ULG’s Language Solutions Blog

Ensuring Success During the 2020 CMS Secret Shopper Program

The language resources your healthcare organization leverages can make or break the ratings you earn from the Center of Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) during their Secret Shopper program. Everything from the quality of the interpreter to the call connection time can impact the experience for a secret shopper.

So, what will they be scoring on and what can you do to ensure you are prepared for this year’s program?

Interpreter Quality

Sourcing high-quality linguists is an easy way to prepare for CMS's test calls.

Interpreters who are unprofessional or badly trained are likely to incur poor reviews and increased costs for your organization. 

But for a field as specialized as healthcare, proper phone and conversation etiquette alone aren't enough. They should be experts in the vertical. This includes total mastery of the medical terminology and scenarios for which they interpret.

In addition, all healthcare interpreters must understand and follow the strict confidentiality protocols of handling sensitive patient information and other mandatory HIPAA regulations.

At ULG, our network of medical interpreters (including on-site, over-the-phone and video-remote linguists) undergo extensive training, testing and continuous monitoring. This ensures their interpreting skills positively represent your organization during all interactions with patients or secret shoppers.

Customizable Technology

Along with quality linguists, utilizing the best technology available will help you prepare, track and optimize performance during the secret shopper period.

Access to real-time metrics is key. ULG has proprietary technology that is user-intuitive and completely customizable ­– we want to get you the data you value for your business goals and tracking.

For example, our over-the-phone interpreting (OPI) service has dashboards that can be tailored based on your needs. Whether that be average call time, call volume or average speed to answer. These data points provide critical insight during the secret shopper periods and can help ensure your resources are properly allocated.

Below are two examples of custom dashboards our teams have created for OPI clients:

Custom-reporting-dashboard-interpreting Real-time metrics can be customized to display data such as average call time, calls by language, and more.

Get Started

It’s not too late to prepare for the CMS 2020 Secret Shopper program. Our team would be happy to connect with you and take the steps to help you achieve 5-star ratings. To get started, contact us today.


Topics: Tips