CAHPS Clinician & Group Survey

The CAHPS® Clinician & Group Survey (CG-CAHPS) assesses patients' experiences with health care providers and staff in doctors' offices. Survey results can be used to:

  • Improve care provided by individual providers, sites of care, medical groups, or provider networks.
  • Equip consumers with information they can use to choose physicians and other health care providers, physician practices, or medical groups.

The survey includes standardized instruments for adults and children that can be used in both primary care and specialty care settings. To customize their questionnaires, users can also add supplemental items, including a structured series of open-ended questions. Version 3.0 of the Clinician & Group Survey was released in July 2015. The legacy version—version 2.0—remains available.

Learn more about this survey:

Get the Clinician & Group Survey 3.0

Download the Clinician & Group Survey 3.0 and Instructions (ZIP, 5.64 MB)

The ZIP file includes:

  • the English and Spanish survey instruments in Word and PDF,
  • descriptions of supplemental item sets for this survey,
  • guidance on administering the survey, including a sample telephone script and sample letters, and
  • information about the survey measures.

Information in the guidance documents is based on the survey developers' extensive research into best practices in survey design and administration as well as analyses of data collected during the field testing of each instrument. AHRQ does not require the use of a specific methodology for sampling or survey administration.

For quick access to the survey and recommended administration methods:

Users of this survey may also want to consult the following guidance:

Quality Measures From the Clinician & Group Survey 3.0

The CAHPS Clinician & Group Survey produces the following measures of patient experience:

  • Getting Timely Appointments, Care, and Information.
  • How Well Providers Communicate With Patients.
  • Providers' Use of Information to Coordinate Patient Care (New to the 3.0 version).
  • Helpful, Courteous, and Respectful Office Staff.
  • Patients' Rating of the Provider.

Review measures from the CAHPS Clinician & Group Survey.

For additional guidance on reporting the results of this survey, refer to the following resources from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Aligning Forces for Quality program:

Supplemental Items for the Clinician & Group Survey

To customize survey instruments, users of the Clinician & Group Survey may add optional, supplemental items that address a variety of topics.

Browse all supplemental items available for the Clinician & Group Survey 3.0.

Some supplemental items are designed to be fielded as a set. They address the following subjects:

  • Patient Narratives (Open-ended comments)
  • Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH)
  • Health Literacy
  • Health Information Technology

Get the Clinician & Group Survey 2.0

There are three versions of the Clinician & Group Survey 2.0:

Variations on the Clinician & Group Survey

The core items in the Clinician & Group Survey serve as the foundation for two surveys required by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS):

  • CAHPS for MIPS Survey—An optional measure for group practices participating in CMS's Merit-Based Incentive Payment System.
  • CAHPS Survey for ACOs—An instrument for accountable care organizations participating in Medicare initiatives.

Both surveys incorporate supplemental items to produce patient experience measures beyond those generated by the core survey.

Implementing the Clinician & Group Survey

Users of this survey include medical practices, health plans, health systems, regional and community-based collaboratives, accreditation and certification organizations, State agencies, and Federal agencies (such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Veterans Health Administration, and the Department of Defense).

Learn about strategies for implementing this survey at the community level:

Using Clinician & Group Survey Data

Organizations use the Clinician & Group Survey for several purposes.

  • Compare survey data to aggregated results: Using data voluntarily submitted by survey sponsors, AHRQ's CAHPS Database reports scores that can be used to assess the overall performance of different kinds of physician practices and groups and to analyze the performance of a single physician practice or group relative to appropriate benchmarks.
  • Improve patients' experiences with primary and specialty care:  AHRQ offers a variety of written materials and recordings to inform and support the improvement process.
  • Report scores to consumers: AHRQ offers specific guidance on reporting the results of CAHPS surveys as well as more comprehensive guidance on reporting quality information to consumers in TalkingQuality.

Recognition as a Patient-Centered Medical Home: The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) offers an optional "Distinction" to practices that submit data from the Clinician & Group Survey after they have been recognized as a Patient-Centered Medical Home. Information about this program and its requirements is available from NCQA.

Brief History

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality first released the Clinician & Group Survey for adults and children in 2007, building on prior work conducted by the CAHPS Consortium as well as other developers of physician-level surveys of patient experience. Since that time, the survey has been updated and refined to better meet the changing circumstances of its users. At each stage of the process, the Consortium benefited from a significant amount of input from key stakeholders from the provider, health plan, and purchaser communities, as well as feedback from patients. Learn about the development of the Clinician & Group Survey.

Page last reviewed August 2019
Page originally created June 2013
Internet Citation: CAHPS Clinician & Group Survey. Content last reviewed August 2019. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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