Improving Patient Experience with Ambulatory Care

CG-CAHPS Improvement Network


Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), public hospitals and health systems have placed greater emphasis on how effectively they satisfy patient expectations related to access, provider communication, and staff responsiveness — all of which are key drivers of the patient experience. In particular, public health systems are focused on their Clinician and Group Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CG-CAHPS) scores, the national survey used to measure patients’ experience with clinicians and provider groups.

The implementation of CG-CAHPS and reporting of scores are tied to financial incentives under the Delivery System Reform Incentive Program (DSRIP), a five-year, pay-for-performance quality improvement initiative of California’s Bridge to Reform Section 1115 Medicaid Demonstration Waiver.

Rather than just report their scores, several systems are leading the way by identifying and implementing changes that improve them. With support from CHCF, the California Health Care Safety Net Institute led a yearlong initiative aimed at improving the capability of 15 clinics, listed below, to collect and improve their CG-CAHPS scores.

  • Kern Medical Center: KMC Internal Medicine Clinic, Kern Medical Physician Group, Pediatrics, and Family Medicine
  • Santa Clara Valley Medical Center: Tully Clinic and Oncology Clinic
  • San Joaquin General Hospital: Primary Medicine, Family Medicine, and Internal Medicine
  • Ventura County Health Care Agency: Fillmore Family Medical Group, Magnolia Family Medical Clinic West, Academic Family Medicine Center, Sierra Vista Family Medical Clinic, Santa Paula Medical Clinic, and Las Posas Family Medical Group

The participating clinics each used standard sampling approaches to benchmark their CG-CAHPS scores and implemented interventions to improve their ambulatory patient experience. To learn more about the success of this initiative, read the summary report available on the SNI website through the External Link below.