How a Medical Call Center can meet ACA Mandate

Medical Answering Service
4 min read

Learn how Patient Satisfaction Reporting, an ACA mandate, will affect your practice and what steps you can take to meet the requirements.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly referred to as Obamacare, is making a huge impact on both patients and medical professionals. One of the changes medical practices must implement to meet the requirements of the ACA is expanded recordkeeping by way of “Patient Satisfaction Reporting.” Understanding exactly what this entails, and what strategies you can follow to make it easier, will prepare your practice to meet or exceed the reporting requirements of the ACA.

What is Patient Experience Reporting?

Patient Satisfaction Reporting (PSR) is essentially a method of allowing patients to give their perspective on the hospital and medical care. In the past, this was optional. Some facilities chose to utilize this reporting to improve ongoing patient care. However, the Affordable Care Act makes this mandatory. There is also now a standardized survey too. While some practices disagree with the information collected, having one standard survey allows medical professionals to better understand what information will be collected and as such tailor the patient experience ahead of time.

What you need to know:

  • The patient experience has become a metric to measure payment systems for quality. View References. [1]
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have used the (HCAHPS) survey, a set of 32 questions administered to a random sample of hospital patients about their experience of care, since 2008. View References. [2]
  • Three broad goals have shaped HCAHPS. View References. [3]
    • Produce data about patients’ perspectives of care.
    • Creates new incentives to improve quality of care.
    • Enhance accountability.

The required standardized, survey is the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems or HCAHPS is pronounced H-caps. This is a data collection program that measures the experience after office and hospital visits. Standardization is significant because it lends itself to accurate comparisons by facilities on both a local and national basis. The consistency of the HCAHPS survey is a valuable tool. It allows community organizations to compare data locally, regionally, and nationally. Additionally, standardization is valuable to practitioners as it allows one practice to compare itself to the local benchmark, or to observe how patient assessments change over time.

Patient Satisfaction Reporting Strategies

What is your practice’s goal? You can decide if your goal is simply to meet the requirements for the sake of being compliant, or do wish to go further and use the reporting to improve patient satisfaction within your practice. The ladder offers the greatest rewards by understanding and striving to exceed the expectations of your patients.

The benefits of PSR are obvious, and because it is also mandated as part of the ACA, for many practitioners it may be a challenge to implement the survey. For many facilities, one of the best ways to ease the burden of the survey is by utilizing a medical call center.

As a medical professional, you may only think of a healthcare call centers as an answering service. However, a good medical call center can help you with a variety of services—including the HCAHPS satisfaction reporting. You can work with the call center to explain the necessary documentation to meet both ACA requirements as well as collecting any information required for the needs of your own practice. Additionally, the medical call center can help organize the collected information and deliver the data in an easy to read compiled report that meets ACA requirements. Utilizing a medical information call center for this purpose can save you time, and in turn money. Finding the right medical call center services– one that specializes in medical communications, and which understands the regulations – can be a further advantage, helping your practice get up to speed more quickly.

A Mandate— Also an Opportunity

Understanding customer perception is important in any business, and healthcare is no exception. This information can have great impact on creating a patient-centered experience as well as your practice’s revenue. If you do decide to look at medical answering service to assist you in meeting the requirements of the ACA mandate—verify that they have experience implementing the survey. This is should not be left to a call center for medical offices with no previous experience as it could affect time to implement, accuracy and most importantly your bottom line. If you about a medical answering service, we would be more than glad to answer your questions.

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References:

[1] Bobbie Berkowitz, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN (2016): The Patient Experience and Patient Satisfaction: Measurement of a Complex Dynamic – View Article Here

[2] CMS.gov (2014): HCAHPS: Patients’ Perspectives of Care Survey – View Article Here

[3] Shivan J. Mehta, MD, MBA (2015): Patient Satisfaction Reporting and Its Implications for Patient Care – View Article Here