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From AEAStat staff:
 
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/04/13/2020-07662/agency-information-collection-activities-proposed-collection-comment-request
 
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) invites public comment on its request to OMB to maintain the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) Health Plan Database through Spring 2023. Health plans in the U.S. are asked to submit data voluntarily from the survey to AHRQ, through its contractor, Westat. The CAHPS Database was developed by AHRQ in 1998 in response to requests from health plans, purchasers, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide comparative data to support public reporting of health plan ratings, health plan accreditation and quality improvement. The CAHPS Health Plan Survey is a tool for collecting standardized information on enrollees’ experiences with health plans and their services.   
 
The AHRQ submission is available at https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202004-0935-001. Click IC List to see data collection instruments and View Supporting Statement to see rationale, uses, plans, and methods. Comments are due by May 18, 2020.
 
The CAHPS Health Plan Database receives the data from two sources: 1) Medicare data are provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) through an agency Data Use Agreement. The Medicare data are collected by CMS and their contractor from beneficiaries who were enrolled in a managed care health plan and 2) Medicaid data are collected by the CAHPS Health Plan Database. Medicaid agencies and their vendors directly submit their Medicaid health plan survey data to the CAHPS Health Plan Database through an online data submission system. Data submitted by Medicaid plans, are compiled along with the Medicare data received from CMS to comprise the CAHPS Health Plan Survey database.
The CAHPS Consortium includes AHRQ, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), RAND, Yale School of Public Health, and Westat.  
 
This research has the following goals:
1)    To maintain the CAHPS Health Plan database using data from AHRQ’s standardized CAHPS Health Plan survey to provide results to health care purchasers, consumers, regulators and policy makers across the country.
2)    To offer several products and services, including aggregated results presented through an Online Reporting System, summary chartbooks, custom analyses, and data for research purposes.
3)    To provide data for AHRQ’s annual National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report.
4)   To provide state-level data to CMS for public reporting on Medicaid.gov and Data.Medicaid.gov that does not display the name of the health plans.

Survey data from the CAHPS Health Plan Database is used to produce four types of products: 1) an annual chartbook available to the public on the CAHPS Database web site (https://www.cahpsdatabase.ahrq.gov/CAHPSIDB/Public/Chartbook.aspx); 2) individual participant reports that are confidential and customized for each participating organization (e.g., health plan, Medicaid agency) that submits their data; 3) a research database available to researchers wanting to conduct additional analyses; and 4) data tables provided to AHRQ for inclusion in the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports.

AHRQ has produced CAHPS Health Plan Chartbook report since 2000. The most recent Health Plan results reported in the online reporting system includes Medicaid and Medicare data from two years, 2017 and 2018. For 2017, 741 health plans are included covering 378,473 respondents and for 2018, 709 health plans are included covering 338,869 respondents. The Health Plan database results can be viewed in the online reporting system on the CAHPS Database web site at: https://www.cahpsdatabase.ahrq.gov/CAHPSIDB/Public/about.aspx.

Because the organizations that voluntarily contribute data to the CAHPS Database are not from a statistically representative sample of all U.S. health plans, and a limited number of plans may choose to participate, the submitting organizations are not representative of all U.S. health plans or enrollee populations . Estimates based on these voluntarily submitted data sets may produce biased estimates of the U.S. health plan and enrollee populations; it is not possible to compute estimates of precision from these data. In addition, the number and mix of sponsors contributing data vary slightly from year to year, and therefore comparisons over time should be made with these limitations and variations in mind. Comparisons of results across populations should also take into account that variations in benefit design and other factors might affect survey responses across populations.
 
The CAHPS Health Plan Survey collects four separate global ratings to distinguish between important aspects of care. The four questions ask plan enrollees to rate their experiences in the past 6 months with: 1) their personal doctor, 2) the specialist they saw most often, 3) health care received from all doctors and, 4) their health plan. Ratings are scored on a 0 to 10 scale, where 0 is the “worst possible” and 10 is the “best possible.” The ratings are analyzed and presented in the three-part bar chart display used in the CAHPS Health Plan Survey reports: the percentage of respondents who gave a rating of either 0-6, 7-8, or 9-10. This three-part scale is used because testing by the CAHPS team determined that these cut-points improve the ability to discriminate among plans while simplifying the presentation of results.

Case-mix refers to the respondents’ health status and other socio-demographic characteristics that have been shown to affect enrollee reports and ratings of health plans. Characteristics used to case-mix adjust CAHPS Health Plan scores, where applicable, are respondent age, education, and self-reported physical and mental health status.   
 
For AEA members wishing to provide comments, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806  AEA staff support is available at areamer@gwu.edu and 202-510-3681.

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