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Archive for the ‘survey vendor’ Category

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

Background:  Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) recently served as a project evaluator for a multi-year arts initiative. The arts initiative included a collaboration of arts organizations whose goal was to experiment with new programming and engage additional and new audience members through funding provided by a group of funding partners. The market research objective was to evaluate the outcomes and impacts of the project as specified in the logic model.

Approach: The three-part evaluation included (1) in-depth interviews and (2) an online survey with arts organizations, funding partners, and project staff; and (3) a detailed review of project documentation. The interviews lasted approximately 20 minutes, while the survey took roughly 10 minutes to complete and was provided to participants via email. Survey and interview participants were selected from the contact list provided by the client. The project logic model was used in conjunction with results from the in-depth interviews, online survey, and document review to determine the success of the initiative in meeting the pre-defined project goals. Following the initial evaluation project, the client re-engaged RMS to conduct a Visioning Exercise, where the study’s findings were highlighted and discussed in a mini focus-group style meeting. The goal of the Visioning Exercise was to determine next steps for the arts initiative following the end of the project funding period.

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

  • Increased collaboration among participating arts organizations, funding to experiment with new approaches, and review of regional demographic information provided by a project consultant were major drivers of the initiative’s success.
  • Arts organizations participating in the initiative felt the collaboration among organizations should continue after the project funding is exhausted.
  • Participants felt the initiative could have met more of its goals if additional businesses had been engaged, and more reporting and assistance around audience development had been provided to participating arts organizations.
  • A local economic lull resulting in insufficient funding to create arts opportunities from area corporations and minimal disposable income for local patrons were mentioned as the biggest factors that impact their local arts community.
  • Despite the perceived challenges of the economic situation, a majority of participants felt their local arts community has improved over the past five years and will be even better in the next five years. Increased collaboration among arts organizations participating in the initiative was credited with the improvement.
  • Arts organizations feel they would be more successful in the coming year if they were able to expand their audience, identify funding opportunities for creating and marketing art, and increase awareness of the arts among their local community.

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.

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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 Samadhi Moreno, Healthcare Research Associate at RMS.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) recently announced a new exciting research project titled: “Using Patient Experience Information in Hospitals: A survey of Hospital Quality Leaders.” The project aims to answer the following questions:

  • How do hospitals collect patient experience data?
  • How do HCAHPS results influence a hospital’s efforts to improve patient experience?
  • What types of QI activities do hospitals implement to impact their HCAHPS scores?
  • Does hospital leadership see the value in HCAHPS scores?

AHRQ interviewed hospital quality leaders, hospital staff, hospital quality consultants, and HCAHPS vendors to determine potential survey topics. Using the results from these interviews, the AHRQ team developed potential questions to include in the survey. These questions were then used in the two additional rounds of cognitive interviews that were conducted with hospital quality leaders for feedback to then develop the survey instrument.

The survey instrument developed by AHRQ collects information about the hospital and the respondent on the following topics (2016):

  • Collection of HCAHPS and supplemental data for assessing patient experience
  • Activities to improve patient experience
  • Reporting of HCAHPS and other patient experience
  • Perspectives on HCAHPS
  • Institutional priority given to patient experience
  • Incentives, accountability, and compensation for patient experience scores

This survey will be administered to 500 hospitals of varying sizes and performance levels that publicly report HCAHPS scores and were part of the American Hospital Annual Survey.

Why is this important?

The results of this survey will provide information regarding the activities hospitals implement to improve HCAHPS scores. This can be useful for hospitals that are lagging in terms of patient experience and CAHPS scores. CAHPS surveys score aspects of care that can be helpful for health care executives to improve patient experience. The HCAHPS survey collects information on the patient experience regarding topics such as: the care from nurses, the patient experience in the hospital and after discharge, the overall hospital rating, and the understanding of his/her health once at home.

Many organizations have implemented products and services to improve the CAHPS scores in their organizations. CMS HCAHPS scores can be compared across hospitals regardless of patient mix; therefore the results of this study can be helpful for hospitals to improve bottom box scores.

The full research summary can be accessed here.

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 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® and (2) Practice Transformation which handles the coordination of quality initiatives to assist clients achieving Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) recognition. To learn more about our healthcare services, please 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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This blog post is a summary of a recent project completed by Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS). 

