With the “Dry Run” period looming in the close to future – the 3rd quarter of 2010 to be precise- Medicare residence well being agencies (HHAs) require to be preparing NOW for HHCAHPs surveying. Failure to do so eliminates them from participating in the market place basket improve scheduled for 2012.

This indicates reviewing survey vendors and preparing a survey spending budget to accommodate the specifications of the HHCAHPS system. With numerous vendors getting diverse service charges, it is generally complicated for a residence well being agency to evaluate a single vendor to a different.It also indicates that agencies require to immediately make a decision on the “mode” in which to conduct their surveys.

HHCAHPS Survey Modes

Picking a mode is primarily based on various aspects, cost becoming a single of them, and the targets and the objectives of the residence well being agency becoming the other.

Generally all 3 modes have special attributes. Picking the mode that is correct for your agency demands an understanding of the pricing — and the pros and cons — of every single mode.

Mail Mode gives the greatest worth for most agencies. The Mail Mode will call for a vendor to send the Survey Questionnaire (as supplied by HHCAHPS) a cover letter, and a return postage paid envelope in the survey package.. The survey is then mailed to a sample of eligible clientele. These who do not respond to the initially mailing will acquire a second identical mailing.

Mail Mode gives a residence well being agency a “branding” chance. The mailed survey and cover letter can enable repair a residence well being agencies name in the patient's thoughts, and facilitate that patient's return back to that agency really should they have require for the agency's solutions in the close to future.

Phone Mode is additional pricey simply because of the quantity of sources that require to be devoted to conducting phone interviews. HHCAHPS protocol demands that phone interviewers contact a minimum of six occasions, at diverse occasions and diverse days ahead of they terminate the survey try. Phone Mode also has a slightly larger response price than mail mode for completion of surveys.

Seasoned surveyors know that surveys carried out by the telephone have a tendency to yield additional constructive comments. Having said that, CMS is preparing on conducting a “mode experiment” to test the impact that the diverse modes have on survey final results. They will create statistical models to adjust for variations in final results of the mode employed to gather the information, thereby “neutralizing” the mode bias. Phone mode gives the agency the likelihood to right a perception of the individuals that they really feel received unsatisfactory service from their residence well being agency. The HHCAHPS surveys had been intended to be anonymous, on the other hand it is understandable that HHA's would like to address these places of dissatisfied responses with their patient. CMS now enables vendors to share a respondent's survey responses linked to his or her name with the client HHA only if the patient offers the survey vendor permission to do so. This is very best facilitated via the phone survey mode.

Mixed Mode combines each Mail and Phone Modes. It, as well, is additional high priced than Mail Mode. When Mixed Mode is employed, the survey vendor will initially send out a mailed survey – the similar “package” as the a single described in Mail Mode. These individuals who do not respond to the mailed survey will then have a comply with up survey performed by phone. This will proceed specifically as in Phone Mode, with six attempts created ahead of the survey try is terminated.

HHAs that have historically had a poor response on returned surveys may perhaps want to contemplate a “Mixed Mode” method as it gives the very best response price of all 3 modes.

Comparing Vendors

As we stated ahead of, the 3 modes employed to conduct the surveys will outcome in diverse package fees to the residence well being agencies. Most vendors will also have set up charges, licensing charges, or information processing charges, to manage the fees incurred in handling and processing the information and reporting the information to CMS. Have your queries prepared and make confident you fully grasp what is covered by your survey vendor, and what is not. These charges can consist of licensing or set up charges, per patient, per survey or per completed charge, postage, information processing, and reporting charges.

HHCAHPS surveys can give true worth to residence well being agencies beyond the market place basket improve by offering possibilities to enhance their solutions and improve their promoting effectiveness.