CMS Health Surveys Explained

Under the Affordable Care Act, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is responsible for regulating the way health surveys are conducted. Strict guidelines dictate when surveys are sent to patients/providers and the time allowed for their processing. Surveys might be 2 pages with 20 questions of different formats (multiple choice, multi-mark, written comments, etc.) or a detailed questionnaire with upwards of 250 questions.

CMS surveys are used by healthcare providers, patients, and regulatory bodies for programs such as:

  • CMS Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services
  • CAHPS Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers & Systems
  • HHCAHPS Home Health CAHPS
  • HOS Health Outcomes Survey
  • PQRS Physician Quality Reporting System
  • HCAHPSHospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers & Systems
  • OASCAHPSOutpatient and Ambulatory Surgery CAHPS

Patients use CMS surveys to make informed decisions about their healthcare by comparing providers and health systems. States and health providers also use CMS surveys to determine reimbursement factors for certain fee-based or pay-for-performance programs.


Survey Processing Vendors

Specialized vendors are hired to conduct CMS surveys, process responses, and report survey data. These survey vendors process dozens of client programs and may receive several thousand surveys from a single program. Data extraction technology that can keep up with volume and meet CMS requirements is vital to survey processing.

For most survey processing vendors, volume is up, costs have increased, and compliance is a primary concern. A majority of vendors have adopted some form of document management technology to combat challenges. Vendors typically use a generic Optical Character Recognition (OCR) solution to automatically read barcodes and checkmarks on surveys. They will also use Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) technology to process handwriting. Unfortunately, most OCR & ICR technology is intended for processing invoices or other common business documents and fails to deliver the same level of savings and productivity.


DoxTek’s CMS Survey Processing Solution

Working with leading CMS survey vendors, DoxTek draws on expert staff and experience to create a CMS survey processing solution to help your organization:

  • Lower operating costs from manual data entry
  • Improve data quality and accuracy
  • Shorten survey turnaround time
  • Reduce compliance risks

Technology: For the past 7 years DoxTek has assisted multiple CMS survey vendors in automating this complex and labor-intensive process. Clients have been successfully migrated from traditional systems to advanced document capture systems with machine learning technology. Leverage your existing scanning station, call center, and printing hardware to minimize capital expense.

Save: DoxTek clients have achieved cost reductions of over 65 percent by eliminating manual processes. Remove costly backlogs and decrease the tasks used to manage inbound mail, fax, email, and other electronic channels used to submit surveys. Each document is sent through an automated document image cleanup, enhancement, de-skewing, and classification to provide you with the highest quality of image.

Staff: Reduce the number of part-time staff that must manually extract data from CMS surveys. Key staff will no longer be required to perform data entry, spend hours searching for missing surveys, or create manual tracking spreadsheets. Instead, staff can spend their time performing high-level tasks to help your organization grow.

Cloud: You have the option to rapidly deploy this solution using DoxTek’s secure virtual private cloud or with your existing servers and data storage hardware. Easily meet ePHI and HIPAA security requirements.

Reporting: DoxTek’s solution can easily integrate with existing analytics and reporting software. Life-cycle data is available with a management dashboard and reporting module. Access a complete audit trail of each document interaction; including the person, computer, and time, each interaction occurred.


Special Offer

DoxTek offers a competitive trade-in program, intended to reduce the financial impact of upgrading your CMS Survey Processing solution. Recoup the value your company has invested by swapping out your existing solution for DoxTek’s CMS Survey Processing Solution. A complimentary process review of your current practices will be performed. DoxTek will work with your team to prepare a business case that details:

  • Areas for immediate cost savings
  • Trade-in credit for your existing software
  • CFO-ready business case presentation that documents your solution
  • Recommendations

To explore the “self-funding” nature of DoxTek’s solution, request a confidential call with a DoxTek CMS Survey trade-in specialist by completing the form below.

Request a Confidential Call


Tom Simmons
DoxTek Director of Sales
866-678-8400 x2910

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