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CMS survey: Providers satisfied with Medicare contractors

Healthcare providers are generally satisfied with the services performed by the contractors that process and pay the more than $300 billion in Medicare claims each year, according to the latest annual survey by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The Medicare Contractor Provider Satisfaction Survey (MCPSS) examines the relationship between Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) contractors, including Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs), and the FFS Medicare providers (physicians, hospitals, home health agencies, etc.) they serve.

The survey queries providers on their satisfaction with seven contractor functions: provider outreach and education, provider inquiries, claims processing, appeals, provider enrollment, medical review and provider audit and reimbursement.

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The MCPSS average survey score was 4.54, on a satisfaction scale ranging from a low of 1 to a high of 6. Across all responding providers, 81 percent scored their contractors between 4 and 6 on the overall satisfaction question.

Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and home health providers report the highest level of satisfaction (4.71 and 4.7, respectively) while "Other Part B" providers report the lowest satisfaction (4.05) of the provider types, followed by physicians submitting DME claims (4.27).

On average, the claims processing business function received the highest scores, while the appeals function received the lowest scores.

Eighty-one percent of respondents would like to see more training and education material about the claims processing business function. Seventy-seven percent of respondents would like to see more training and education material about the appeals and payment policy business functions.

In the 2009 MCPSS, the contractor samples are comprised of 13 Fiscal Intermediaries (FIs), 14 Carriers, three Part A/Part B MACs, four Regional Home Health Intermediaries (RHHIs), four Durable Medical Equipment (DME) MACs and the contractor handling the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) retirees.

FI/Part A MACs received an average survey score of 4.67, RHHI received 4.7, Carrier/Part B MACs received 4.39 and DME MACs received 4.47.