Frequently Asked Questions

Which hospitals are included?

The HCAHPS survey is administered to a random sample of adult patients across medical conditions between 48 hours and 6 weeks after discharge; the survey isn't restricted to Medicare beneficiaries.

Where the information comes from?

All short-term, acute care, non-specialty hospitals are invited to participate in the HCAHPS Survey. Over 4,000 hospitals participate in HCAHPS. The goal is for each hospital to get at least 300 completed patient surveys per year. In general, the more patients that respond to the survey, the more the results shown on this website will reflect the experiences of all the patients who used that hospital. HCAHPS survey data must be collected by organizations that are trained by the federal government in HCAHPS data collection procedures. Data submitted to the HCAHPS data warehouse is cleaned, adjusted and analyzed by CMS, which calculates hospitals’ HCAHPS scores and publicly reports them on the Hospital Compare website.

Survey data for Department of Defense (DoD) hospitals comes from the TRICARE

Inpatient Satisfaction Survey (TRISS). The TRISS survey uses the same questions as the HCAHPS Survey but is collected and analyzed independently. Patient survey results for DoD hospitals do not represent official HCAHPS results and are not included in state and national averages. Adjusting rates Preparing the data for public reporting includes taking certain factors into account to ensure fair comparisons among hospitals. For example, the mix of patients can differ from one hospital to the next, and these differences in the patient mix can affect a hospital’s HCAHPS results.

Patient-mix adjustment

Takes these differences into account so that the survey results reported on this website are what would be expected for each hospital if all hospitals had a similar mix of patients. Additional information The following resources provide more information related to the HCAHPS survey:




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