Real Patient Experience Doesn't Show Up in HCAHPS Scores

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media , November 14, 2012

I took copious amounts of mental notes throughout my ER visit, surgery, and subsequent occupational therapy and follow-up appointments. This proved to be not only educational, but a great distraction during the ordeal. (It should also be noted that I'm typing this with one hand. Please hold your applause, as I must.)

Coincidentally, the patient experience and patient satisfaction happened to be top of mind as I'd just been reading about the details of the patient satisfaction survey element of the pay-for-performance system built into healthcare reform.

As I'm sure you're well aware, the coming year will be the first that hospitals will either receive a bonus or lose money depending on their HCAHPS scores.

Medicare is expected to dole out nearly $1 billion in payments to high performing hospitals over the next year. Hospitals are required to complete at least 100 patient surveys over a year, though larger facilities will likely complete many more.

I received treatment at one such large facility, a top-ranking health system in Boston, and was surprised with my patient experience. Here are some snippets from my unofficial patient satisfaction survey.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

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1 comments on "Real Patient Experience Doesn't Show Up in HCAHPS Scores"

Mark Rudolph (11/25/2012 at 12:35 PM)
Thanks for this great piece, Marianne. I hope you and your hand are recovering well! Your point about providers needing a little coaching about keeping eye contact, truly listening, and then responding without using too much jargon is an excellent one. Our hospitalist group, Sound Physicians, a national practice with 500+ physicians is pursuing just that kind of training. We are observing our physicians during patient encounters to offer them the training and feedback that just can't be gleaned from the HCAHPS results. Any chance you'd be interested in doing a piece about our efforts in this regard? I serve as Vice President of Patient Experience for our practice and am really jazzed about these topics.




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