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Lessons Learned From the CMS Cost Data Collection Tool Walkthrough

Recently, one of our ACE Faculty members, Katie Arens had the opportunity to review the CMS Cost Data Collection Survey tool and provide feedback to the administration on any challenges faced while completing the survey.  After completing the test we wanted to provide you with some quick tips on how you can be better prepared and ready to complete the tool successfully.

  1. Number one RULE, do not wait until the last minute to complete the survey.  I found that even with having my data ready, we still needed to stop and gather additional information from other departments and wait for their response before we could continue.
  2. You need to assign a data entry representative who will be responsible for entering the data as well as a data certifier who will go in once the survey is completed and certify that the data submitted is accurate to the best of your knowledge.  It would be best that both parties are working together during the process.
  3. Ensure that all parties within your organization that you may need to pull from will be available during the period of time you are completing the survey, i.e. Accounting/Payables, Human Resources, Operations, Billing, and IT support for both your internal organization, but also your vendors in the event you have software malfunctions.
  4. Keep track of where you are inputting data, it’s easy within the survey to enter the same data more than once especially when reporting costs.  As you enter your numbers, highlight them on your own documentation so you know you already reported in a previous section of the tool.  Do not report twice, if you feel you reported it in the wrong section of the survey, you can remove it and replace it where you feel it fits best.
  5. Take your time, don’t guess when responding.  When in doubt, STOP and reach out to your resources to ensure you are reporting accurately. AAA will have plenty of support to assist you during this process if you are unsure.

Since the survey is not live for all Ambulance Providers, the best way to be prepared NOW is to gain access to AMBER and go through each section of the survey now so you can ensure your systems are set up for the coming year(s) to capture your data easily in a reportable manner.  Continue to review AMBER throughout the year to make sure you remain familiar with the sections you need to report on and provide feedback to various departments that need to be involved.

50% of EMS Services Submit Data in: -353 Days 9 Hours 6 Minutes 57 Seconds