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Archive for the ‘Consulting’ Category

The following post was written by Maggy Stewart, Graphic Designer and Marketing Coordinator at RMS.

millennial (2)

It’s a common question, we hear it all the time from clients: how do we market to (and actually captivate) millennials – the now largest generation in the U.S. workforce? Stumble upon any informative, well known business website today and you’re bound to see an article dissecting the new “It” generation: the millennials. According to Time Magazine, the notorious generation has finally taken over the American labor force, and is expected to surpass the Baby Boomers as the largest living generation in the United States. And with such a large target (75.4 million people, according to Pew Research), marketers figured they couldn’t miss. But as more and more millennials came into the market with impressive (and unnoticed) purchasing power, marketers struggled even more to understand them. But why the disconnect? A lot of brands out there are continuing to sell the traditional “get married, buy a house, start a family” agenda, because that’s what older generations based a lot of their spending upon. Those tactics aren’t hooking millennials, and that’s an issue because millennials are buying, they just buy differently than marketers are familiar with.

Not only are millennials’ spending habits different, but they’re so offbeat from previous generations’ that they’re completely misunderstood. This is mainly because they’re approaching adulthood in a contrasting way when compared to their older counterparts. So why the sudden shift? One reason is the economy and the scars left behind following the recession. Milestones of adulthood—purchasing a home, tying the knot, having children—are simply not as feasible anymore, hence the delay. In addition to the economic issues, millennials grew up in a truly evolving world where options for anything were endless, in turn paving the avenues for many “adulting” alternatives. Brand strategists and marketers need to consider the fact that this powerful generation was raised in a world of choice—some moved out of mom and dad’s years ago, but became adults based on their own terms, not tradition. This is the largest population to date and some of them just graduated high school. “Brands need to stop waiting for millennials to ‘grow up’ and fall in line with what past generations have done. A lot of them already have; it just looks different than it did in the past. Brands and marketers need to shift and adapt to this reality, instead of waiting for one that won’t come true,” warns Patrick Spenner, a Forbes Contributor.

So what’s a brand strategist to do? For starters, acknowledge their lifestyles and figure out how to “amplify their reality,” writes Spenner. Market the values that drive them, not the ones that deter them: focus on social groups, not life stages. You also need to consider the medium to which you’re trying to reach them. Eighty-five percent of millennials own smartphones (according to Entrepreneur), so naturally your most aggressive marketing strategy should come from a mobile platform. Optimize your landing pages, improve your loading times, be blunt with your call to action, and then get creative. And finally, you need to be engaging. Ninety-five percent of millennials cite friends as the most trusted source of product information (according to Entrepreneur). Build a customer base of brand evangelists and you’ll see your notoriety skyrocket more than it ever did with a print ad or Facebook post. “The best way to get your message heard among millennials is to have millennials themselves spreading the word,” writes Sujan Patel, Entrepreneur contributor. As a takeaway, consider these as preemptive tactics; even if millennials aren’t part of your target audience right now, they will be soon. Very soon. Adapt now, or forever hold your peace.

RMS is a full-service market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in learning more about our research capabilities, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at www.RMSresults.com.

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The following post was written by Samadhi Moreno, Healthcare Research Associate at RMS.

blog-CAHPS-concerns-misconceptions

I recently listened to a new AHRQ Podcast on the common concerns and misconceptions regarding the CAHPS surveys. The title of the podcast series was “CAHPS Surveys: Sorting Fact from Fiction” by Rebecca Anhang-Price.

CAHPS results are used for pay per performance measures and are publicly reported to encourage consumer’s involvement in their healthcare and promote quality improvement initiatives. Survey results impact reimbursement, so it is important to understand the common misconceptions providers may have regarding CAHPS surveys.

