Specifically, the study looked at correlations between patient satisfaction and eight financial and utilization measures. You would assume that higher patient-satisfaction scores, as reported to and published by the CMS Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systemsbetter known as HCAHPSwould have a positive effect on all the measures.
But, according to the study, happy patients dont always make for happy chief financial officers. (Or unhappy morticians, for that matter.)
Equally surprising is a second piece of original research by Thomson that shows wide regional variations in patient-satisfaction levels. What are hospitals in Alabama doing differently than hospitals in Nevada? It has to be something.
What makes each study and story noteworthy is the hard push by Medicare and other payers to link payments to outcomes, including what patients thought of their hospital stays. Perhaps hospitals should be pushing back. Politically, that may be unrealistic. What hospital wants to say patient satisfaction should be a consideration when getting paid?