Raising the Bar on Quality: Smarter Surveys for Reliable Results - MA for Tomorrow

Raising the Bar on Quality: Smarter Surveys for Reliable Results

Summary: MA for Tomorrow modernizes MA quality surveys by expanding modalities, simplifying survey length, reframing survey questions, integrating survey results and improving timeliness.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) collects a diverse set of data through consumer surveys to measure the quality of Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. These surveys are intended to provide valuable input to differentiate health plan performance and assist consumers in utilizing quality to choose the right plan for their needs. But far too often, information from seniors isn’t fully or accurately captured because of the flawed survey collection tools of the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers Survey (CAHPS) and Hospital Outcome Survey (HOS).

Today’s MA quality survey tools are too long, do not offer real-time feedback and represent input from a small fraction of MA consumers. We can and must do better to get timely, robust feedback from enrollees to improve care delivery and support seniors as they select the best health plan for their needs.

Effectively evaluating quality begins with having survey tools that collect information accurately and comprehensively. That includes increasing response rates through recognition of cultural, geographic and socioeconomic factors that vary across communities. With better survey tools, CMS can expand the number and diversity of consumers responding to the survey.

To raise the bar on quality and collect accurate, reliable data, MA for Tomorrow modernizes MA quality surveys by:

Expanding Modalities: Utilizing electronic surveys with real-time responses collected at the point of care, such as an annual wellness visit.

Simplifying Survey Length: Reducing the number of questions and streamlining surveys using subquestions and skip logic.

Reframing Survey Questions: Improving response rates from ethnic and linguistic subgroups by including language translation capability to add context and relevance for questions, which will reset consumer expectations of clinical delivery and better inform responses.

Integrating Survey Results: Combining all plan CAHPS results from both hospitals and clinicians to provide greater care delivery insights.

Improving Timeliness: Collecting survey responses prior to MA bid season, with survey data results released in January from data collected through the previous summer.

Quality surveys are a critical component of MA plan selection for seniors. But quality reporting is only as good as the tools used to capture it. It’s time to modernize survey tools to meet the needs of the next generation of seniors. CMS has the authority to make these changes immediately to provide comprehensive, reliable results for seniors as they make important health care decisions.


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