Let the Patient Decide How Much You’re Paid

In the Ocala.com article Medicare gives hospitals an incentive to please patients, the author notes how “Munroe Regional Medical Center officials in Ocala said the overhauled health care law could result in about $700,000 annually in lost Medicare revenues or as much in additional incentives, based on how other hospitals nationwide fare.” The Medical Center has about 400 beds, to that’s roughly a $1.4 Million swing for a 400 bed facility (or about $3,500 per bed per year).

Medicare will be basing its reimbursement on several aspects of performance including quality and patient satisfaction. And much of the feedback on which the reimbursement is based comes directly from patients and family members. Let me restate this – $1.4 Million in reimbursement is dependent on the customer’s perception.

Think of it this way – hospitals get paid for its procedures, treatments, medicine, etc. But soon, how much they are paid for those procedures, treatments, medicine will be based on the customer’s opinion. It’s almost like the patients are naming the price for the care they’re receiving.

Think about this relating to your business. Imagine that your customer could determine how much you’re paid for each encounter with your organization based on the quality of the product and their experience with you. Would you look to find ways to improve the quality of your products and services? Would you try to improve the attitudes and customer service skills of your staff? Would you try to make your processes quick and seamless? Would you try to be better than you are now?

I hope you just said “Yes” 4 times.

For most hospitals, they need to ensure that their staff (clinical and non-clinical) are well-trained in customer service skills, principles, and techniques. They need to ensure that processes are simple and self-evident. They have to create a culture of caring for the customer. They have to hire staff focused on the patient as much as the arm being X-rayed. They have to incent staff to create a great experience and hold them accountable when they don’t. They have to have management who understands how to create a culture of customer service as well as how to model Service Excellence. They have to understand how to redesign customer service processes to be more efficient. They have to communicate smoothly about patient needs and processes. They have to be all about the patient.

If they do these things great, maybe revenues will increase by $700,000; do them poorly, and revenues will drop by $700,000.

Medicare is making it all about the patient. If you’re not in healthcare, thank your lucky stars that you don’t have Medicare.

But still learn this important lesson – make it all about the customer.

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

Listen to our latest podcast episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at http://themesh.tv/stepping-up-service/

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/

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