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April 05, 2006



Those requirements actually aren't that strict. When I was doing quality improvement for a health plan, we were aiming for 98% of calls answered within 30 seconds (and we achieved that goal almost every month) and less than 2% abandonment rate (also easily met). The standards CMS is holding health plans to is actually pretty low for a call center, at least in my experience.


Ditto Spike.
Service Level Agreements (SLA's) for phone response time are normal practice when outsourcing any kind of service in the business world. The particular standards here are pretty undemanding, particularly since there seems to be no standard at all for average wait time (which means that you can manipulate the % answered within 30 seconds metric by NEVER answering after 31 seconds, but leaving those callers to wait forever until they hang up). This is not what you would call a best practices SLA.

The other service consideration that seems to have been ignored is how easy it is to get out of menu hell and speak to a person.


see? This is why commentors are awesome. I have no point of reference for what's reasonable and unreasonable with these standards, and now I do!

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