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URAC and CARF International announce new survey tool for health care case management studies

Reporting system provides information to improve quality of programs and services offered to consumers

Washington, D.C. -- June 16, 2009 -- URAC, the leading health care accreditation and education organization, and CARF International, a premier, global, independent accreditor of health and human services, today announced a new tool for case management professionals. The uSPEQ®/URAC Participant Experience Survey for Case Management (uSPEQ-CM) will help evaluate and improve the quality of health care programs and services offered to consumers.

"This innovative tool will provide organizations the information they need to ensure they are offering the best services to consumers," said Alan P. Spielman, president and CEO of URAC. "The tool also empowers consumers to play a role in their health care by giving them a way to give specific and direct feedback to case managers."

Developed using uSPEQ, CARF's proven data and reporting system, uSPEQ-CM is a confidential, anonymous, and scientifically-tested reporting system that gathers participants' experiences with their case management program. In turn, providers can use the reported information to improve the quality of their programs and services and monitor outcomes.

"uSPEQ-CM is a powerful, flexible tool that is customized to an organization's specific settings and populations," said Brian J. Boon, Ph.D., president/CEO of CARF International. "Hearing the voice of consumers in an organization is essential to ensuring high quality services. The anonymity offered by the survey tool will ensure consumer privacy while giving users an opportunity to share their thoughts about their health care experience."

The survey is efficiently administered across the service continuum, cutting across multiple programs/departments. In addition, the questionnaire, data gathering, and reports are customized to meet an organization's specific needs, programs, and populations.

"Any new technology that will help increase efficiency for case managers, while improving services to consumers, is of great value to the case management industry," said Cheri Lattimer, RN, BSN, executive director of the Case Management Society of America (CMSA). "The uSPEQ-CM allows case managers to access valuable information while the flexibility of the survey allows for feedback during, at the completion of, or at key benchmarks following services."

uSPEQ surveys, such as the uSPEQ-CM, are field tested in diverse health and human services organizations with varying sizes, types, and geographical locations. Ongoing testing and analysis are also employed to ensure the quality of the surveys.

"CARF was guided by input from providers, payers of services, and, most important, consumers," said Di Shen, Ph.D., chief research officer of CARF International. "The information gathered is designed to help organizations demonstrate that their services are effective. There is more accountability, competition, and consumerism in today's healthcare industry, and having real numbers and facts is invaluable."

Subscribers to the uSPEQ-CM will receive a wide range of support and benefits including consultation with uSPEQ staff, unlimited distribution of the uSPEQ-CM questionnaire in their organization, and timely and accurate reporting of results.

"We want to get information into the hands of those who can use it to make the changes and provide better care for consumers," said Joann Richards, vice president for Research and Measurement of URAC. "The ongoing data collection and reporting allow for internal benchmarking. This, in turn, gives organizations actionable information and continuous improvement."

For more information on the uSPEQ-CM or to purchase a subscription, visit CARF at Booth #235 or URAC at Booth #239 at the Case Management Society of American (CMSA) Annual Conference & Expo in Phoenix, Arizona June 16-19, 2009. Information is also available by phone at (202) 216-9010 or at www.urac.org/uspeqcm/.

About URAC

URAC, an independent, nonprofit organization, is well-known as a leader in promoting health care quality through its accreditation, education and measurement programs. URAC offers a wide range of quality benchmarking programs and services that keep pace with the rapid changes in the health care system, and provide a symbol of excellence for organizations to validate their commitment to quality and accountability. Through its broad-based governance structure and an inclusive standards development process, URAC ensures that all stakeholders are represented in establishing meaningful quality measures for the entire health care industry. For more information, visit www.urac.org.

About uSPEQ

uSPEQ (pronounced you speak) is a turnkey data collection and reporting system designed to gather information from key stakeholders and assist organizations in improving organizational well-being and performance improvement. It is a national and international pooled data system, featuring questionnaires with a core set of universal items for benchmark comparisons, an optional set of standardized items, and the ability to incorporate custom items to fit the unique data needs of the organization. CARF developed the uSPEQ Employee Climate Survey and Consumer Experience Survey, a complementary suite of services, in response to the field's desire to aspire to excellence in health and human services. For more information, please visit www.uspeq.org or call toll free (888) 877-3788.

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6/16/2009 12:05:00 AM

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