Some of the important points of the podcast include:

  • It is a common misconception that patient surveys do not provide valid information about care quality. The Institute of Medicine identifies patient centeredness as an important element of quality of care. The CAHPS surveys offer valid and reliable data to measure patient centeredness and patient experience.
  • CAHPS surveys measure patient experience, which is an important factor in quality of care that can only be measured by patient surveys. Good patient experience is correlated with good clinical outcomes, and is the reason CAHPS surveys are used for payment programs and performance measures.
  • CAHPS Survey offer patients an opportunity to voice their opinions. The results in contrast, help patients choose a provider based on the experience of care.
  • There seems to be a common misconception on whether patients are “knowledgeable” enough to report good care. However, if we take a look at the CAHPS surveys, these instruments ask patients to report on their experience of care. Patients are the best source for this type of information because they experience the care first hand. The CAHPS surveys do not assess any type of technical work, but rather complement existing technical measures.
  • Patient’s experience is not influenced by whether the physician chooses a treatment protocol that fulfills the patient desires, but focuses on how well the providers communicate about the treatment option chosen. There is no evidence that offering unnecessary care will increase CAHPS scores in providers.
  • There are certain strategies physicians can utilize to improve patient experience, such as:
    • Involving the patient in the decision making process
    • Discussing the context of the patient’s requests
    • Proposing alternatives to patient requests
  • Lastly, providers might be concerned with how the patient population served can affect the providers CAHPS scores. However, CAHPS scores included in the publically reported results are case-mix adjusted to account for the variation in the populations served by physicians.

Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) is a full service marketing and market research and consulting firm located in Baldwinsville, NY. As an approved CAHPS Vendor,  RMS’ Healthcare Department is composed of two divisions:(1) Healthcare Analytics and (2) Healthcare Practice Transformation. The Healthcare Analytics team is responsible for several aspects of the CAHPS Survey Administrations including the following product lines:  HCAHPS®, HH-CAHPS®, CG-CAHPS®, and ICH CAHPS®. The Practice Transformation team handles the coordination of quality initiatives to assist clients achieving Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) recognition. To learn more about our healthcare services, contact Sandy Baker, Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at www.RMSresults.com.

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The following post was written by Zach Shaw, Panel Coordinator at RMS.

blog-sustainable-business

Companies who engage in green marketing showcase their services and products based on environmental factors or awareness. These companies consider long-term environmental and social impacts of business operational practices such as processing, packaging and distribution. The goal of green marketing companies is to surpass traditional marketing strategies by promoting environmentally responsible core values; in turn connecting with consumers to drive brand awareness and  aiding in the creation of new product lines that will cater to new target markets.

Before integrating sustainable marketing into your company’s marketing plan, it’s important to review the company’s current marketing mix, also known as the four Ps of marketing. The four Ps of marketing consist of product, price, place and promotion.  Properly developing these four strategies is key to developing a sustainable marketing plan.

Product – A product is a tangible good or an intangible service that is available to consumers. Companies which employ sustainable marketing strategies to promote their product(s) should consider the materials, ingredients, and how it is manufactured.  A company should look for natural and organic materials and also sourcing locally to and through fair trade suppliers, utilizing environmentally friendly materials, and using lean manufacturing and distribution methods that minimize the company’s carbon footprint. Packaging also plays a significant role in sustainability. Companies who wish to use green marketing to promote their sustainable products often utilize the following for packaging: renewable materials, recyclable products, and ensuring the product-to-packaging ratio is a tight fit to produce no waste.

Price – A company must also investigate pricing for sustainable products. These products are often more expensive than competitor products due to the high cost of ingredients, in turn jeopardizing market acceptance. This causes a “green pricing gap,” as some consumers may want to purchase products that are better for the environment, but either do not want to, or are financially unable to pay a higher price.  Although gaining in popularity, many consumers will not pay more for these premium products if they do not perceive additional value from the product (ex: a lower electricity bill from energy efficient appliances). Companies can minimize the price barrier by either reducing the cost of the product or by implementing marketing which raises the perceived value gained by the product to justify a higher price point.

Place – A place signifies where a consumer can purchase the sustainable product or service. This can be a physical brick-and-mortar location or a virtual store.  Brick-and-mortar storefronts focusing on sustainability should consider investing in energy efficient stores. You may want to “go paperless” for billing, install energy saving electronics and lighting to power the store, and make reusable shopping bags available for consumers to reduce your carbon foot print.  Virtual stores should ensure their distribution is also using green practices. This may include using alternative fuels; planning fuel efficient delivery loads and distribution routes; and reducing packaging for delivery trucks. There is increasing trending consumer demand for companies to buy local, and engaging in this practice will allow the company to support local businesses while also decreasing the company’s carbon emissions – both of which will help enhance community and consumer perception.

