NCQA's New Distinction in Patient Experience Reporting

NCQA developed the optional Distinction in Patient Experience Reporting to help practices capture patient and family feedback through the newly developed Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Survey. Because consumer experience is a critical component of quality of care, giving more prominence to patient engagement is a crucial change to the PCMH program.  The CAHPS PCMH Survey assesses several domains of care: 

  • Access
  • Information
  • Communication
  • Coordination of care
  • Comprehensiveness
  • Self-management support and shared decision making.

NCQA PCMH-Recognized practices may use the CAHPS PCMH survey to obtain the distinction. Practices without recognition may still submit and CAHPS PCMH results, but may earn distinction only after achieving NCQA PCMH Recognition. 

Submitted data will be used to develop a benchmarking database that will allow comparison across practices. In addition to earning distinction and being listed in directories as having distinction, practices will receive credit in PCMH 2011. 

The program details include:

  • Practices must use an NCQA certified vendor to ensure a standardized method of data collection and reporting. Click here for a list of trained and certified 2015 CAHPS PCMH survey vendors.
  • NCQA-Recognized practices, or practices applying for recognition, are eligible for the distinction.  All practices may submit data, but may not be eligible for the distinction. CAHPS PCMH Distinction Frequently Asked Questions for practices document is NOW available. Click here to access the FAQs. 
  • There are two data submission periods per year: the first is in April; the second in September. 
  • The distinction is effective for one year after NCQA receives the practice's data.  Practices must submit data annually (through the vendor) to maintain distinction. Practices have the option of submitting data during both data submission periods, but it is not required.

To review the survey and NCQA’s required methodology, go to the HEDIS 2014 Specifications for the CAHPS PCMH Survey in HEDIS Publications.

CAHPS surveys are produced by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. To get a free copy of this PCMH Item Set, click here.