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Posted February 19, 2014

CG CAHPS Is Here: 3 Tips from Physician Leaders

The Clinician and Group Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CG CAHPS) survey, much like the HCAHPS survey, provides patients with comparative information based on reported survey results to make informed healthcare decisions. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Physician Compare website (http://medicare.gov/physiciancompare/) is already live, and while public reporting of patient perception of care data is still voluntary, CMS is now reporting how physician groups with 100 or more practitioners score nationally on patient experience.

Do you know how your physicians compare? We asked three physician leaders how they are actively preparing for CG CAHPS. Below are their tips that can be implemented immediately and make a big impact.

(Click here to read the full article "CG CAHPS Is Here! What it Means for Your Organization" in Studer Group’s winter 2014 issue of Hardwired Results on physician engagement and alignment. The article includes detailed information about CG CAHPS and additional tips.)

1. Embrace Transparency. Be willing to go first.

"To work on a culture of transparency, I put my own CG CAHPS data out in front of everyone first. In fact, I think they were shocked to see a physician standing in front of a large group saying, ‘Hey, I’m not perfect.’ What I learned as a leader was very powerful: We need to be at the leading edge of change...take some risks...be willing to be vulnerable. It gives you a real leg up when you ask others to do things that are hard."

–Richard Goss, MD, MPH, Medical Director, Harborview Medical Center, UW Medicine and Associate Dean, UW School of Medicine, Seattle, WA (Studer Group partner since Feb 2010)

(Click here to read "Transparency Gets Results" in a previous issue of Hardwired Results® and see how a large multi-specialty medical group practice embraced transparency with physicians and achieved exceptional results.)

2. Round on physicians.

"When I round on physicians, I share CG CAHPS results for all OU children’s physicians, the individual physician’s clinic, and then we talk about individual performance. It’s important to validate the work physicians do so we need to help them understand what these scores mean. For instance, if a patient’s rating of the provider is a raw score of 90 (on the Child and PCMH CG CAHPS survey), he’s barely above the 50th percentile according to AHRQ averaged data for the composite. We need to reach higher...but it also means that 9 out of 10 patients gave him top marks."

–T.R. Lewis, MD, pediatric core medical director
OU Physicians, Oklahoma City, OK (Studer Group partner since Oct 2007)

(Learn more about effective rounding on employees and physicians at www.studergroup.com/ldrrounding. Note: This information is only accessible to organizations coached by Studer Group).

3. Get training.

CarolinaEast is already seeing strong performance in the CG CAHPS domains on willingness to recommend, communication, and helpfulness due to its earlier commitment to hardwiring AIDET® and post-visit phone calls.

"To get physicians on board, several of us attended Studer Group’s two-day Physician Institute where physician speakers explained the value of using objective data—not what we think, but what patients say—in changing physician behavior and culture. We’re now working with our Medical Executive Advisory Committee to roll out results through a physician champion."

–Michael Smith, Vice President, Physician Practice Management
CarolinaEast Medical Center, New Bern, NC (Studer Group partner since Feb 2012)

(Learn more about AIDET® and post-visit phone calls—two of Studer Group’s Must Haves® mentioned above—at www.studergroup.com/resources/tools. Information about Studer Conferences Physician Partnership Track can be found at www.studergroup.com/conferences.

Here’s a final tip: Those organizations that are preparing now by opting-in to the voluntary survey will be better equipped to handle the payment modifications (reimbursement) that is likely to begin as early as 2015. This also allows leaders and providers to become more comfortable with the questions and start tracking and analyzing results.

To learn more about CG CAHPS, visit www.studergroup.com/cgcahps.

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