Promotion – In addition to being known for quality, a company offering sustainable products or services should have strong brand recognition for the positive impact the good or service has on the environment.  To effectively promote the product or service, you’ll need to consider which strategy will be most effective with your target audience. Some promotional activities to consider include:

  • Traditional advertising (television, digital, radio).
  • Enticing consumers to purchase the product or service through incentives such as coupons, or charitable donations.
  • Driving awareness through public relations activities such as press releases.
  • Investing in digital techniques by creating a mobile-friendly website, utilizing search engine optimization, or purchasing digital advertising such as retargeting, pay-per-click, e-mail , or blogging.
  • A more personal approach to selling the product or service (word-of-mouth/referrals, cold calling).
  • Utilizing social media to drive engagement with the brand.
  • Mobile marketing that allows customers to use digital coupons and view digital advertisements.

These four Ps will assist your company in the development of your company’s green marketing mix. RMS is a full-service market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in learning more about our services, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at www.RMSresults.com.

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blog-pcmh-pediatriciansPediatricians associated with a practice that is a recognized Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) can now be awarded Maintenance of Certification (MOC) credit by the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP). MOC is designed by and for pediatricians to encourage lifelong learning, self-assessment, and a continuous commitment to quality. NCQA’s mission is to improve quality of health care through measurement, transparency, and accountability. Clearly, the organizations are aligned with their commitment to quality driven healthcare.

ABP announced that affiliated pediatricians will be awarded 40 points toward Performance in Practice certification requirements. This is in recognition of the quality improvement initiatives associated with PCMH practices, and designed to reduce the duplication of reporting requirements needed for both programs. It is estimated that 8,000 doctors can earn credit based on their PCMH recognition. NCQA has recognized over 10,000 practices as patient-centered medical homes, of which approximately one third are pediatric practices.

NCQA is in the process of redesigning the PCMH recognition program to better align reporting requirements with government regulators and other organizations, with the goal of streamlining practices’ reporting and giving providers more time for patient care. NCQA is also working with other certifying organizations to encourage them to award their members credit for PCMH recognition.

Are you a pediatrician thinking about becoming a Patient-Centered Medical Home? With key decisions to allow MOC credit for recognized pediatricians, this may be the time to move forward with your goals. If you are interested in pursuing PCMH recognition, RMS Healthcare can help you transform your practice, allowing you to take advantage of current and future incentives. We have successfully assisted pediatric practices in achieving recognition through NCQA, and are pleased to share this MOC update with you. If you are interested in learning more about how we can help your practice, please contact Susan Maxsween, Sr. Director of Healthcare Operations and Compliance at SusanM@RMSresults.com or at 1-866-567-5422.

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The following blog post was written by Heather Banks, a Healthcare Transformation Coordinator at RMS.

Care Coordination is paramount to ensuring management and delivery of quality-centered patient-care. The goal of care coordination is to make the primary care practice the hub of all patient care. Not only must care coordination be within the practice, but in order to effectively coordinate patient care, the primary care practice must develop relationships between the community setting, hospitals, labs and specialists. They must create protocols to support successful referrals and transitions; and develop systems to handle the transfer of pertinent information. The responsibility of PCMH is not just to inform those community providers, but to reach out and connect with them in meaningful and impactful ways so that information is communicated appropriately, consistently and without delay. Putting a care coordination program or care coordinator in place will significantly improve quality of care and patient satisfaction. Utilizing the expertise of a Care Manager will significantly contribute to improved quality of care; patient outcome, and could positively impact a patient’s overall experience.

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To improve accountability and prevent care from being fragmented, consider these five steps:

  • Assign a dedicated person/team to be accountable for managing patient care.
  • Define the extent of responsibilities for key activities.
  • Establish when specific responsibilities should be transferred to other providers whether that means specialty physicians, long-term care facilities, or home care providers.
  • Share clinical information and findings about patients who are in the hospital.
  • Ensure that referrals to specialist physicians are made and completed.

Providers need to understand why this is so important to their practices. In some instances, communication breaks down between the providers and facilities; which can lead to unnecessary hospitalizations, duplicate tests and procedures, medical and medication errors, among other problems. Having a Care Coordinator in place reduces these risks and healthcare costs by preventing avoidable hospitalizations and emergency room use.

