Five steps to improving your Star Ratings
For hospitals and clinics that offer Medicare and Medicaid coverage, Star Ratings are a valuable tool for attracting new patients.
The Star Rating system ranks how well healthcare providers manage Medicare Advantage, Medicare Cost and Medicare Prescription Drug patients. Hospitals and clinics receive an overall score out of five, as well separate ratings for each health plan they cover. Created by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Star Ratings are publicly available at the online Medicare Plan Finder.
Though their primary goal is to assess quality of care, Star Ratings can also be an important marketing tool. Good ratings help providers enroll new patients: A recent report by McKinsey found that plans that were rated four stars or more attract more patients over time.
So how can you improve your ratings? Here are five steps to boosting your Star scores.
- Think about the big picture
Star Ratings are calculated using more than 40 metrics. These cover chronic conditions and prescriptions, as well as customer service and patient experience. This means that improvements in one area are usually not enough to affect your overall score. Instead, build a holistic plan to boost your score over time. Patient care is vital. But you also need strong marketing materials and a great patient experience.
- Help patients understand what’s covered
Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries may not know what their plans cover—or how often they should see their doctor. Provide guidance for patients by reaching out to them to schedule preventive care appointments. Offer concise information for those with chronic conditions. And consider whether to market specifically to Medicare beneficiaries both in print and online.
- Invest in customer service
A positive patient experience leads to higher Star Ratings. So think about how to improve in this area. While phone support and online FAQs are a good starting point, there are other avenues to consider. Can you make billing easier? Could you reach out to patients before they need you? If your patients feel cared for, they will rate their experiences more highly.
- Add online tools
Star Ratings place significant emphasis on patient experience, so it’s vital to make life as easy as possible for those in your community. Revisit your website to make sure health plan details are accessible. Think about using an online appointment scheduler, like Coffey’s customizable Calendar tool. Online billing tools or apps can also make paying for an appointment simpler.
- Offer training for office staff
Office administration can seem like a less important focus area. But Star Ratings’ emphasis on customer experience means that positive office interactions can boost your scores. Provide the training and tools your staff needs to support patients fully, from the first phone call to billing. Happier patients translate to higher ratings for your health plans.
Whether you are a current Coffey client or not, our team can help you take on your day-to-day communications challenges. If you’d like to find out more about our print and digital content services or custom digital tools, such as our vaccine appointment scheduler, call 888.805.9101 or email us—we’re here to help.