Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan CAHPS® Survey

Scoring and Star Ratings

This page describes steps to clean MA & PDP CAHPS Survey data, produce adjusted CAHPS scores, and calculate Star Ratings based on those scores. CAHPS scores from a given year are normally used in the next year’s Star Ratings. For example, CAHPS data collected in 2019 were used in 2020 Star Ratings. Years on this page refer to the year of CAHPS data collection.

Analysis of MA & PDP CAHPS Reported Measures and the CAHPS Macro

A summary description of the analyses that contribute to the reported measures for MA & PDP CAHPS can be found here. MA & PDP CAHPS data are analyzed using the CAHPS Macro, Version 5.0.  Visit Analyzing CAHPS Survey Data to download the 5.0 version of AHRQ’s CAHPS macro with test modules as well as updated instructions for the program.

 

Scoring of MA & PDP CAHPS Composite Measures

Slides describing the scoring of composite measures for the MA & PDP CAHPS Survey can be found here.

 

MA & PDP CAHPS Case-Mix Adjustment Information

MA & PDP CAHPS Survey results are adjusted for certain respondent characteristics not under the control of the health or drug plan but related to the sampled member's survey responses. Case-mix adjustment is performed by CMS contractors. The case-mix coefficients are re-estimated each year based on new data and are used for Star Ratings. For example, the case-mix coefficients for 2020 Star Ratings were estimated from CAHPS data collected in 2019. Case-mix coefficients are publicly available in the Medicare Part C & D Star Ratings Technical Notes.

 

2019 Information on Case-mix, Case-mix Coefficients and National Means (ZIP)

2018 Information on Case-mix, Case-mix Coefficients and National Means (ZIP)

2017 Information on Case-mix and Case-mix Coefficients

2016 Information on Case-mix and Case-mix Coefficients

2015 Information on Case-mix and Case-mix Coefficients

2014 Information on Case-mix and Case-mix Coefficients

 

MA & PDP CAHPS Case-Mix Variables

The variables used as case-mix adjustors for the MA & PDP CAHPS Survey since 1998 can be found here.

 

Weighting of MA & PDP CAHPS Measures Within Contracts

Additional detail on weighting of MA & PDP CAHPS measures within contracts can be found here.

 

MA & PDP CAHPS Between-Contract Variances for Reported Measures

Reliability is a measure of how well the score for a contract is measured and how well that contract score distinguishes a contract’s performance from that of other contracts. Reliability plays a role in calculating CAHPS Star Ratings and in describing non-star measures in reports to MA and PDP contracts. Reliability is calculated as 1−V/(V+t2), where t2 is the between-contract variance of the means for that measure and V is the sampling variance of the contract’s mean score. The links below contain information that a contract can use to calculate its reliability for each measure. The links to Between-Contract Variances for Reported Measures contain the between-contract variances (t2) for reported measures.  Contracts can use the CAHPS Macro (here) to calculate V from their own data. See Training Slides (here) for more information about reliability and how it is used in calculating Star Ratings.

 

2019 Between-Contract Variances for Reported MA Measures

2018 Between-Contract Variances for Reported MA Measures

 

Internet Citation

Please use the following citation when referencing material on this web site. [www.MA-PDPCAHPS.org] Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Baltimore, MD. Month, Date, Year the page was accessed. www.MA-PDPCAHPS.org

 

This page was last modified on 1/19/2021