As a Medicare provider, your main goal is to meet your beneficiary's needs. Many Medicare carriers turn to vendors to help expand their medical, fitness, and mental health resources for beneficiaries. Providing these resources, as well as providing excellent customer service, increases a Medicare carrier's star rating.

However, a vendor's customer service and accessibility are often out of a Medicare carrier's hands. Medicare providers need to work with partners that meet seniors' multitude of needs and improve their star rating with stellar communication.   

What is a Medicare Star Rating

Many Medicare plan shoppers use the Medicare star rating system to help them find the perfect provider. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services created this system in 2007. This system ranks careers on a scale of one through five. This rating scale compares Medicare's communication skills, customer service, and how easy the plan is to use. 

The Medicare star rating system is comparative, meaning each carrier's score is based on how they perform against their competitors. This means that as health care plans improve, they raise the expectation for others. This makes it more difficult to receive an increased score.

Medicare carriers must strive for higher star ratings to stand out amongst the many Medicare health plans available. They can do this by choosing the right vendor carefully. 

How Vendors Help Star Ratings

Medicare plans have always had a main focus on providing medical care. In recent years, Medicare providers are recognizing the many needs seniors are looking for to have the highest quality of life. Medicare providers help beneficiaries receive the medical treatment and prescription drugs they need. However, seniors still need assistance in other areas of health. 

Vendors can provide access to fitness centers, gyms, classes, and mental health resources that many Medicare carriers do not. When Medicare carriers partner with these vendors, they are able to provide holistic benefits within their Medicare plans. Vendors are also expanding their accessibility, and providing access to health resources on digital apps and through clear lines of communication.

When carriers offer holistic benefits, seniors are highly satisfied. Clear lines of communication also make it easy for beneficiaries to understand their plan’s offerings. This improves their overall experience with their health plan.

How Vendors Could Harm Star Ratings

While a wonderful vendor can improve a carrier's star rating, the wrong vendor choice can take away a carrier's star. If a senior has trouble with a vendor, the Medicare carrier may not always  be able to assist or control the outcome.

This gives the Medicare carrier little control over the beneficiary's customer experience. If a vendor has poor customer service capabilities, it directly reflects badly on the Medicare carrier. 

Along with this, a Medicare carrier does not have control over the programs offered by the vendor. A Medicare carrier has a very limited say in the programs offered by the vendors. With limited say in a vendor's customer service skills and programs, Medicare carriers must carefully choose the right partner. 

How to Find the Right Medicare Vendor

Medicare carriers must carefully choose the vendors they will partner with to improve their star ratings. There are a few areas that carriers can pay close attention to in order to properly vet a vendor. 

1. They have Multiple Channels of Communication

One of the first things carriers need to know about a vendor is their customer service skillset. Carriers can evaluate vendors' skills by taking note of their communication channels. If there is only a telephone number a beneficiary can call, this often leads to frustrated customers being left on hold. Vendors with a robust ticketing system, multi-digital channel communication, and a customer service number prioritize their customer’s experience. 

2. They Make Use of Today's Technology

Seniors expect to find Medicare programs and vendor information online. They want to easily navigate a website to find the information they need and easily access their benefits. Evaluate if a vendor has a website that is easy to navigate. If the vendor has a mobile app and responsive experience seniors can use, in addition to offline options, it is a sign that they prioritize accessibility.  

3. They Prioritize Diverse Benefits

Vendors may offer basic benefits for seniors, but stellar vendors recognize older adults' multifaceted needs. No senior has the same health needs or fitness routines, and quality vendors programs will recognize that. Ensure the vendor has programs for every level of ability, with differing options for beneficiaries. This shows that they recognize and appreciate the diversity of today’s seniors. 

Choosing the Right Partner

Peerfit Move understands both the importance of a high star rating, as well as prioritizing seniors' needs. We strive to ensure each beneficiary has a positive experience with our program. Seniors can not only use our app to find programs near them, they can reach our Client Services team directly for a white-glove experience. 

We also prioritize the Medicare carriers' experience in working with us and are dedicated to improving their star ratings. Check out our blog to learn more about Peerfit Move and what seniors want in their Medicare plans.

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