There are four key steps that a primary care setting need to do to implement Care Coordination within the practice setting:

  • Assume Accountability
    • Decide to improve care coordination.
    • Develop a quality improvement plan to implement change.
    • Develop a tracking system to internally track and manage the referral process and transition of care.
  • Provide Patient Support
    • Train the care team in effective communication and in their duties in order to support patients and families.
    • Assess patient’s clinical needs as well as insurance and logistical needs.
    • Identify patient barriers and help address them. Be sure the patients are well informed and help them understand the reason for the referral to an outside specialist or other facility.
    • Engage the patients to talk about their care after a hospitalization or ER visit, ask them if there have been any visits to specialists or behavioral health professionals. Also ask if any medication changes have occurred outside of the PCPs office.
    • Provide the patient with a discharge check list preparing them to leave a hospital or long-term care facility.
    • Communicate patients’ needs and preferences to all staff providing care.
    • Ensure the care team follows-up with the patient post-hospitalization or ER visits within an appropriate period of time. Educate the patient on the appropriate usage of the ER or if it is something that should be taken care of in the primary care setting.
    • Identify barriers or problems that will prevent the patient from not keeping their referral appointment.
  • Build Relationships and Agreements
    • Develop and maintain relationships with key specialists, hospitals and community agencies. Become the building block for these relationships with these providers and facilities.
    • Develop verbal or written agreements that include expectations and guidelines for referral and care transition processes to keep all parties informed of any clinical developments and to ensure compliance.
    • Set clear expectations on how information will be shared.
    • Make sure the referring and consulting providers understand the importance of the referral, and the roles that each will play in providing care by implementing a standard communication protocol.
    • Be sure the information in the referral requests and consultation reports meets agreed expectations.
  • Develop Connectivity
    • Establish an EHR system that can share information so that accurate and updated patient information can be sent easily to other providers.
    • Enable live data-sharing so physicians can immediately see changes in medications and test results.
    • Establish the ability to send alerts to providers when patients have been seen to the hospital so they can follow up.
    • Implement an information transfer system and assign specific individuals on the care team to help patients and their information get where it needs to go.
    • Designate an on-site staff member who will be an expert in the EHR system and can trouble shoot problems.
    • Open communication with other providers about patients as a way of two-way communication to follow up on information received through the EHRs.

Effective communication is the foundation of any health care team. Errors in communication can have grave consequences in the health care setting. Everyone in the health care community has a role to play by working together to achieve exceptional care coordination. Practicing effective care coordination will provide significant benefits to the implementing practice.

RMS Healthcare, a division of Research and Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) has over 50 years of collective and proven experience in providing consulting services to meet the specific needs of our clients. Regardless of your healthcare research or practice transformation needs, RMS Healthcare can help.  If you are interested in learning more, please contact Susan Maxsween, Senior Director, Healthcare Operations and Compliance at SusanM@rmsresults.com or via telephone at 1-866-567-5422.

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Beautiful business woman stands on the front of business partners.

The following blog post was written by Mark Dengler, President & Owner of RMS.

This past spring RMS celebrated its “lucky” thirteenth anniversary. A lot has changed over the years. The market research industry is full of transition. Phone surveys that were once a staple in the industry are moving to online, internet-based tools. Detailed, multi-paged reports are being replaced with top level infographics. Two-month-long field studies are being shorted to one-week panel studies. All of this change is being driven by the dynamic, competitive environment that we are now living in. The one constant continues to be the need to have talented and committed people on staff that are flexible, smart and eager to deliver quality results for clients.

Passionate employees are sometimes hard to describe, but we know them when we see them. Though they certainly do not all look and act alike, there are common characteristics which include:

  1. Bringing their best self to work each day
  2. Possessing a desire to continuously improve
  3. Focusing on the opportunities, not obstacles
  4. Not being easily discouraged
  5. Sharing an optimistic view
  6. Being driven to do their best at whatever they do

We’ve noticed there is a direct link between strong employee engagement and organizational success. Fundamental to employee engagement is “passion.” One needs to find individuals who are passionate about what they do; individuals who get excited about their work and value to an organization. An organization cannot teach employees to have passion, they need to “discover” an employee’s passion and then cultivate a work environment that capitalizes on this passion to generate and celebrate employee value. In this way, you will build a team of “passionate employees” who will help perpetuate the company’s mission and vision.

