With the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), hospital reimbursements will be significantly impacted by HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) scores. Patients can use RateHospitals.com to report and rate their hospital experiences, which will provide valuable feedback to future patients and hospitals. This feedback may help the public and hospitals to learn their strengths and weaknesses, ultimately leading to improvement in the delivery of quality healthcare to citizens of the United States, and an increase in patient satisfaction. Patient satisfaction will significantly define the future of healthcare in the United States.
Quality, pay for performance, and hospital value based purchasing (HVBP) are synonymous terms which are used to indicate that in the future, healthcare hospital reimbursements will be linked to patient outcomes. The first standard publicly reported survey of patients’ opinions of their hospital care is known as HCAHPS. This 27 item survey allowed for standardization of questions and comparisons of data.
According to cms.gov, in 2002, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) developed the HCAHPS survey. In May 2005, this survey was endorsed by the National Quality Forum, and was approved by the federal Office of Management and Budget in December 2005. CMS started using the HCAHPS survey in October, 2006, and the first public reporting of results began in March, 2008. In 2005, the Deficit Reduction Act created motivation for acute care hospitals to participate in HCAHPS, and since July 2007, hospitals must collect and submit this data in order to receive their full annual payment update.
The PPACA of 2010 includes HCAHPS performance in the calculation of the value based incentive payment in the HVBP program, beginning with hospital discharges in October 2012. The HVBP Total Performance Score (TPS) for 2013 has two components: the Clinical Process of Care, which accounts for 70% of the TPS and the Patient Experience of Care, which accounts for 30% of the TPS, and which is based on HCAHPS. The reduction of hospital revenue, based on performance, may be 1.0% in 2013, 1.25% in 2014, 1.5% in 2015, 1.75% in 2016, and 2% for 2017 and subsequent years. For the year 2013, this represents $1 billion at stake.
RateHospitals.com is a recently developed website which allows patients to rate the experience of their hospital visit. Patients can browse over seven thousand hospitals in the United States, and click on the hospital they visited. After selecting “reviews,” they can then rate their hospital experience according to the following categories: 1) nursing communication, 2) doctor communication, 3) pain management, 4) communication of medications, 5) cleanliness and quietness of the hospital environment, and 6) overall rating of the hospital stay. Patients are also provided the opportunity to add any comments they wish, and share them through e mail or social media.
On the hospital page, the visitor can also open up the “gossip” section, and read and post information pertinent to the hospital. Awards and accolades given to the hospital might be seen in this section. The visitor to the site is also provided with demographics about the hospital, as well as a map. Comments and pages on the website can be shared through e mail, or through a variety of social media including Facebook and Twitter, which is supported by this site.
RateHospitals.com gives power to the patient to describe their healthcare, along with the strengths and weaknesses they perceive in the system. The consumer friendly website allows easy navigation for the visitor, and through the network of patients contributing opinions to the site, future patients will have the ability to more wisely choose the best hospital for them. Hospitals can also use this valuable feedback to continue services and practices which are perceived as strengths, and to implement changes and improvements where change is needed. Ultimately, the delivery of improved quality health care will lead to satisfied patients.
RateHospitals.com is dedicated to giving power and voice to patients, allowing them to share their opinions regarding the healthcare they experienced, ultimately benefiting future patients, future visitors to the site, and hospitals. The efficient delivery of high quality healthcare will benefit citizens of the United States.
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