Hospitals learned years ago that their reimbursement from the Federal Government would begin being impacted by patient satisfaction. Essentially, the higher patient satisfaction, the higher the reimbursement. The hospital could potentially make less money for the same services provided if the patient satisfaction level was low.
But when that impact became more well-defined over the past couple years and has become a reality, it’s interesting to see how the Federal Government adjusts its reimbursement. HCAHPS (this new government mandated measurement/reimbursement program) is changing how hospitals get reimbursed, how they’re measured, and about what they care most.
According to Janette Jones, a consultant and HCAHPS expert with the healthcare research firm The Jackson Group, starting this summer, the Government will begin withholding reimbursement from hospitals based on patient satisfaction and clinical measures. The dollar impact can be as much as $500,000 for mid-sized hospitals, and more for larger hospitals.
And while the Achievement of key levels of performance comes into the calculation today, Improvement will also be considered down the road. And as Improvement in performance is taken into account, gradually the overall impact of the reimbursement will increase until 2% of Government reimbursement (in some cases equating to millions of dollars annually) is at-risk.
So the Government is focused on patient satisfaction, and it’s asking the hospitals to focus on two factors: Achievement and Improvement.
Think about your business in this manner. If your financial success was determined in part by achieving certain levels of customer satisfaction and then continually improving customer satisfaction, how would your priorities change? How would your strategies change? How would your decisions change?
When it comes to customer satisfaction – focus on Achievement and Improvement.
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