Creating passion at work is everyone’s responsibility, but the leadership sets the tone for the entire team. We all do not know what tomorrow will bring to our companies. However, we can choose to set an example, to lead and inspire. Make being passionate a habit and it’s likely that you’ll soon reap the benefits of increasing employee engagement.

Use these five tips to improve employee engagement today:

  1. Appreciation: Give credit where credit is due. Recognition and praise is motivating, and your employees will be more engaged if they feel appreciated. Be specific and prompt about your gratitude and your employees will be motivated to keep verifying that they’re doing a great job.
  2. Motivation: Positivity radiates and stimulates others. If you lead with empathy and integrity, you’re prone to get better results from your employees. Employees who feel threatened or generally out-of-touch with their leaders are more apt to withdraw their efforts. Be a persuasive and inspirational leader to motivate your team to work toward a common goal.
  3. Encouragement: It is gratifying to feel the work you do is appreciated and important. People enjoy the feeling of helping with the success of the organization, and if that genuine feeling is missing, people tend to disconnect. Show your employees how their role fits the organization’s objectives. Encourage others to see the “big picture” and how their performance can affect the company and coworkers.
  4. Be Supportive: Feeling stuck at a job that promises no growth or advancement suppresses motivation and drive. Discuss with your employees the path they’d like to see their personal and professional lives take. By discussing and genuinely caring about their aspirations, you’re more likely to have a productive and loyal team member.
  5. Develop Trust: Employees need to be able to trust their leaders and open, concise communication is how that confidence is built. Avoid the negative impacts of being vague or indirect, which can ignite assumptions and rumors. Be as open as you possibly can, as often as you can, and you’ll find that managing expectations will be easier, whether it’s a stressful time within the organization or not.

Online employee surveys are a powerful means to measure employee satisfaction and engagement. If you’re interested in learning more about employee engagement and satisfaction research, please contact our Sr. Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy, Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422.

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RMS is pleased to announce that we are a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved vendor of the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems® (CAHPS®) for Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) survey! RMS is in its ninth year of CAHPS® survey administration, and is highly experienced in the collection of data and reporting.

Here are important dates to keep in mind if you are looking for a CAHPS® for PQRS vendor:

  • September 22, 2015— Deadline to authorize approved survey vendor
  • November 16, 2015 — Beginning of survey administration process
  • February 3, 2016 — End of survey administration process
  • February 12, 2016 — Submission of survey data to CMS by survey vendor

For more information about the CAHPS® for PQRS survey process, qualifications, and quality measures, click here.

RMS has assisted hospitals, accountable care organizations, physician practices, home health and hospice agencies, and in-center hemodialisysis facilities set a benchmark for current patient satisfaction in order to improve overall patient satisfaction.

RMS Healthcare is an approved vendor for the CAHPS® for PQRS surveying process. In fact, RMS is approved for six variations of CAHPS® surveying! For more information or to request a proposal, please contact the Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy, Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422.

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student satisfaction research

Attrition is a growing concern among higher education institutions. Students are no longer starting and completing their college education at one institution, and competition is on the rise to keep them engaged.  According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 33% of first-time college freshmen will not return to the same institution for the following academic year.1  Even fewer complete a program after six years at private for-profit schools, where 68% drop out. The outlook is not as grim at nonprofit private schools and public colleges, where 33% and 43% fail to graduate after six years, respectively. Interestingly, institutions that are more selective in their admissions process (those with the lowest admissions rates) experience higher graduation rates (33%), on average, than those who have open admissions policies (86%).2 So what influences these high attrition rates? Many factors, including customer service, finances, scheduling options, personal reasons, and perceived value of education may be playing a role. The cost to retain a student is much lower than the cost to recruit a replacement, so it’s important for an institution to pinpoint the issues affecting their campus, and create strategies to increase retention rates.

Here are some options for gauging student satisfaction with an institution.

  • Quick Pulse Telephone Surveying

A quick pulse telephone survey is a short (10-15 question) survey that offers the fastest turnaround time from start to finish. This type of study is often completed in about a week, and results in a report that can include: results that are representative of the student population, overall student satisfaction with your institution to create a benchmark for ongoing research, opportunities for your institution to effectively meet the needs of students, an estimated return rate of students (overall, and by class), and an assessment of the effectiveness of seminar and acclimation programs. More information on the quick pulse telephone survey process can be found here.

