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National HCAHPS Response Rates Continue to Fall

April 21, 2021

In the most recent Care Compare update (January–December 2019 discharges), we see that national HCAHPS response rates have continued to fall. The average response rate for HCAHPS is now 25%, 1.7 points lower than what we saw in the January–December 2017 discharges.

We also continue to see a moderate, positive correlation between response rate and the publicly reported HCAHPS domain scores. This is a surprising finding—if a surveyed sample is truly representative of the total patient population and there were no biases in who completed the survey, we would not expect to see a relationship between response rate and scores.

As many of the CAHPS® programs are updating to include new methodologies, we hope that new methodologies can address some of these issues by increasing the participation of patients who have been less likely to respond to currently approved modes. To learn more about our research, you can access our original publication here or contact us at [email protected].