CAHPS Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Item Set
The Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Item Set is a set of supplemental questions that can be added to the adult and child versions of the CAHPS Clinician & Group Survey (CG-CAHPS) to gather more information on patient experience with the domains of primary care that define a medical home.
3.0 Version of the PCMH Item Set
AHRQ released the PCMH Item Set 3.0 to supplement the CG-CAHPS Survey 3.0 in January 2016. This version includes six items for the Adult Survey and 10 items for the Child Survey.
Adult items: The six items address four topics: access to care, coordination of care, self-management support, and comprehensiveness. These items produce one composite measure: Talking with You About Taking Care of Your Own Health.
Child items: The 10 items address four topics: access to care, coordination of care, development, and prevention. These items produce two composite measures:
- Provider's Attention to Your Child's Growth and Development.
- Provider's Advice on Keeping Your Child Safe and Healthy.
Review the composite measures from the PCMH Item Set 3.0.
Review the current items and learn more in About the Patient-Centered Medical Home Item Set 3.0 (PDF, 381.4 KB).
2.0 Version of the PCMH Item Set
The original PCMH Item Set was designed for the Clinician & Group 12-Month Survey 2.0. The items in this version of the item set produced three composite measures:
- Talking with You About Taking Care of Your Own Health.
- Attention to Your Mental and Emotional Health (adult only).
- Talking About Medication Decisions (adult only).
Review the original items and measures and learn more in About the Patient-Centered Medical Home Item Set (PDF, 295 KB).
Note: Some of the original PCMH items became core items in the CG-CAHPS Survey 3.0 in order to produce a new composite measure of care coordination. As a result, if you choose to use the PCMH Item Set 2.0 with the CG-CAHPS Survey 3.0, please select items carefully and consult with the CAHPS Help Line for guidance on item placement.
FAQs about the PCMH Item Set
How does the CAHPS PCMH Item Set address patients' experiences with the care team?
In order to capture the concept of the care team rather than the individual provider, some questions in the PCMH Item Set ask about experiences with "someone from this provider's office." The questions do not refer explicitly to a “care team” because the CAHPS research team found that some people define "care team" to mean both providers in the practice as well as their providers in external practices. With this wording, the items specify that they are referring to care from the provider’s office only.
Is the CAHPS PCMH Item Set only appropriate for patients who are receiving care in a medical home practice?
The medical home concepts are applicable to primary care no matter how the physician practice is organized. The PCMH Item Set provides a valuable evaluation tool for all practices whether or not they are categorized as medical homes.
In late 2009, the CAHPS team began developing the PCMH Item Set to improve the usefulness of the CAHPS Clinician & Group 12-Month Survey as a tool for assessing patients' experiences in medical homes. The process of developing and testing the PCMH items included multiple steps:
- Literature review.
- Input from a Technical Expert Panel and other stakeholders, in collaboration with the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).
- Focus groups.
- Cognitive testing in English and Spanish.
- Development of a survey for field testing.
- Field testing by NCQA of the draft version of the expanded 12-Month Survey with PCMH items.
- Analysis of the field test results and refinement of the survey.
In 2015, the CAHPS team revised this set of items in response to feedback from stakeholders and users as well as findings from data analyses.
Learn more about the development of the PCMH Item Set.
- Fact Sheet: Developing a CAHPS® Clinician & Group Survey to Measure the Medical Home (PDF, 976 KB).