Welcome back from the long weekend. Today’s lead story is brought to us by Katelyn Inman, Associate Campaign Analyst. It’s a good one, taking a hard look at Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and the future of payment for healthcare related to patient satisfaction scores. Patient satisfaction does not always equal quality care.
Katelyn has provided this synopsis for us:
Pay for performance programs reimburse hospitals based on a number of predetermined factors, one of those being patient satisfaction scores. This places pressure on physicians to over prescribe and over test to appease their patients (the customer is always right, you know) in order to boost their satisfaction scores. This also places a financial burden on the system, as the most satisfied patients account for 9% more in total healthcare costs. In addition, the most satisfied patients are 12% more likely to be hospitalized and 26% more likely to die due to overtreatment. In an ideal world, pay for performance would mean that physicians and patients are aligned to strive towards the best outcomes possible, but it appears that patient satisfaction may not play a positive role in that relationship.
In a related story The NY Times reports on long waits for doctor appointments, which seem to have become the norm of our healthcare system.
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Have a great day.
-Amanda Kopec Preto, Manager, Strategic Marketing & Corporate Communications
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