Accountable Care Organizations participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) will need to select a certified vendor for the ACO CAHPS survey by September 22, 2014 for the 2014 survey administration. Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) has been granted approval as a CAHPS for ACOs survey vendor for the 2014 survey administration. Do you need a quote for your ACO CAHPS survey? RMS Healthcare has designed a simple and straight forward form to obtain some basic information from your ACO. Once we have that, we can respond as soon as possible with a quote.

To receive a quote for your ACO CAHPS survey click on the following ACO CAHPS inquiry form here.

ACO CAHPS Survey Vendor

Looking for an ACO CAHPS Survey Vendor?

The form asks some basic questions which will help us calculate a quote as soon as possible for your ACO. It includes a total of 8 questions:

  1. First & Last Name
  2. Title
  3. Name of ACO
  4. Phone Number
  5. Email Address
  6. When is the best time to contact you?
  7. Are you interested in receiving a proposal from RMS?
  8. Additional questions or comments.

RMS Healthcare is a division of Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) that specializes in CAHPS® administration. For more information about our team and our services offerings visit the RMS Healthcare page here. If you are interested in receiving more information about ACO CAHPS please contact our Business Development Director Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422.

This blog post was written by our guest blogger Michele Treinin, Healthcare Analyst at Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS).

Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) is pleased to announce that it has received conditional approval from the Center of Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) for ACOs Survey Project Team as a vendor for 2014-2015 survey administration. The approval allows RMS to administer the CAHPS for ACO survey on behalf of Accountable Care Organizations who are required to conduct the survey as part of their participation in Medicare programs.

How to choose an ACO CAHPS vendor

How to Choose an ACO CAHPS® Vendor?

How to choose an ACO CAHPS vendor and why you should choose Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS):

  • One-on-one consultation: Here at RMS, you’re not just a number and neither is your company. We pride ourselves in the ability to consistently work one-on-one with our clients and get to know you and the needs of your company. Our Healthcare Analytics team is always available to answer any questions you may have or provide additional information upon request. We are never too busy for you. RMS also offers a real-time online portal that allows you to access data at any time of the day.
  • High Response Rates: Our response rates are consistently higher than the national averages posted by CMS. Currently, RMS sees between 50% to 55% of surveys returned for the Mixed-Mode option of administration. That means a higher degree of reliability for your organization and a clearer picture of overall operations which impacts reimbursement. Another thing that separates RMS from other vendors is our mailing process. We use actual stamps on every piece of mail that leaves our office which lessens the perception of junk mail.
  • Experience: Since the inception of HCAHPS® in 2006, RMS has been on the forefront of the latest CAHPS surveying. With our knowledge of Value Based Purchasing, PCMH Recognition and ACOs, we are well-versed in the workings of Patient Satisfaction surveying and have the capabilities to fit any needs you may have. Healthcare is one of the major cornerstones of RMS and we are here to help you obtain results. RMS complies with all CMS guidelines, deadlines and protocols and when added to our over 50 years if industry experience, you can be rest assured you’re receiving the best service possible.
  • Flexible: There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to marketing and research challenges. Not only can we conduct the ACO CAHPS survey but through our different departments, we are able to provide a variety of services that can transcend all parts of your organization no matter the size or scope.

Other CAHPS® surveys on the horizon include Emergency Department CAHPS (EDCAHPS® – coming in 2015) and Ambulatory Surgery Center CAHPS. Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) has a dedicated RMS Healthcare division which specializes in CAHPS administration and reporting. Our team can consult with you on all CAHPS processes and determine if we are the right fit for your organization. If you are interested in hiring a CAHPS vendor contact our Business Development Director Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422.

One of the most basic and most commonly used types of survey instruments among higher education institutions is the graduate survey. A graduate survey is a quantitative tool that is administered to recent graduates of the college or university to better understand career progression and understand how the college or university met his or her needs. Although you would think that recent graduates of a higher education institution would be highly engaged and cooperative in these survey feedback efforts, administering graduate surveys are notoriously tricky because response rates are never as high as one would expect.

