HCAPHS and MIPS scores are increasingly important as healthcare providers look to retain market share and avoid financial penalties. But with the rise of COVID-19 earlier this year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is granting HCAPHS and MIPS reporting exceptions and deadline extensions.
Eligible providers that failed to submit MIPS data by April 30, 2020, will receive a neutral HCAPHS payment adjustment. Plus, CMS has stated that hospitals will not need to submit data for January 1, 2020, through June 30, 2020. The federal agency is also evaluating options for providing relief around participation and data submission for 2020 for other eligible providers.1
This change was likely created so healthcare providers and suppliers could direct their resources toward providing care and prioritizing patient and staff health and safety. And while this may seem like good news – especially for health organizations who turned off their communication protocols when the pandemic hit – keeping satisfaction scores up requires good, consistent communication regardless of the healthcare environment.
Here are four strategies your health organization should tackle to boost your reputation management and scores well ahead of next year's deadlines.
- Get found online.
Staying top of mind and at the top of search as patients look for ease of access is a noble cause. But doing so is not so easy. With three of four online health seekers beginning their provider search at a search engine and with Google delivering 3.5 billion searches per day2, it's imperative your organization and providers can easily be found online.
Anything you can do to boost your presence online and help speed patient access is worth a closer look and investment. For example, some systems have enabling technologies that help patients schedule an appointment on the provider's site and within third-party search results, allowing patients to immediately take action. Doing so can direct patients to the right physician, at the right time, at the right venue of care while searching online.
- Deliver the right information to patients.
Make sure your directory is kept current and that your physician data is accurate. Directory management is a seemingly easy task, but this can quickly be an unwieldy chore for large systems and group practices. Plus, mistakes cost patients time, and in some cases, create added expenses. Savvy organizations create a single source of truth with accurate profiles for providers, locations, health plans, reviews, and other consumer-driven information.
- Use satisfaction surveys to monitor patient feedback.
Gathering patients' feelings about their care and experience is always essential. But it's especially crucial with telehealth patients who may feel somewhat disconnected. Keep them engaged by asking them about their patient experience.
Customized patient satisfaction campaigns use an extensive array of automated and live voice communications, including inbound and outbound calls, email, and text, to gather insights and yield the best possible intelligence to improve operations and protect your brand.
- Monitor and respond to ratings.
Emotions are running high these days, and patients may be more willing to highlight a poor experience. The proverbial "squeaky wheel" often gets attention, so it's vital to respond to patients and balance any negative experiences by boosting a wide variety of responses across various platforms and online sites.
A November 2019 survey revealed that of healthcare consumers who consider performance and results to be significant when selecting a healthcare provider, 64% value consumer and patient ratings on Yelp!, Facebook, and other social media platforms. Eighty-two percent of these consumers value professional ratings such as star ratings by Healthgrades, U.S. News & World Report, or other rating services.3
With so many things to gauge and monitor, more and more health systems are looking for advanced tools to manage their online reputation and boost scores.
Stericycle's Reputation Management solution helps attract, acquire, and retain more patients by fostering higher ratings, better patient reviews, and better patient experiences. Plus, we have several unique partnerships that extend our patient engagement platform to help you get found and chosen while improving the accuracy of your online data.
To learn more about how reputation management can help your practice or health system, download our data solution sheet.