Background: An athletic goods retail establishment in New York partnered with Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) to conduct brand perception market research. The store wanted to better understand the brand perception held by its customers and non-customers from the general population. The market research objective was to determine brand knowledge, the consumer decision making process, where else consumers are shopping, what else the store could offer customers, and preferences of top customers.

Approach: The study consisted of an online survey administered to customers as well as non-customers. To reach the customer audience, the RMS team provided the survey to a list of customers supplied by the client. Customer feedback was segmented into two categories – perceptions from customers (individuals who have made a purchase at the store) and top customers (those who spend the most at the store). The RMS ViewPoint Research Panel allowed the client to obtain timely and affordable feedback from consumers who are not current customers of the store. The time frame for this type of project was six weeks.

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

  • Research revealed a strong sense of brand loyalty among current customers. There was a high level of familiarity with the store, as well as a high likelihood for survey respondents to shop at the store for their next athletic goods purchase.
  • Brand preference for athletic shoes varied based on customer type. Customers prefer New Balance, non-customers favor Nike, and the store’s top customers opt for Saucony.
  • When consumers are deciding where to purchase athletic shoes, the quality of the product is the most important factor in the decision process, while prices are most important when deciding where to purchase active wear (clothing).
  • As expected, customers and top customers are much more active than non-customers. Walking is the most common physical activity engaged in by survey respondents, and running is popular among customers and top customers.
  • Data revealed a gap in awareness of differentiating features in the customer experience. RMS recommended marketing efforts promoting the presence of these offerings to capture an additional share of the market.

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 blog post was written by Hilary Ranucci, Business Development Coordinator at RMS.

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RMS continues to expand their abilities and 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 Outpatient and Ambulatory Surgery (OAS) survey! RMS has almost a decade of experience in CAHPS survey administration, and is highly skilled in the collection of data and reporting along with a high response rate.

While participation in the OAS CAHPS survey is voluntary for 2016, we expect it to become mandatory in coming years. However, there are benefits to beginning the process early before it’s mandated. Benchmarking and baselines will become established for your organization as well as being able to improve service by learning from patient feedback. You’ll also become familiar with the process and be well prepared for when it does become mandated.

The OAS CAHPS survey will be implemented in January 2016 and surveying will be conducted on a monthly basis, similar to the hospital H CAHPS survey. RMS is able to offer multiple modes of surveying that best meet the needs of your organization. For more information about the OAS CAHPS 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 hemodialysis facilities set a benchmark for current patient satisfaction in order to improve overall patient satisfaction.

RMS Healthcare is an approved vendor for the OAS CAHPS surveying process. In fact, RMS is approved for seven variations of CAHPS surveying! For more information or to request a proposal, 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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RMS is pleased to announce that we have been approved for a second year as a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) vendor of the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems® (CAHPS®) for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) 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 ACOs vendor:

  • September 22, 2015— Deadline to authorize approved survey vendor
  • November 13-16, 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

RMS has assisted hospitals, accountable care organizations, physician practices, home health and hospice agencies, and in-center hemodialysis facilities set a benchmark for current patient satisfaction in order to improve the overall patient experience. The following areas are covered in the CAHPS for ACOs survey:

  • Getting timely care
  • Between-visit communication
  • Provider communication
  • Health promotion and education
  • Access to specialists
  • Rating of provider
  • Shared decision-making
  • Patient resources
  • Care coordination
  • Courteous/helpful office staff
  • Health/functional status
  • Medication adherence

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

RMS Healthcare is an approved vendor for the CAHPS® for ACOs surveying process, as well as five other CAHPS® surveys! In addition to CAHPS surveying, RMS Healthcare has a full complement of consulting services available within the healthcare industry. For more information, 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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The following blog post was written by Karen Joncas, a Healthcare Transformation Coordinator at RMS.

dsrip

Across the country, health care and community resource providers have joined together to transform our health care delivery systems, reducing the upward cost curve of Medicaid spending while ensuring access to appropriate, quality care. States have been given the opportunity to reinvest federal savings in programs, which at the highest level, are designed to meet the triple aim objectives set by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) of improving population health, improving patient experience of care and reducing per capita cost. One key approach being implemented here in New York State is the Delivery System Reform Incentive Program (DSRIP), which specifically targets how healthcare is provided to Medicaid patients.

