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Recent News in Healthcare, Patient Satisfaction, HIPAA, and CG-CAHPS - September 16th, 2013

Posted by Corey Foster on Sep 16, 2013 11:23:04 AM

American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons says Patient Satisfaction is An Emerging Health Policy Issue

"The need to improve quality in healthcare delivery is increasing. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), hospitals, and insurance providers alike are striving to better define and measure quality of health care. A major component of quality of health care is patient satisfaction. Furthermore, patient satisfaction is critical to how well patients do; research has identified a clear link between patient outcomes and patient satisfaction scores.

Patient satisfaction is a key determinant of quality of care and an important component of pay-for-performance metrics. Under the CMS Hospital Inpatient Value-Based Purchasing (HIVBP) program, Medicare reimbursements are linked to patient satisfaction and surveys completed by patients. Beginning this year (2013), CMS will make value-based incentive payments to acute care hospitals based, in part, on the results of patient satisfaction surveys completed by patients discharged on or after October 1, 2012."

American Medical Association: Patient Satisfaction/Experience

Many insurers are now incorporating patient satisfaction into their profiling and rating programs, with several hiring outside companies to measure data to assist in patient decision-making or payer reimbursement. Some additional consumer- and industry-facing initiatives focused on patient satisfaction are as follows:

  • Clinician and Group Practice Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CG-CAHPS) is developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Medicare will soon require physicians to implement this physician practice-based version of the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS). The patient experience data will be available to the public via the Physician Compare website by 2013, as required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Quality and patient experience measures will be listed.
  • American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is incorporating patient experience data collection into the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements. ABMS will use several of the CG-CAHPS questions as part of the measurement of interpersonal and communication skills requirements.
  • Consumer rating sites often have an unscientific and biased approach to rating a physician on patient experience data. Small samples, inconsistent validation practices and a lack of dispute resolution procedures are common. Unfortunately, many consumers use these sites in their decision making. 

Consumer assessment of healthcare providers and systems survey: Implications for the primary care physician

Medical care is under constant reform. Physicians are encouraged to stay current and well informed to receive maximum reimbursement, while still providing high-quality medical care to our patients. The trend has been that insurers are following the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid standards in the new wave of quality reporting with a patient assessment of their experience, or the care received, in regulated surveys for inpatient as well as ambulatory settings. These surveys, Hospital-level and Clinician and Group-level Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey(s), would begin to dramatically affect physician reimbursement(s), potentially change the way we practice medicine to meet guidelines to be consistent with the Patient-Centered Medical Home model, as well as making other important changes based on patient feedback provided in the surveys mentioned previously.

New England Journal of Medicine: The Patient Experience and Health Outcomes

We believe that when designed and administered appropriately, patient-experience surveys provide robust measures of quality, and our efforts to assess patient experiences should be redoubled.

There are five points to consider. First, one must think about whether these measures focus on a specific event or visit. We find that when focused on a specific hospital visit, they are consistently correlated with accepted outcome measures, ,,,Second, survey instruments should focus on patient provider interactions, the aspect of care for which patient-reported measures are most credible and evaluate interactions with all providers and coordination within the care team. ...Third, timeliness of measurement is important. ...Fourth, to eliminate confounders and alternative explanations...Fifth, there's no common approach for defining patient satisfaction. Each study we've examined used a measure labeled satisfaction, ... Nevertheless, if these measures address a specific event or visit, focus on provider-patient interactions, and are assessed in a timely manner, they seem to capture an important and otherwise unmeasured dimension of quality of care.

Dublin-based health IT company brings global HQ to Brentwood

Seeing opportunities in the American health system, a Dublin-based health care IT company is moving its headquarters to Brentwood. ....Earlier this year, the company raised $9.5 million, led by Edison Ventures, to accelerate product development and fund the U.S. expansion.

With applications and functionality geared toward both the caregiver and the patient, the company bills its product as a one-stop solution to improve patient care, improve clinical workflow and improve patient satisfaction. ....The company, founded by a pair of former Apple employees in 2003,

The software platform works on fixed screens at the bedside and on mobile devices. Typically, the company targets hospitals with 200 to 300 beds, and installation can range from around $700 to $4,000 per bed, depending on the hardware that clients order...

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