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 available for NCQA-Recognized PCMHs that use the AHRQ-sponsored CG CAHPS 3.0® Survey. This lays the groundwork for measuring and improving delivery of care and assessing how well a practice meets PCMH goals.

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

Who Performs the Survey?

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.

Find a Certified Vendor

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 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. Find the standards in Appendix 6: Distinction in Patient Experience Reporting.

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