, web-mail-phone) have been approved for HCAHPS beginning with January 1, 2025 discharges
  • The 2025 CAHPS Hospice Proposed Rule includes the addition of a web-mail mode that will be available beginning with January 1, 2025 decedents if the rule is finalized as-is
  • CMS conducted an experiment that included testing web administration for ICH CAHPS – results are still being finalized and the Coordination Team is proceeding with next steps
  • Mixed modes (mail-phone) have traditionally seen higher response rates than fielding one mode alone – this is holding true with web modes as well
  • Response rates for web-first modes are increased when there is a high capture rate of email addresses