New York State has structured its DSRIP initiative to promote coordinated community networks of care called Performing Provider Systems (PPS). Performing Provider Systems combine providers of hospital care, primary care and community resources that service a community’s Medicaid population. Each PPS submitted an application to New York State, identifying transformational initiatives based on its Community Needs Assessment, which would meet the primary goal of reducing avoidable hospital care by 25% over five years. This process took place in 2014. Avoidable hospital use includes reducing preventable emergency room use, reducing preventable hospital re-admissions, and focusing on preventive care. Funding for eligible providers is paid throughout the five-year transformation DSRIP program and is based on the PPS’ progress in meeting milestones toward achieving stated goals. At several points over the five-year period of the program, PPS must supply the State with metrics and benchmarks to assess their progress. Now that PPS’ across the country are firmly entrenched in DSRIP, there are additional roles for market research firms to assist in evaluating performance or other assistance in meeting their goals. Specific research roles include community engagement activities and patient experience measurement.

Throughout the DSRIP process, stakeholder and community engagement is critical to the overall success of the program. Stakeholders include 1) patients uninsured or insured by Medicaid, 2) healthcare workers and providers that serve the Medicaid community, 3) representatives from community resource organizations and 4) community residents with commercial health insurance. The processes used to engage these stakeholders include individual in-depth interviews (IDI’s), focus groups, and surveys. One unique way to engage community stakeholders in “real time” is by using a pre-qualified, on-line panel recruited and managed by the market research firm. These methods allow for benchmarking and longitudinal tracking required to report performance against stated goals.

At the conclusion of the DSRIP program, it is expected that the health care delivery system targeting Medicaid patients, as well as ambulatory care, will provide accessible, high quality healthcare in the most appropriate setting and de-emphasize care provided in the hospital. One means of recognizing successful transformation is through receiving National Committee for Quality Assurance’s (NCQA) Patient-Centered Medical Home recognition (PCMH). PCMH recognized practices proactively engage their patients, including Medicaid covered patients, in achieving the IHI triple aim goals. To that end, it is expected that primary care practices participating in the DSRIP will become PCMH 2014 Level 3 recognized no later than DSRIP’s Year 3.

Another way to incorporate patient experience outcome metrics is through the utilization of the CG-CAHPS survey tool. The survey is administered to patients to assess any disparities in the patient experience of care. Using a certified CMS vendor to administer the survey provides benchmarks and longitudinal change information needed for improving process and optimizing patient experience.

RMS Healthcare, a division of Research and Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) has a successful history of assisting practices in obtaining Patient-Centered Medical Home recognition, and is uniquely qualified to provide assistance to a PPS. For further information on services we can offer to your PPS, please contact us at 1-866-567-5422.

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This blog post was written by our guest blogger Megan O’Donnell, Manager at Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) Healthcare Division.

PQRS

The Affordable Care Act mandates that all eligible professionals in practices of two or more physicians, who are receiving payment for Medicare Part B fee-for-service under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS), participate in public reporting of patient experience with Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). The goal is to have clinical and patient experience data publicly available to Medicare beneficiaries, allowing for comparison between health care providers based on clinical and patient experience quality outcomes.

As part of the requirements for PQRS, practices with 100 or more physicians have included patient experience measures for calendar year 2013 and 2014. As of 2015, these practices will be required to contract with a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved survey vendor to administer the CAHPS for PQRS survey. Practices with two to 99 providers have the option of administering the CAHPS for PQRS survey, using an approved vendor, but are not required to do so at this time. Any practice that is required to, or chooses to administer the CAHPS for PQRS survey, must use one of the CMS-approved survey vendors.

CMS has currently provided conditional approval to survey vendors to conduct the CAHPS for PQRS survey on behalf of medical practices, including RMS – Research and Marketing Strategies, Inc. The following timeline of activities are anticipated for the CAHPS for PQRS survey administration for 2015:

JULY – survey vendor training (the final approval step for all survey vendors)

AUGUST – CMS posting of all survey vendors receiving final approval to administer the CAHPS for PQRS survey for 2015

SEPTEMBER – deadline for each group practice to authorize its CMS-approved survey vendor to administer the survey on behalf of its organization

NOVEMBER – beginning of survey administration process

FEBRUARY 2016 – end of survey administration process and submission of survey data to CMS by survey vendor

All dates are subject to change by CMS. Interested stakeholders can watch for additional details and information as it becomes available on our RMS blog or the official CAHPS for PQRS website.

RMS Healthcare is an approved vendor for the CAHPS® for PQRS surveying process. If you are interested in learning more about our survey services, 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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