  • Student Satisfaction Online Survey

Conducting an online survey is a cost-effective option for examining student satisfaction. This method is frequently used to ascertain the factors affecting the retention rate among current students. Prospective students (including those who made an inquiry but failed to enroll) and alumni can be included in the research to provide a holistic review of the student experience. Online surveys often include approximate 20 questions and last less than 10 minutes. This methodology provides administration with a detailed report of the findings which can be disseminated to faculty and staff as the institution sees fit.

  • Mystery Shopping

Through mystery shopping, researchers can gain a full-circle look at the student’s experience at an institution. From the initial campus inquiry to the application and enrollment process and beyond, researchers can utilize in-person visits, phone, and online touch points to evaluate all aspects of a student’s academic experience. This “boots on the ground” approach can provide an institution with an inside view that would be hard to obtain through other methods. Research can be customized to include an evaluation of as many, or as few, touch points that the institution would like to investigate.

Are your students happy? RMS has all the tools and resources to conduct your student satisfaction research. Studies conducted by a third-party yield more honest and accurate responses from students when compared with those administered by the institution. If you’re interested in learning more about student satisfaction research, please contact our Sr. Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy, Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422.

  1. http://www.higheredinfo.org/dbrowser/index.php?measure=92
  2. https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=40

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The following blog post was written by Karen Joncas, a Healthcare Transformation Coordinator at RMS.

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Patient-Centered Connected Care™ (PCCC™) standards are now available for non-traditional practices wishing to seek recognition of their quality-driven patient care. NCQA is offering this program in response to the plethora of choices that patients have in seeking episodic care as well as the need to emphasize the importance of clinical integration and communication in the medical neighborhood. Being recognized affirms that the non-traditional practice is working within the framework of the medical neighborhood, effectively communicating and sharing patient information with primary care practices. Eligible practices include urgent care centers, onsite employee health clinics, and school-and-retail-based clinics.

Sites that wish to be recognized will need to meet a minimum score across five standards. Unlike Patient-Centered Medical Home™ (PCMH™) recognition, there are no levels of recognition status; either a practice is recognized or it is not. Practices will be evaluated on five program standards including:
1.    Connecting with Primary Care
2.    Identifying Patient Needs
3.    Patient Care and Support
4.    System Capabilities
5.    Measure and Improve Performance

RMS Healthcare can assist providers in non-traditional and traditional practices in their transformation journey and/or NCQA recognition. Practices or providers interested in PCCC can purchase the standards and obtain more information from NCQA’s website. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Susan Maxsween, Sr. Director of Healthcare Operations and Compliance at SusanM@RMSresults.com or at 1-866-567-5422.

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This blog post is a summary of a recent project completed by Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS).

Background: A law firm partnered with RMS to conduct a mystery shopping competitive assessment study. The firm wanted to better understand competitor pricing, payment plans offered, and prospective client experience. The market research objective was to provide the client with the insights needed to determine their competitive stance in the legal marketplace.

Approach: The study involved the completion of three mystery shops for each of the 15 competitors investigated. For each competitor, a mystery shop was implemented to obtain information regarding a prospective first offense, second offense, and felony offense. All shops were performed by the RMS QualiSight facility, a team of trained researchers experienced at routinely conducting mystery shops. All supporting documentation, including details for each of the three scenarios utilized, was developed in consultation with the client to ensure accuracy in data collection procedures. All mystery shops were digitally recorded and audited internally for quality. An identical approach was completed with the client’s law firm for comparative purposes.

Results: Here are some highlights of the study’s findings:

  • The data revealed that the price quoted for a first offense and second offense were the same (on average), although the second offense carried a wider range of quoted prices. As expected, a felony offense resulted in the highest quotes and largest spread of quoted prices from competitors.
  • When comparing data gathered from competitors to that obtained from the client’s firm, RMS determined that for all scenarios, the client’s pricing was within the range of quotes obtained from competitors.
  • While some firms appeared to have a clear pricing structure, others provided estimates on a case-by-case basis. Interestingly, several of the organizations refused to provide information for a felony offense without an in-person consultation where details of the case could be reviewed.
  • A majority of the firms investigated did not offer an official payment plan, but most of them indicated a willingness to work out some form of payment structure with the prospective client. Of those that offered a payment plan, all required a down payment for at least one of the three scenarios completed.

RMS is a full-service market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in conducting a market research project, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at www.RMSresults.com.

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