7 Tips to Boost Graduate Survey Response Rates

7 Tips to Boost Graduate Survey Response Rates

Although the reasons for poor response rates for higher education graduate surveys vary (perhaps these are better suited for another blog post), certain measures should be considered to ensure your institution receives the highest possible return from graduates. Here are 7 tips to boost graduate survey response rates:

  • Mobile, Mobile, Mobile. There may not be a bigger tip in this list. Younger generations are hyper-connected, with each new graduation class more e-connected than the last. As their higher education institution, you need to figure out ways to get into that mobile circle and be noticed. Think mobile numbers, groups and networks on social media, and other platforms. Go where your users are and use those venues to publicize your graduate survey efforts.
  • Use multiple channels. Although mobile may be the most important channel, it should not be the sole channel. Your graduate department should look for every opportunity to plug the graduate survey efforts to generate visibility and awareness. Mention the upcoming survey to graduates before they graduate, send out letters or emails to generate pre-awareness (a week or two before survey invitations), post information on your institution’s website, send text invites to the survey and through email, and think about conducting phone call reminders to non-responders.
  • Engage on social media, encourage to share. Find the platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr) your graduates are using and encourage likes and shares. To complete a survey it often takes multiple reminders and hits to finally tip the scales and have a graduate respond. Endorsements by those graduate’s friends to take the survey through social media is always one of the strongest drivers to completion.
  • Strive to keep contact information current. By nature, higher education graduates are a transient audience moving from one place to another as they try to settle into a career. Because of this, they incur a higher likelihood to change phone numbers and addresses. Use the final questions of the graduate survey to include an opportunity to update contact information. Also make ‘change of address’ forms available on websites and through social media.
  • Make it an engaging survey and mention why it’s important. While selling the survey, make sure to describe to graduates why these survey efforts are so important. It always helps to make questions engaging, direct, and as short as possible to decrease the likelihood of survey drop-outs. Once you have them interested, you don’t want to lose them.
  • Pick your poison on timeframe to survey - 3 months, 6 months, 12 months. Although there is not a correct time to survey graduates with regard to a timeframe, typically 3 months after they graduate, 6 months or 12 months are the most common follow-up periods. The shorter the grace period, the better response rate and vice-versa. However, the longer the grace period, the higher likelihood of graduates finding employment and vice-versa. This is why RMS recommends a 6 month from graduation follow-up.

7 Tips to Boost Graduate Survey Response Rates

  • Offer a reward, raffle, or sweepstakes. Although it’s a minor suggestion, it does help. If the graduate doesn’t buy-into the effort and importance of the survey, perhaps a little incentive will encourage them to participate.

Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) is a market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. Our RMS Analytics division focuses on projects within the education and higher education industry. Relevant projects include graduate surveys, mystery shopping, enrollment studies, adult learner studies, retention studies, and focus groups on marketing messaging to name a few. If you are interested in using RMS as your graduate survey vendor contact our Director of Business Development Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422.

This blog post was taken from the latest Quality Care Courier produced by RMS Healthcare.

As the Director of Healthcare for RMS, I regularly meet with practices that are eager to take the journey to become PCMH recognized and to truly embody the principles in providing quality driven patient care. Very often when I introduce PCMH concepts and standards, practice staff find themselves excited but somewhat apprehensive about the journey ahead.

What is PCMH?

Over the past three months RMS has had the wonderful experience of assisting six practices in achieving recognition. At the time of submission, I found that all of the practices shared a huge sense of accomplishment and pride in the work they had completed to demonstrate compliance with the PCMH standards. The overall accomplishments of a practice are truly driven by the collective team which has been intimately involved in understanding the standards and coaching peers and colleagues about how important the work is that they are doing. Ultimately it was wonderful to hear the staff tell the story about how they successfully completed the PCMH journey.

As I like to share with our clients, this work is not just a process of clicking buttons and making copies of chart notes, but truly embracing a change in the way patient care is delivered. In essence, we like to present the PCMH journey as the story of how a practice provides quality patient care; how they personalize their approach and engage staff, providers and patients in processes. Storytelling enables the practice to truly embrace the work that it is doing and allows the work and processes to be well-integrated within the practice long-term. Ultimately, the PCMH journey is just that, a journey that never ends but faces new horizons in enhancing the delivery of patient centered care.

