New Composite Behavioral Health Measure Available in CAHPS-PCMH Survey



The CAHPS Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Survey (Adult Version), is a new instrument used to evaluate patients’ experiences with a practice and indicates how well the practice meets patient expectations. A new composite measure for “Comprehensiveness – Adult Behavioral” is based on three questions from the survey:

  • Q39: In the last 12 months, did anyone in this provider's office ask you if there was a period of time when you felt sad, empty or depressed?
  • Q40: In the last 12 months, did you and anyone in this provider's office talk about things in your life that worry you or cause you stress?
  • Q41: In the last 12 months, did you and anyone in this provider's office talk about a personal problem, family problem, alcohol use, drug use, or a mental or emotional illness?

Patient experience with health care is considered a critical component of quality of care by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). The Committee believes that experience has an effect on care outcome, and that experience itself is an outcome measure.

The CAHPS PCMH Survey is used for decision-making by both the patient about health plans and by managers about resource allocation. Additionally, it is used for internal quality improvement of a practice and for public reporting. For patients to participate in this survey, they must be at least 18 years of age and speak English or Spanish (the two languages in which the survey is available). The number of “Yes” and “No” responses are collected and each weighted equally when scoring the survey. Questions that are unanswered or where the patient selected more than one response are not included in calculations.

The survey was created by the NCQA and the CAHPS Consortium and sponsored by the Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The purpose was to develop a new version of the CAHPS Clinician and Group Survey to address questions of care “relevant to patient-centered medical homes.”

A summary of this measure is at: