Is GPRO the way to go?

GPRO SurveyVitals

Update: GPRO is a part of the retired PQRS program that has been replaced by MIPS under the Quality Payment Program (QPP). Learn more about MIPS here.

At SurveyVitals, we believe there’s great value in the Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) quality data reporting option. In 2015, only Eligible Professionals (EPs) can report through a QCDR. Some great news is that CMS recently shared they’re adding a reporting option allowing group practices to report quality measure data using a QCDR for 2016. Please read below for more detail about the differences between GPRO and QCDR.

By now, everyone understands that physicians who don’t report adequate quality measures in 2015 will see a 2% penalty in 2017. There are still questions, however, about the best way to report your quality data to CMS, especially for outpatient practices. And while the date to adjust your 2015 reporting mechanism has passed, we’d like to share some information as you start thinking about your plan for 2016.

At the highest level, you must decide whether to report as an individual EP (Eligible Professionals) or as part of a group. There are pros and cons to each, although SurveyVitals® recommends the individual EP route. Among other reasons, this option allows you to submit quality data through a QCDR (Qualified Clinical Data Registry) if one exists for your specialty.

GPRO, the Group Practice Reporting Option, is another method to submit your quality data, but has numerous CMS requirements. Here are a few things we’d like our clients to know about GPRO for 2015:

  • GPRO is optional.
  • GPRO only applies to EPs with a common Tax Identification Number (TIN).
  • If you chose a GPRO reporting method, the decision is irreversible for 2015 (the deadline was June 30, 2015).
  • You cannot submit your data through a QCDR if you choose GPRO.*
  • If you choose GPRO and have 100 or more EPs (25 or more for 2016), you’ll be required to run the CAHPS for PQRS survey. The survey is optional in 2015 for groups of 2-99 EPs.
    • Most importantly, the survey is tailored to primary care.
    • The survey will not be paid for or administered by CMS. Participating groups will be required to contract with a CMS-certified vendor to administer the CAHPS for PQRS survey.
    • The CAHPS for PQRS survey will be administered on paper with live phone follow-ups for non-responders. Surveys sent via email or text message aren’t allowed at this time, which makes improvement based on real-time feedback virtually impossible. This is why SurveyVitals is not a CMS-certified vendor.
    • CAHPS for PQRS does count as a measure.

Choosing whether to report quality measures as a group or by individual can be a complicated decision when you factor in eligibility and reporting requirements, and here’s why we recommend individual reporting:

  • Individual EPs can submit through QCDRs:
    • QCDRs can focus on more relevant, specialty-specific quality measures. Now is the time to promote the QCDR concept and its benefits to your specialty board.
    • The QCDR collects data for the purpose of providing improved quality of care for patients.
    • There is greater potential to meet the reporting requirement of 9 measures across 3 National Quality Strategy domains.
    • The QCDR typically submits data to CMS on your behalf.

As we announced earlier this year, our Patient Satisfaction Questionnaires (APSQ, SPSQ, or HSQ), fulfills measures for many QCDRs. We’re working to get a patient satisfaction measure included in other QCDRs for 2016. We expect that the list will continue to grow, so contact us if you’d like additional information on the measures SurveyVitals can help you meet for each QCDR.

If you don’t report through a QCDR, it is still beneficial to report individually since the measures that must be reported to CMS are the same. Although some variations exist in the methods (for 2015, claims-based for individual reporting and web interface for GPRO 25+ EPs), you can avoid the CAHPS for PQRS survey requirement and its expense. Additionally, the Value-Based Payment Modifier (VM) is not affected by reporting individually since the VM is calculated by TIN.

* In late October 2015, CMS released some preliminary information regarding PQRS for 2016. From the CMS website: “CMS makes changes to the PQRS measure set to add measures where gaps exist, as well as to eliminate measures that are topped out, duplicative, or are being replaced with a more robust measure. There will be 281 measures in the PQRS measure set and 18 measures in the GPRO Web Interface for 2016. Also, as recently authorized under MACRA, CMS is adding a reporting option that will allow group practices to report quality measure data using a Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR).

We’ll wait for the final 2016 PQRS webpage to become available (typically by January 1, 2016) to see how this plays out, and SurveyVitals will attempt to stay on top of these ever changing requirements in order to provide the most value to our clients. Stay tuned for more!

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November 13th, 2015 Categories: CAHPS Surveys, featured, MIPS Information

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Best Practice – Alerts & Contact Me

Best Practices: Alerts & Contact Me

SurveyVitals Alerts

OrthoTexas is a physician-owned group specializing in complete orthopedic care, surgery, and non-surgical procedures for the total body. Their nine locations offer the latest technology and imaging, in-house physical therapy, and on-site surgical centers. Their organization, one of the largest groups of board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic physicians in Texas, began using the SurveyVitals® solution over 2 years ago for their 27 providers.

“We didn’t have a patient satisfaction tool before we chose SurveyVitals. We had no way to measure our patients’ satisfaction levels,” said Tracy Jackson, Vice President of Operations. “But then we heard Bob [SurveyVitals’ President] speak at a conference in Austin, and we knew we had found the tool to take us to the next level,” he continued.

Jackson explained, “One of the features I appreciate most is the Alerts section of the portal. I typically log in to the SurveyVitals portal 2-3 times per week to ensure the managers at our multiple locations are promptly managing their alerts. The new Alerts page makes it easy to manage, track, and archive alerts across all of our locations in one easy spot.”

Mr. Jackson pays particular attention to the Contact Me requests that come in from patients. “It’s imperative to stay on top of any contact requests that come in from patients. While there are always a few patients who don’t really need follow up–perhaps they didn’t fully read the question–it’s worth a few extra phone calls to make sure we promptly address any true patient concerns.”

“In our organization, each manager is responsible for their location’s contact requests. We always add notes to the SurveyVitals system, and mark them as In Progress so everyone can clearly see the status of each open issue. We then attempt to reach out to the patient twice, adding notes about resolution when appropriate. If the patient hasn’t responded after the two attempts, we’ll change the status to Closed.”

Mr. Jackson continued, “Before that new function was launched, I used to spend so much time copying and pasting the contact requests into Outlook, saving them in a pending folder so I could follow up on them as need. I’d have to remind my managers twice a week to check their alerts. The new Alerts functionality has saved me so much time. Now we’re managing all of that information within one spot in the SurveyVitals product.”

“In the end, it’s all about happier patients. They’re pleased that you listened to them, and that increased satisfaction is reflected in our scores,” finished Jackson.

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November 13th, 2015 Categories: Best Practices, Client Spotlight, featured, Product Features

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Our Clients – OrthoTexas

OrthoTexas

Tracy Jackson, Vice President of Operations at OrthoTexas, is thrilled with the amount of time his group saves while using the new Alerts & Contact Me functionality that was rolled out earlier this fall. Here’s a snippet of an email that he recently sent to the SurveyVitals® Support Services team:

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE what I’ve seen on the contact requests and statuses. This will not only save a great deal of my time (and my team’s), but will also help us easily track the alerts and provide timely resolution. Great job and thank you to the SurveyVitals team!

When we asked him what he appreciated most about our patient satisfaction solution, he said:

If we don’t measure it, we can’t improve or hold our group accountable for providing completely patient-focused care. We need to empower and educate our providers, and address the areas we need to improve upon. SurveyVitals helps us meet all of those objectives.

Thanks for sharing your sentiments, Tracy! We’re glad that our solution helps you and your group succeed in today’s rapidly changing environment.

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November 13th, 2015 Categories: Client Spotlight, featured, Outpatient Practice, Product Features

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To GPRO, or not to GPRO, that is the question for anesthesiology providers

GPRO SurveyVitals

By now, everyone understands that physicians who don’t report adequate quality measures in 2015 will see a 2% penalty in 2017. There are still questions, however, about the best way to report your quality data to CMS, especially for anesthesiology providers. And while the date to adjust your 2015 reporting mechanism has passed, we’d like to share some information as you start thinking about your plan for 2016.

At the highest level, you must decide whether to report as an individual EP (Eligible Provider) or as part of a group. There are pros and cons to each, although SurveyVitals® recommends the individual EP route. Among other reasons, this option allows you to submit quality data through a QCDR (Qualified Clinical Data Registry).

GPRO, the Group Practice Reporting Option, is another method to submit your quality data, but has numerous CMS requirements. Here are a few things we’d like our clients to know about GPRO:

  • GPRO is optional.
  • GPRO only applies to EPs with a common Tax Identification Number (TIN).
  • If you chose a GPRO reporting method, the decision is irreversible for 2015 (the deadline was June 30, 2015).
  • You cannot submit your data through a QCDR if you choose GPRO.
  • If you choose GPRO and have 100 or more EPs (25 or more for 2016), you’ll be required to run the CAHPS for PQRS survey. The survey is optional in 2015 for groups of 2-99 EPs.
    • The survey is tailored to primary care, which does not help anesthesiology providers.
    • The survey will not be paid for or administered by CMS. Participating groups will be required to contract with a CMS-certified vendor to administer the CAHPS for PQRS survey.
    • The CAHPS for PQRS survey will be administered on paper with live phone follow-ups for non-responders. Surveys sent via email or text message aren’t allowed at this time, which makes improvement based on real-time feedback virtually impossible. This is why SurveyVitals is not a CMS-certified vendor.
  • By reporting via GPRO, you’re agreeing to have your PQRS performance results publicly posted on the Physician Compare website. The performance rates will apply to the entire group.

Choosing whether to report quality measures as a group or by individual can be a complicated decision when you factor in eligibility and reporting requirements, and here’s why we recommend individual reporting:

  • Individual EPs can submit through QCDRs:
    • QCDRs can focus on more relevant, anesthesia-specific quality measures.
    • The QCDR collects data for the purpose of providing improved quality of care for patients.
    • There is greater potential to meet the reporting requirement of 9 measures across 3 National Quality Strategy domains.
    • The QCDR typically submits data to CMS on your behalf.
    • As the ASA said on its website, “Participation in [the] ASA QCDR not only helps protect a practice’s income, but it also helps keep money in the practice so you can continue your focus on patient safety.

As we announced earlier this year, our Anesthesia Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire, the APSQ, fulfills measure #16 for NACOR, the Composite Patient Experience, and counts as an outcome measure as well. We’re also working to get a patient satisfaction measure included in other QCDRs like ABG and ASPIRE for 2016. We expect that list will continue to grow, so contact us if you’d like additional information on the measures SurveyVitals can help you meet for each QCDR.

If you don’t report through a QCDR, it is still beneficial to report individually since the measures that must be reported to CMS are the same. Although some variations exist in the methods (for 2015, claims-based for individual reporting and web interface for GPRO 25+ EPs), you can avoid the CAHPS for PQRS survey requirement and its expense. Additionally, the Value-Based Payment Modifier (VM) is not affected by reporting individually since the VM is calculated by TIN.

SurveyVitals will attempt to stay on top of these ever changing requirements in order to provide the most value to our clients. Stay tuned for more!

Schedule a Demo

October 7th, 2015 Categories: Anesthesia, CAHPS Surveys, featured, MIPS Information

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Best Practice – Assess Provider Engagement with Login Count

Best Practice Provider Engagement

Login Count

SurveyVitals® strives to offer a solution that helps providers and practices deliver exceptional patient care. An important step towards improvement is active engagement with the SurveyVitals system. But how do you know if your providers and divisions are engaged with the SurveyVitals patient feedback tool?

Engagement statistics can be found on the dashboard. Within the Provider Stats module, the Login Count quickly shows the number of times the provider has logged in over the past 30, 60, or 90 days. Sort from most to least engaged by clicking on the heading, and spot providers with No Login. Check out this post to learn why it’s so important for every provider to have a login for their portal.

Engagement Email

Engagement statistics are also delivered quarterly via email. Every 90 days, you’ll receive summary engagement data for your providers and divisions to keep you in the loop.

We suggest that providers log into their online portal at least once per week to check their percentile ranking, alerts, and trend lines. And now you have a quick way to assess the engagement level of the providers at your practice.

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October 7th, 2015 Categories: featured, Patient Experience, Product Features

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New! “View Dashboard As”

New View Dashboard As Feature

View Dashboard As

Something new recently appeared in the upper right-hand corner of your dashboard! Located under the blue navigation bar, you’ll now see the View Dashboard As button. Clicking it will bring you to a pop-up modal that asks you to select which type of dashboard you’d like to view. You may choose to view the dashboard of one of your divisions or providers.

Dashboard_Dropdown

View Dashboard As allows you to see the dashboard results exactly as your divisions and providers see them. Each of you can be logged into your individual portals, and you’ll both be able to view their dashboard analytics. This is a great way to review results, analyze trends, and brainstorm improvement opportunities while reviewing the same data.

As always, encourage your providers to log in to their SurveyVitals® portal on a weekly basis. (Check out this post to learn why it’s so important for every provider to have access to their personalized portal.)

If your providers don’t yet have a portal login, it’s time to set them up! Simply go to your dashboard and click on Admin in the upper right corner. Scroll down and click on Provider Details, click on the plus sign next to the provider’s name, and complete the User Details section. You can always click on the blue question mark button in the lower right corner if you need assistance.

Setting up portal logins for your provider doesn’t take long, and the feedback they get helps them, your practice, and your patients.

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October 7th, 2015 Categories: featured, Patient Experience, Product Features

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FAQ – Why should providers have their own SurveyVitals® portal login?

Provider Statistics

One of the hallmarks of the SurveyVitals® solution is the prompt electronic feedback it provides. Administrators already see this feedback, and it’s crucial that providers receive it too. Feedback drives improvement, helps lower the risk for medical malpractice lawsuits, and improves patients’ perceptions of care in the process.

SurveyVitals provides this important patient feedback via the online portal and through alerts. All providers should have access to their personalized portal where they can view their survey results, percentile ranking, statistical confidence, national composite rank, alerts, and more. This helps them understand how patients rate their care so they can look for improvement opportunities and adjust their approach if needed.

It’s important to turn on alerts for all providers. Alerts are a vital part of the feedback loop and can be used to identify trends in patient perceptions. Low patient scores trigger an alert to the provider and the Administrator. It’s not uncommon for a provider to receive a few low score alerts since patients have their own unique experience with health care. But a string of alerts in the same area could signal an issue that needs to be addressed. We’ve analyzed our data and found that alerts are generated for about 7% of all surveys. Prompt attention to those alerts can help mitigate potential malpractice risks. Alerts also help practitioners modify their practice without the need for extensive one-on-one coaching.

As an Administrator, how do you know if all of your providers have access to their personalized portal? Go to the Provider Stats module of your dashboard and click on the Login Count heading. Look for providers that have No Login instead of a chart.

To set up a provider’s login, go to your dashboard and click on Admin in the upper right corner. Scroll down and click on Provider Details, click on the plus sign next to the provider’s name, and complete the User Details section. You can always click on the blue question mark button in the lower right corner if you need assistance.

Alerts and portal access give providers the awareness needed to address any potential issues without extensive coaching or administrative involvement. Our analytics show that patients’ perceptions of care improve over time when providers receive alerts and have an opportunity to modify their approach. Let your providers take full advantage of the SurveyVitals solution. Set them up with portal access and turn on their alerts today!

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October 7th, 2015 Categories: featured, Patient Experience, Product Features

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New! An Entirely New Alerts Interface

New! Alerts Interface
Rich new features help you manage crucial notifications

The SurveyVitals team is profoundly passionate about building the tools that help our clients improve and reduce malpractice risk. While you’ve always had the ability to view the notifications that alert you to possible issues, we’ve now made it even easier to manage, track, and archive alerts and contact requests in one easy location. You can even investigate improvement opportunities within the context of the specific survey that triggered the alert.

At the highest level, you’ll see faster page responses, better filtering, and an expanded view of alerts within the context of the survey. Brief videos explain how to navigate the new page. Let’s dive a little deeper into some of the exciting new functionality.

Filter & Sort

Filtering allows you to sort, organize and quantify your alerts. Use the high-level filtering at the top of the page to view alerts versus contact requests and see which are active versus archived. There’s also search functionality if you’re looking for something specific.

Specific filters allow you to sort by date or filter by providers, division, survey, score, or whether comments are present. Please remember to press the Load button if you sort by Survey type.