If you would like more information about Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMH) or the PCMH journey with RMS Healthcare, please contact our Director of Healthcare Transformation, Susan Maxsween at SusanM@RMSresults.com or by dialing 1-866-567-5422.

This blog post was written by our guest blogger Karen Joncas, Coordinator of Healthcare Transformation at Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) and the RMS Healthcare Division.

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) opened its public comment period on new standards for ambulatory care clinics expected to be released in March 2015. The new NCQA program, tentatively named Patient-Centered Connected Care (PCCC), will assess sites that deliver care in a nontraditional practice. Eligible entities include telemedicine providers, worksite clinics, urgent care clinics, and retail clinics.

What is PCCC?

The program will evaluate and encourage the application of patient-centered principles, such as coordinating with and connecting patients to primary care, engaging patients and families in decision-making, promoting self-care, providing culturally and linguistically appropriate care, and committing to continuous quality improvement in clinical care, patient safety and patient experience.

Six standards were developed to align with PCMH 2014 and the PCSP recognition programs and to improve continuity and care coordination between ambulatory care clinics and primary care providers. The new recognition program for ambulatory care clinics is designed to meet three primary objectives:

  • Address concerns about fragmentation in healthcare by incentivizing information exchange and collaboration between primary care providers and other ambulatory care providers.
  • Continue to promote quality improvement and patient-centered care in the delivery system.
  • Provide a mechanism to link providers in the “medical home neighborhood” with a set of streamlined expectations.

In a blog posted earlier this year, we discussed the growing role of urgent care centers in the healthcare delivery system and the critical nature of care coordination between these ambulatory care clinics and the primary care providers. This new recognition program validates the importance of both their role and the continuing focus on patient-centered coordinated care.

The public comment period runs through August 6, 2014.  For additional information on the standards for the new PCCC program and how to opine, click here. NCQA also announced that it is seeking ambulatory care facilities to be pilot testers of the new program. Interested organizations should contact ConnectedCareEarlyAdopter@ncqa.org by July 28, 2014.  As with previous new programs, organizations can also elect to be an early adopter. Early adopters will be recognized in NCQA press releases and on the NCQA website as part of the program launch.

RMS Healthcare has over 50 years of collective and proven experience in providing consulting services to meet the specific needs of our healthcare clients. We are pleased to bring you news of NCQA’s announcement and will keep you informed as more information is released on the final PCCC program.  Our team has assisted more than 100 practices in becoming recognized through NCQA programs and can assist your organization in assessing readiness to adopt the new PCCC standards. For more information on how we can help, please contact Susan Maxsween, Director of Healthcare and Practice Transformation at SusanM@rmsresults.com or telephone her at 1-866-567-5422.

(RMS) Research & Marketing Strategies promotes Christopher Coville to Research Analyst. Chris began his career with RMS in August of 2010 and is a contributing author to the RMS Bunker Blog.

(Baldwinsville, NY) Baldwinsville based Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) is pleased to announce the promotion of Chris Coville to Research Analyst. Chris has worked for RMS since 2010.

“Chris excels in his current role at RMS and is always willing to step outside of his role to assist with our team and others with his savvy technical knowledge. I look forward to his continued professional growth here at our company.” said George Kuhn, Director of RMS Analytics.

As a Research Analyst, Chris will take the lead on managing client projects and developing long-term client relationships for RMS. Chris will also be responsible for designing surveys, analyzing data, reporting on findings, and presenting recommendations and action items to clients.

Research Analyst

In his previous position at RMS, Chris was instrumental in growing the RMS financial services division by providing market research to banks and credit unions. Chris worked with a number of regional and national banks and credit unions to manage mystery shopping projects, better understand customer/member experiences, and identify key drivers for switching primary financial institutions (PFIs). Chris recently completed a project with a local bank which reduced wait times, instituted an employee policy for follow-up with customers, and identified strategies to increase awareness of other service offerings at the bank.

Research & Marketing Strategies(RMS) is a full service marketing and market research firm located in Baldwinsville, NY.  RMS provides an array of research methodologies that result in actionable analytics and recommendations for the client to enhance decision-making. RMS is also home to QualiSight, a premier focus group and interview research facility.

