PCF PEC Survey Clarification on Patient Roster Window vs. 6-month Survey Lookback Period
folder_openOther Announcementscalendar_todayPosted May 10, 2022

The PCF PECS team would like to clarify information regarding the difference between the rostering window and the 6-month lookback period in the survey, and implications for survey eligibility.

The PCF PECS sampling/rostering window of “a visit since January 1st” is for rostering convenience for the practice. To be as inclusive as possible on the patient rosters, CMS asks practices to include all patients with a visit since January. This is intended to help CMS obtain a sampling frame of active patients at the practice. It is not intended to identify eligible patients for the survey. The survey identifies eligible patients using the screening questions, Question 1 and Question 3. On PCF PECS, to be eligible then a patient needs to have had a visit within the last 6 months. If the patient has not had a visit within the last 6 months, then they are not eligible. The 6-month lookback period is a standard part of the CG CAHPS 3.0/3.1 questionnaire item set and aids in respondent recall. 

As noted in Section of the Quality Assurance Guidelines, patients may share eligibility information in different ways: 

  • By answering “No” to Question 1 in the mail or telephone survey. 
  • By answering “None” to Question 3 in the mail or telephone survey. 
  • By stating this information to a Help Desk operator. 
  • By writing a note on a returned survey or envelope. 
  • By stating this information to a telephone interviewer during the introduction screens (prior to Q1/Q3). 

In any of these situations, unless they also submitted a complete or partial survey, they are ineligible for the PCF PEC survey. The appropriate code is 190- Ineligible: Did Not Receive Care at Practice. Ineligible cases do not negatively affect practice response rates. These cases should not be coded as refusals. 

Vendors with questions should contact the PCF PECS Team via e-mail at or call 1-833-997-2715.