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Life Health > Health Insurance > Health Insurance

Feds rush PPACA exchange plan user survey forms

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS) is hurrying to get a bare-bones version of the qualified health plan (QHP) enrollee survey form out the door.

CMS wants to get the form to the survey vendors this week, so they can start conducting a survey of QHP enrollees in January.

Originally, the enrollee satisfaction survey managers were going to put the survey form through elaborate testing, to see how well consumers understand the questions, and whether the form could be shorter. Problems with the computer systems supporting the exchange program slowed the managers’ efforts to get the exchange user information they need to design the survey form, officials say in a survey paperwork review filing.

Because of the delays in getting “sampling frame” data, testers may not have the information they need to streamline the form until April, officials say.

“Our solution is to shorten the questionnaire to the minimum set of items that will not be cut as a result of the psychometric testing,” officials say. The current version has 76 items, down from 107 in an earlier draft.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) requires the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to find out what the QHP users think of their coverage and post the results on the Web. CMS — an arm of HHS — wants to collect user experience data for the QHPs in the states with HHS-run exchanges. States with state-based exchanges will run the survey programs for their QHPs.

CMS officials view the 2015 survey program as a beta test of the survey program. QHP issuers will be able to post the beta test survey results but will not have to post the results.

See also: Exchanges, QHPs can keep 2015 enrollee grades to themselves

In 2016, the QHP quality evaluation system is supposed to be similar to the Medicare Advantage program star rating system.

CMS officials have already hired nine survey vendors and think a tenth may get a contract through an appeal process. The agency is hoping the vendors will get the users of about 600 “QHP reporting units” to complete 300 questionnaires per reporting unit.

CMS is hoping each user can complete a questionnaire in an average of about 19 minutes.


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