This blog post was written by Emily Palermo, ViewPoint Panel Coordinator at Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS).

Strategic communication during a crisis is essential. During this time, stakeholders are looking for confirmation that the company or person has his or her best interests in mind. If the crisis is not handled well, the company or person will fight to get its stakeholders back. Here are 3 characteristics of good crisis communication for your company:

1) Quickness - First, being quick is of utmost importance. It shows stakeholders that they are extremely important. Also, it is important that you disclose the news first rather than media outlets. For example, when news about an affair was about to spill, David Letterman disclosed the information to his audience on his show before anyone else. Disclosing it to his audience first was a great move because his audience already likes him and the news of the affair did not inherently damage their opinion of him. In contrast, Tiger Woods did the opposite and his reputation is still damaged.

Healthcare Consulting Firm

2) Clarity - being clear means to communicate the whole story all at once.  Stakeholders will not appreciate delayed or withheld information. Let your stakeholders know exactly what is happening all at once instead of delaying it, or trying to inform them gradually. Also, if you make any promises to fix the crisis make sure they are attainable and that you accomplish them in a timely manner.

3) Consistency - make sure all communication with stakeholders is consistent. You should find that all of your messages convey similar tones and meanings. The key to consistency is honesty. Therefore, all spokespersons for your organization need to have up to date information and media training in order to effectively communicate.

How does this fit into market research? A large client base for RMS is hospitals and Departments of Health and Human Services because both are mandated to complete patient satisfaction surveys. This forces market research firms to follow HIPAA rules and regulations.

A large concern for crisis among organizations in the health care industry is the topic of patient data security breaches. This information is sometimes referred to as electronic protected health information (EPHI). Since market research relies on participants’ responses, it is important that people feel safe giving organizations personal information. One way to put participants at ease is by stating that all information is kept confidential and anonymous.

Stephen Boyer, Chief Technology Officer of BitSight Technology, said that the healthcare industry saw the largest number of securities breaches, but were also the slowest to respond to these crises. It often took more than five days to fully respond to a breach in healthcare. Boyer also said that on the black market patient’s electronic medical records sell for about $20, while credit card data sells for about $1 per card. This is one reason why breaches happen so frequently in healthcare and consequences are high.

Here are some examples of data security crises in healthcare:

  • Example #1: Reasonable Response - According to Erin McCann, Associate Editor of Healthcare IT News, in September 2011 Stanford Hospital and Clinics notified roughly 20,000 patients that their protected health information had been posted to a public website. The information included medical diagnoses and patient names. The information was posted on the public website for nearly one year. “Our contractors are explicitly required to commit to strong safeguards to protect the confidentiality of our patients’ information,” said Diana Meyer Chief Privacy Officer of Stanford Hospital and Clinics in a press release. “We have worked extremely hard to identify all the parties responsible. No hospital staff member was involved in posting the file to the website. We will continue to take aggressive action to hold all responsible parties accountable.”
  • Reaction: This statement is an equitable response for this crisis. The statement was given via a press release which means that it was not as direct to media as it could have been. However, the message of the statement was clear, assigned blame, and told stakeholders that aggressive action was being taken.
  • Example #2: Better Response - According to McCann, the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) notified nearly 1.3 million people that hackers gained access to an agency server for almost a year before being discovered. This was one of the largest HIPAA breaches ever reported. “We apologize for the stress this announcement is going to cause,” said Richard H. Opper, Director of the DPHHS. “DPHHS is committed to answering questions clients and employees may have and to help them to take advantage of the services we are offering.” DPHHS provided affected clients with credit monitoring services. This statement is better because it was given by a powerful and credible figure. Opper apologizes, and focuses on how the hospital is helping stakeholders.
  • Reaction: This response also gives a gateway to continue contact with stakeholders, which leads to two-way communication. After hearing the statement stakeholders will understand that it took a long time to discover the breach, but DPHHS is able to provide resources to ensure their private information stays secure.

RMS Healthcare is a healthcare consulting firm that offers various market research services and consulting services pertaining to patient satisfaction, community surveying, and NCQA accreditation. If you are interested in learning more about what RMS has to offer and how we can help your organization contact Susan Maxsween at SusanM@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422.


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