NCQA's Version of the Health Plan Survey

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) is the nation's most prominent evaluator of the quality of managed care health plans. Since January 1999, the CAHPS Health Plan Survey has been an integral part of NCQA's efforts to assess and promote quality health care. NCQA uses the CAHPS Health Plan Survey 5.0 as part of the Experience of Care domain of HEDIS® (the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set), a set of health plan performance measures used for both public reporting and accreditation.

Sponsors who plan to submit CAHPS Health Plan Survey results for HEDIS must field NCQA's version, which consists of a core questionnaire plus several supplemental items. This version is typically designated with an "H" after the version number of the survey (e.g., CAHPS 5.0H).

Learn more about HEDIS from NCQA.

What's Different About the NCQA Version?

Although the surveys are largely the same, the NCQA version of the Health Plan Survey differs in the following areas:

  • Inclusion of NCQA-specified supplemental items.
  • Administration protocols, including:
    • Definition of children.
    • Sample size requirements.
    • Data collection methods.
  • Completion criteria.
  • Calculation of the response rate.
  • Use of case-mix adjustment.


Page last reviewed December 2017
Page originally created November 2011
Internet Citation: NCQA's Version of the Health Plan Survey. Content last reviewed December 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
Back To Top