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Distinction in Patient Experience Reporting

NCQA Distinction in Patient Experience Reporting acknowledges practices that excel in evaluating the patient/family/caregiver experience for quality improvement and accountability. Practices evaluate their performance, based on the patient’s perspective, in domains such as access, communication, coordination of care and office staff. 

What Is Distinction in Patient Experience Reporting?

NCQA Distinction in Patient Experience Reporting is only available for NCQA-Recognized PCMHs that use the AHRQ-sponsored CG CAHPS 3.0® Survey, which lays the groundwork for measuring and improving delivery of care and assessing how well a practice meets PCMH goals. Practices seeking NCQA Distinction must engage an NCQA-Certified CAHPS Survey Vendor to conduct the survey. 

NCQA-Certified vendors are trained to collect survey results from practices according to HEDIS protocols, which helps ensure accurate collection of patient experience data. Vendors submit practice data and results to NCQA. 

Practices that earn this NCQA Distinction can demonstrate to patients, payers and partners that they are using the right resources, evidence-based protocols, standardized tools and quality measures to support the needs of their patients. 

Review the list of qualified vendors. 

Practice Eligibility 

  • Practices in the process of earning NCQA PCMH Recognition. 
  • Practices that have earned NCQA PCMH Recognition and are seeking NCQA Distinction during Annual Reporting. 

Program Requirements 

Survey vendors may submit practice data in April or September on behalf of their practice clients. The term of distinction is one year from data submission.

Vendors can access the HEDIS specifications for the CG CAHPS 3.0 Survey in the NCQA Store

CG CAHPS 3.0 questions can be viewed on the AHRQ website.  


NCQA Distinction in Patient Experience Reporting is free for practices. Practices contract independently with vendors to administer the CG CAHPS survey on their behalf and submit data to NCQA.  

Getting Started 

To learn more about NCQA Distinction in Patient Experience Reporting, download the PCMH standards and guidelines. You can find the standards in Appendix 6: Distinction in Patient Experience Reporting. 

Submit questions through My NCQA.