View in Context, Archive & Edit

Once you’ve found an alert, you can quickly see if a patient contact request is associated with it. In the image below, you can see that the provider has received a survey that triggered an alert and has a patient contact request. The entire patient survey loads to the right so you can quickly see the low scores in context of the entire completed survey. We note how often the provider receives low scores in this area–from often to rarely. If you prefer to see only alerts without the survey details, simply click the Collapse View button in the upper right-hand corner.

Alert Survey

Once you’ve reviewed an alert, you may choose to archive or delete it. Archiving removes an alert from your inbox, but does not delete them. You may archive and delete alerts one by one or by using the Select All button.

Notes

Status & Tracking

Contact requests require follow up and now allow you to assign a status to each. All requests start as Open and can be changed to In Progress or Closed. A log tracks the status each time the alert is viewed or changed and adds a user name and time stamp so there is a history of the interaction with each contact request. There’s even a new notes field where a user may type in the next steps or how the issue was resolved. This feature will make communication between those who manage alerts virtually seamless. The Visibility button in the upper right-hand corner tells you which people in your organization can see contact requests and notes.

We hope this new functionality helps you better manage your organization’s alerts and contact requests. Click on the About button in the upper right-hand corner for more information or click the ? button in the lower right corner to connect with a member of our Support Team if you have questions.

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September 10th, 2015 Categories: featured, Patient Experience, Product Features

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Press Release – SurveyVitals Partners with athenahealth’s ‘More Disruption Please’ Program

Press Release Athena Health
Timely Patient Feedback Can Help Providers Improve Their Patients’ Perceptions of Care and Reduce Malpractice Risk

SurveyVitals®, an automated, cost-effective quality and patient satisfaction survey solution provider, today announced a partnership with athenahealth® through athenahealth’s ‘More Disruption Please’ program. SurveyVitals is now part of the athenahealth Marketplace offerings. Together, the companies will work to link athenahealth’s growing network of more than 67,000 health care providers with SurveyVitals to improve their patients’ perceptions of care and reduce malpractice risk.

“SurveyVitals delivers a high-value quality tool,” said Bob Vosburgh, President of SurveyVitals. “Unlike traditional paper surveys, our real-time solution truly helps providers improve patients’ perceptions of care. Patient satisfaction measures are already being incorporated into many QCDRs (Qualified Clinical Data Registries) to meet PQRS (Physician Quality Reporting System) requirements. Now is the time to establish a quality program, and we can help. We’re thrilled to be integrated with athenahealth since it allows our mutual clients to start gathering patient feedback with just a few clicks. Detailed reporting and notifications guide providers toward real improvement.”

athenahealth is a cloud-based services company with a vision to build an information backbone to help make health care work as it should. This relationship will allow SurveyVitals to spread awareness of athenahealth’s cloud-based based services to clients who are looking for an EHR partner who delivers proven clinical and financial results so providers can stay focused on care.

About SurveyVitals

SurveyVitals helps improve patient care by administering automated, electronic patient satisfaction surveys on behalf of healthcare providers. They help practices and providers Get Better™. Now in their 13th year, they continue to disrupt the outdated model of expensive paper surveys that garner low response rates and provide delayed feedback. Their solution is used by thousands of providers across 58 specialties, and they have millions of surveys in their national baseline.

Read the official release.

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September 2nd, 2015 Categories: featured, Patient Experience, Press Release

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Press Release – 1 million anesthesia surveys

1 million surveys completed

1 million anesthesia surveys

SurveyVitals® just reached a huge milestone! An anonymous patient completed the 1 millionth anesthesia patient satisfaction survey yesterday morning (August 18, 2015). SurveyVitals prides itself on providing actionable, accurate data, and the value of our national baseline continues to expand with each new survey that is completed. Benchmark your practice, divisions, and physicians against a national, organization, division, or specialty baseline.

We continue to disrupt the outdated model of expensive paper surveys that garner low response rates and provide delayed feedback. We’re proud to say our solution is used by thousands of providers across 58 specialties, and that by first quarter of 2016 we should have 1.5 million surveys in our anesthesia baseline and another 1 million in our outpatient baseline. Here’s to patient satisfaction, quality, and improvement!

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August 19th, 2015 Categories: Anesthesia, featured, Press Release

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