Differences in CAHPS Reports and Ratings of Health Care Provided to Adults and Children

Published in: Medical Care, v. 50, no. 11, Suppl 3, Nov. 2012, p. S35-S39

Posted on RAND.org on October 25, 2012

by Alex Y. Chen, Marc N. Elliott, Karen Spritzer, Julie A. Brown, Samuel A. Skootsky, Cliff Rowley, Ron D. Hays

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BACKGROUND: Consumer assessment of health care is an important metric for evaluating quality of care. These assessments can help purchasers, health plans, and providers deliver care that fits patients' needs. OBJECTIVE: To examine differences in reports and ratings of care delivered to adults and children and whether they vary by site. RESEARCH DESIGN: This observational study compares adult and child experiences with care at a large west coast medical center and affiliated clinics and a large mid-western health plan using Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Clinician & Group 1.0 Survey data. RESULTS: Office staff helpfulness and courtesy was perceived more positively for adult than pediatric care in the west coast site. In contrast, more positive perceptions of pediatric care were observed in both sites for coordination of care, shared decision making, overall rating of the doctor, and willingness to recommend the doctor to family and friends. In addition, pediatric care was perceived more positively in the mid-west site for access to care, provider communication, and office staff helpfulness and courtesy. The differences between pediatric care and adult care were larger in the mid-western site than the west coast site. CONCLUSIONS: There are significant differences in the perception of care for children and adults with care provided to children tending to be perceived more positively. Further research is needed to identify the reasons for these differences and provide more definitive information at sites throughout the United States.

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