Understanding Patient Experience Ratings

How does NHPGH determine which hospitals rank highest in quality?

Where does the information on Patient Experience come from?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services collects hospital performance information through the efforts of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov

HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) is a national, standardized survey of hospital patients. HCAHPS (pronounced “H-caps”) was created to publicly report the patient’s perspective of hospital care. The survey asks a random sample of recently discharged patients about important aspects of their hospital experience.

HCAHPS was developed by a partnership of public and private organizations. Development of the survey was funded by the Federal government, specifically the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

For more on HCAHPS information, please see Information for Professionals on this website, or visit the official HCAHPS website: www.hcahpsonline.org.

How Often Are the Facts Updated?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is projected to release new data four times a year (April, June, September and December).

The Maine Health Information Center (MHIC) calculates new state and national performance levels based on the updates.

The New Hampshire Purchasers Group On Health (NHPGH) then takes this information and updates the ratings shown on the hospital ratings web site.

How Does NHPGH Turn the Facts Into Ratings?

Blue Ribbon for Patient Experience:  Hospitals receive a blue ribbon when they have a score equal to or greater than 2.5.


This score is calculated by averaging the combined points received in the nine measurement areas of the HCAHPS survey.

Points for Overall Rating of Hospital:  Points are determined by comparing a hospital’s performance to state and national levels.


NHPGH uses a variety of data resources to measure patient satisfaction, safety, and clinical quality. If you would like to review these data sources yourself, please click on the links below: