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Final List of PCF PEC Survey Vendors Released for PY22
folder_openPractice Requirementscalendar_todayPosted May 13, 2022

Practices were notified via email on May 13, 2022 that the final list of PCF PEC Survey vendors for PY22 has been published on the PCF PECS website and on PCF Connect. All survey vendors are now fully approved and available for authorization on the PCF PECS website. Vendors may advertise their fully approved status on their website and in press releases.  

The vendor authorization window is open now through June 30, 2022. There are approximately 1,627 practices who have not yet authorized a survey vendor. The PCF PEC Survey is a required component of the annual quality gateway that is assessed for all PCF practices as part of the performance-based adjustment (PBA). Survey vendors can find a list of PCF Model participants on the Primary Care First Model website.  

Vendors should review their Survey Vendor Authorization report regularly during the vendor authorization window and confirm they have contracts with all listed practices. As described in Section 7.6.1 of the Quality Assurance Guide, this report allows survey vendors to view all PCF practice sites that have authorized them to collect and submit data on their behalf. If there is a practice on the list without a contract, please reach out directly to them right away. If a practice authorizes a vendor without first obtaining a signed contract and Business Associate Agreement (BAA), please contact that practice and the PCF PECS Team. 

Practices with questions about vendor authorization should contact PCF Support at PCF@Telligen.com or 1-888-517-7753. 

Vendors with questions should contact the PCF PECS Team via e-mail at pcfpecs@rti.org or call 1-833-997-2715.  

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PCF PEC Survey Clarification on Patient Roster Window vs. 6-month Survey Lookback Period
folder_openOther Announcementscalendar_todayPosted May 10, 2022

The PCF PECS team would like to clarify information regarding the difference between the rostering window and the 6-month lookback period in the survey, and implications for survey eligibility.

The PCF PECS sampling/rostering window of “a visit since January 1st” is for rostering convenience for the practice. To be as inclusive as possible on the patient rosters, CMS asks practices to include all patients with a visit since January. This is intended to help CMS obtain a sampling frame of active patients at the practice. It is not intended to identify eligible patients for the survey. The survey identifies eligible patients using the screening questions, Question 1 and Question 3. On PCF PECS, to be eligible then a patient needs to have had a visit within the last 6 months. If the patient has not had a visit within the last 6 months, then they are not eligible. The 6-month lookback period is a standard part of the CG CAHPS 3.0/3.1 questionnaire item set and aids in respondent recall. 

As noted in Section 5.6.3.1 of the Quality Assurance Guidelines, patients may share eligibility information in different ways: 

  • By answering “No” to Question 1 in the mail or telephone survey. 
  • By answering “None” to Question 3 in the mail or telephone survey. 
  • By stating this information to a Help Desk operator. 
  • By writing a note on a returned survey or envelope. 
  • By stating this information to a telephone interviewer during the introduction screens (prior to Q1/Q3). 

In any of these situations, unless they also submitted a complete or partial survey, they are ineligible for the PCF PEC survey. The appropriate code is 190- Ineligible: Did Not Receive Care at Practice. Ineligible cases do not negatively affect practice response rates. These cases should not be coded as refusals. 

Vendors with questions should contact the PCF PECS Team via e-mail at pcfpecs@rti.org or call 1-833-997-2715. 

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PCF PEC Survey Practitioner Roster Clarification
folder_openPractice Requirementscalendar_todayPosted May 6, 2022

The PCF PECS team would like to clarify information regarding the PCF practitioner roster based on questions we have received from practices.  

For the purposes of PCF, a primary care practitioner is defined as a physician (MD or DO), nurse practitioner (NP), physician assistant (PA), or Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) who has a primary specialty designation of Family, Adult, General Practice, Internal, Hospice and Palliative, or Geriatric Medicine and was listed on the PCF practitioner roster for any period of time during 2022 at this practice site. For purposes of PECS sampling, practitioner count will be determined by CMS at the time of patient roster submission.   

Vendors should not instruct practices about model-related questions, such as to how to determine their number of active providers for the purposes of PCF PECS. Practices with questions about this topic should refer to the PCF Practice Management Guide on PCF Connect or contact PCF Support at PCF@Telligen.com or 1-888-517-7753. 

Vendors with questions should contact the PCF PECS Team via e-mail at pcfpecs@rti.org or call 1-833-997-2715.  

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PCF PEC Survey Patient Roster Materials Updated for 2022
folder_openSurvey Materialscalendar_todayPosted April 26, 2022

Practices will be asked to submit patient rosters for PY22 on the PCF Portal, beginning June 1st. They will receive the following materials to assist them in the preparation of their rosters: 

  • Patient Survey Roster Instructions and Frequently Asked Questions. 
  • Patient Survey Roster Template. 
  • Patient Survey Roster Example. 
  • On-demand webinar, “Patient Rosters: How to Support a Successful PEC Survey for Your Practice.” 

Practices will first receive these materials in the May 5th PCF First Edition newsletter; they will receive multiple reminders before the submission deadline of June 30th.  

CMS and the PCF PEC Survey Team listened to vendor and practice feedback regarding patient rosters in PY21 and made significant updates to the materials for PY22. The sample file that vendors receive in September contains the same contact information that practices provided. Our hope is that the enhanced practice materials for PY22 helps support practices in providing high quality roster information.  

Some of the key updates to the materials for PY22 include: 

  • Highlighting the importance of accurate roster information and how it directly ties to patient response rates. 
  • Updating the visit date window to January 1, 2022. 
  • Providing specific HCPCS billing codes for inclusion on the roster. 
  • Specifying that patients who only visited the practice for COVID-19 vaccine or testing clinics should not be included on the roster. 
  • Expanding on the proper use of the Do Not Contact label. 
  • Providing an FAQ for patients with HIPAA concerns. 

Practices should not submit their patient roster to their PEC survey vendor, and vendors should direct practices with any questions about patient rosters to PCF Support at PCF@Telligen.com or 1-888-517-7753. 

Vendors with questions should contact the PCF PECS Team via e-mail at pcfpecs@rti.org or call 1-833-997-2715.  

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ACTION REQUIRED: PCF PEC Survey Vendors Must Review and Confirm Survey Vendor Authorization Report
folder_openOther Announcementscalendar_todayPosted April 21, 2022

The list of PCF practices in the database for the PEC Survey website has been updated for PY2022. The PEC Survey team has removed any Cohort 1 withdrawals and added the new Cohort 2 practices.  

PCF PEC Survey vendors must review the Survey Vendor Authorization Report and confirm they have contracts with all listed practices. As described in Section 7.6.1 of the Quality Assurance Guide, this report allows survey vendors to view all PCF practice sites that have authorized them to collect and submit data on their behalf. If there is a practice on the list without a contract, please reach out directly to this practice right away. Practice registration and vendor authorization opened on March 21st. As a reminder, all Cohort 2 practices must authorize a PEC Survey vendor by June 30th. Cohort 1 practices that have an existing vendor authorization are not required to take action but may make changes during this time.  

Note that practices are only able to authorize fully approved vendors. 

Vendors should plan to review their Survey Vendor Authorization Report regularly during the vendor authorization window. If a practice authorizes a vendor without first obtaining a signed contract and Business Associate Agreement (BAA), please contact that practice and the PCF PECS Team. 

CMS will not release a practice site’s sample to their survey vendor until the practice has fully authorized a vendor on the PECS website, including checking the BAA attestation box. CMS is unable to provide a sample to vendors without a properly executed BAA in place. If at any time a practice site changes survey vendors, practices must submit a new attestation confirming that the practice site has an active BAA with its new survey vendor.  

Vendors with questions should contact the PCF PECS Team via e-mail at pcfpecs@rti.org or call 1-833-997-2715. Please direct practices to PCF Support at PCF@Telligen.com or 1-888-517-7753. 

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2022 PCF PEC Survey Quality Assurance Plan Submission Deadlines and Requirements
folder_openQuality Assurance Plancalendar_todayPosted April 1, 2022

The Quality Assurance Plan (QAP) serves as a guide for survey vendors as they develop and update their procedures and materials for implementing and complying with the Primary Care First (PCF) Patient Experience of Care (PEC) Survey Vendor Quality Assurance Guide.

Vendors must log-in to the PCF PECS web portal to submit QAPs using the "Submit Quality Assurance Plan" page under the "Vendors" tab. Step-by-step instructions are available in a Quick Link on the website here. The PCF PECS Team will review QAPs. If further clarification is needed, the PECS Team will work with the survey vendors to obtain the necessary information.

The vendor’s QAP should include the sections listed below. The requirements for these sections are detailed in the PCF PECS Vendor Model Quality Assurance Plan Outline.

  • Organization Background and Staff Experience
  • Work Plan
  • Survey Implementation Plan
  • Data Security, Confidentiality, and Privacy Plan
  • Questionnaire and Materials Attachments

Please note: QAPs that do not follow this outline will be rejected and the vendor will be required to reformat and resubmit the QAP before it can be reviewed. Only QAPs that follow this outline will be considered for approval.

Approved Survey Vendors

All approved survey vendors for the PCF PEC Survey must submit a QAP by 5:00 PM ET March 18, 2022.

To ensure prompt review of your QAP, please follow the steps below:

  • Locate the version of your most recently approved QAP; that is, the version that was accepted by CMS and the PCF PECS Team in 2021.
  • Make a copy of that version and accept all tracked changes, creating a clean copy of your QAP.
  • Make all 2022 updates to your clean copy using track changes, so that your document reflects only the changes made since your most recent approved QAP.
  • Make sure to include updates to your QAP if your organization has had changes in PCF PEC Survey personnel, and/or changes to protocols or procedures.
  • Make sure your QAP follows the format shown in the Model QAP posted on the PCF PECS website. Also make sure that you provide information for every topic included in the Model QAP.
  • Before submitting your updated QAP, check it carefully to make sure that it reflects all PCF PEC Survey protocols disseminated via announcements posted on the PCF PECS website and/or described in the latest version of the Quality Assurance Guidelines.

New Survey Vendor Applicants

All newly invited survey vendors for the PCF PEC Survey must submit a QAP by 5:00 PM ET on April 1, 2022.

To ensure prompt review of your QAP, please follow the steps below:

  • Make sure your QAP follows the format shown in the Model QAP posted on the PCF PECS website. Also make sure that you provide information for every topic included in the Model QAP.
  • Before submitting your QAP, check it carefully to make sure that it reflects all PCF PEC Survey protocols disseminated via announcements posted on the PCF PECS website and/or described in the latest version of the Quality Assurance Guidelines.

The QAP must be updated and submitted annually each year and any time the vendor has a change in PCF PEC Survey personnel, capabilities, or systems that are used to administer the PCF PEC Survey. Remember that you must also update your online PCF PEC Survey Vendor Application Form if you have changed key personnel and/or subcontractors, and/or have changed your business name or location.

Vendors with questions should contact the PCF PECS Team via e-mail at pcfpecs@rti.org or call 1-833-997-2715. 

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PCF Practices Asked to Display PEC Survey Posters and Waiting Room FAQs
folder_openOther Announcementscalendar_todayPosted March 30, 2022

The 2022 PCF PEC Survey Poster and Waiting Room FAQs are available on PCF Connect and the PEC Survey website. PCF practices were asked to print and display the poster and FAQs in a prominent area of their waiting room by the end of March, which corresponds to 6 months prior to the survey start. Practices received this information in the March 10th and 24th editions of the PCF First Edition email newsletter.

As PECS vendors know, the survey has a 6-month lookback period, meaning that patients are asked about an office visit they had within the past 6 months. The poster has the same survey image as the survey envelope and survey cover, helping to reinforce a cohesive survey brand. Displaying the poster helps make patients aware of the survey and establish legitimacy, which in turn leads to higher response rates for practices.

The poster and FAQs are available in both generic and customizable versions (to allow practices to add survey vendor’s contact information):

Note: The poster includes information in 12 different languages about completing the survey. It explains, “Someone like a family member or friend can help you by recording your answers, reading the survey to you, or translating it into your language. However, if you cannot respond because of poor health or cognitive or physical limitations, someone like a family member or friend knowledgeable about your care can take the survey on your behalf.” Providing this information in multiple languages expands the survey’s outreach to all patients.

As stated in Section 5.6.2.2 of the Quality Assurance Guidelines, “Survey vendors must notify their client practice sites of the telephone number and email address of their Help Desk as soon as the number is operational.” Please also communicate to your client practices why it is important to display the poster and waiting room FAQs and how it can help increase response rates and representation.

Vendors with questions should contact the PCF PECS Team via e-mail at pcfpecs@rti.org or call 1-833-997-2715. 

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PCF PEC Survey Vendor Authorization Window is Now Open
folder_openApplication Information & Minimum Business Requirementscalendar_todayPosted March 21, 2022

The PCF Patient Experience of Care (PEC) Survey vendor authorization window is now open to practice sites from today, March 21, until June 30, 2022. Cohort 2 practice sites are required to authorize a vendor on the PCF PECS website; Cohort 1 practice sites that have an existing vendor authorization are not required to take any action but may make changes during this time. Once authorization is submitted, it remains valid for the duration of the model, unless the practice terminates the authorization.

The current list of approved PCF vendors is available to practices on the PCF PEC Survey web portal. This is an updated list that includes conditionally approved vendors. The final list of approved vendors will be released in mid-May. Only fully approved vendors are available for authorization at this time.

Step-by-step instructions are available for practices on the PECS website at the links below:

How to Authorize a Vendor

How to Switch Survey Vendors

Please note: Practice sites should only authorize a vendor on the PCF PEC Survey website after the contract for services with that vendor is in place.

As a reminder, the PCF PEC Survey is a required component of the annual quality gateway that is assessed for all PCF practices as part of the performance-based adjustment (PBA). 

Practices will be reminded about the vendor authorization requirement and provided with the link to the vendor list several times over the coming months, including in the March 24th First Edition newsletter.

Please direct any practices with questions about this process to PCF Support via email at PCF@telligen.com, or by phone at 1-888-517-7753.

Vendors with questions should contact the PCF PECS Team via email at pcfpecs@rti.org or call 1-833-997-2715. 

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2022 PCF PEC Survey Quality Assurance Plan Submission Deadlines and Requirements
folder_openQuality Assurance Plancalendar_todayPosted March 18, 2022

The Quality Assurance Plan (QAP) serves as a guide for survey vendors as they develop and update their procedures and materials for implementing and complying with the Primary Care First (PCF) Patient Experience of Care (PEC) Survey Vendor Quality Assurance Guide.

Vendors must log-in to the PCF PECS web portal to submit QAPs using the "Submit Quality Assurance Plan" page under the "Vendors" tab. Step-by-step instructions are available in a Quick Link on the website here. The PCF PECS Team will review QAPs. If further clarification is needed, the PECS Team will work with the survey vendors to obtain the necessary information.

The vendor’s QAP should include the sections listed below. The requirements for these sections are detailed in the PCF PECS Vendor Model Quality Assurance Plan Outline.

  • Organization Background and Staff Experience
  • Work Plan
  • Survey Implementation Plan
  • Data Security, Confidentiality, and Privacy Plan
  • Questionnaire and Materials Attachments

Please note: QAPs that do not follow this outline will be rejected and the vendor will be required to reformat and resubmit the QAP before it can be reviewed. Only QAPs that follow this outline will be considered for approval.

Approved Survey Vendors

All approved survey vendors for the PCF PEC Survey must submit a QAP by 5:00 PM ET March 18, 2022.

To ensure prompt review of your QAP, please follow the steps below:

  • Locate the version of your most recently approved QAP; that is, the version that was accepted by CMS and the PCF PECS Team in 2021.
  • Make a copy of that version and accept all tracked changes, creating a clean copy of your QAP.
  • Make all 2022 updates to your clean copy using track changes, so that your document reflects only the changes made since your most recent approved QAP.
  • Make sure to include updates to your QAP if your organization has had changes in PCF PEC Survey personnel, and/or changes to protocols or procedures.
  • Make sure your QAP follows the format shown in the Model QAP posted on the PCF PECS website. Also make sure that you provide information for every topic included in the Model QAP.
  • Before submitting your updated QAP, check it carefully to make sure that it reflects all PCF PEC Survey protocols disseminated via announcements posted on the PCF PECS website and/or described in the latest version of the Quality Assurance Guidelines.

New Survey Vendor Applicants

All newly invited survey vendors for the PCF PEC Survey must submit a QAP by 5:00 PM ET on March 25, 2022.

To ensure prompt review of your QAP, please follow the steps below:

  • Make sure your QAP follows the format shown in the Model QAP posted on the PCF PECS website. Also make sure that you provide information for every topic included in the Model QAP.
  • Before submitting your QAP, check it carefully to make sure that it reflects all PCF PEC Survey protocols disseminated via announcements posted on the PCF PECS website and/or described in the latest version of the Quality Assurance Guidelines.

The QAP must be updated and submitted annually each year and any time the vendor has a change in PCF PEC Survey personnel, capabilities, or systems that are used to administer the PCF PEC Survey. Remember that you must also update your online PCF PEC Survey Vendor Application Form if you have changed key personnel and/or subcontractors, and/or have changed your business name or location.

Vendors with questions should contact the PCF PECS Team via e-mail at pcfpecs@rti.org or call 1-833-997-2715. 

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2022 PCF PEC Survey Vendor Training Q&As Available
folder_openTraining Informationcalendar_todayPosted March 16, 2022

2022 PCF PEC Survey Vendor Training Q&As Available 

Questions asked by participants during the 2022 PCF PEC Survey Vendor Update Training session and the answers provided have been posted on the PCF PECS website’s Training tab.  

Please note that there were no questions asked by participants during the 2022 Introduction to PCF PECS On-Demand Training. 

Slide 6 presented during the PCF PEC Survey Vendor Update Training session on March 9th has been updated here.  

The slide should have indicated that if a patient provides the name of their provider, that information should be recorded by the vendor as ‘0’ on the data file.  

If you have questions, please contact the PCF PECS Team via e-mail at pcfpecs@rti.org or call 1-833-997-2715. 

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