CMS LAUNCHES FIRST SURVEY OF PROVIDER SATISFACTION WITH MEDICARE FEE-FOR-SERVICE CONTRACTORS
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced a new initiative designed to measure how satisfied providers in the fee-for-service (FFS) program are with the services of the contractors that are responsible for processing their claims, educating them about changes in Medicare policies, and responding to provider inquiries.
The initiative, the Medicare Contractor Provider Satisfaction Survey (MCPSS) will be administered on an annual basis. It is designed to garner quantifiable data on provider satisfaction levels with key services performed by the 42 FFS contractors that process and pay more than $280 billion in Medicare claims each year.
“The Medicare program depends on health care providers all over the country to serve our beneficiaries, and this new survey will help us work with the Medicare contractors to help us serve our providers as effectively as possible,” said CMS Administrator Mark B. McClellan, M.D., Ph.D. “As we implement the most significant contractor reforms in the history of the Medicare program, provider satisfaction will be one of the key considerations.”
The MCPSS is one of the tools CMS will use to measure provider satisfaction levels, as a result of the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) of 2003. It was developed with extensive input from providers, and information about the survey has been disseminated to providers through a variety of channels, including Open Door Forum conference calls with providers, and Medlearn Matters articles posted on the CMS website. CMS will conduct ongoing outreach to providers throughout the survey process.
“We are bringing satisfaction measures and other quality measures to many aspects of Medicare, to get the best possible performance for the dollars we spend,” added Dr. McClellan. “This survey is very important provider feedback, and so we are identifying ways in which we can get the maximum provider participation.”
The MCPSS will query 25,000 randomly selected providers (e.g., physicians, suppliers, healthcare practitioners, and institutional providers), a statistically valid and representative sample of the 1.2 million who serve Medicare beneficiaries. Those providers selected to participate in the survey will be notified by mail during the first week of January 2006. The survey is designed so that it can be completed in less than a half hour. Survey responses can be submitted via a secure Web site, mail or fax and will be accepted through January 25, 2006.
The survey questions will focus on seven key areas of provider-contractor interactions, including:
CMS will use the MCPSS results for Medicare contractor oversight. Contractors will be able to use the survey results to improve the services they offer to providers. CMS plans to make the survey results available via an online reporting system in early July 2006.
Further information about the MCPSS is available at: