Fox's John Stossel: Hospital customer service is terrible

Fox Business Network host John Stossel has a bone to pick with the U.S. healthcare system. The journalist is undergoing treatment for lung cancer at one of the highest-rated hospitals in the country. Although his prognosis is good and he trusts his doctors, he is much less enamored with the hospital's customer service.

In fact, he writes, the customer service at New York-Presbyterian Hospital "stinks."

"Doctors keep me waiting for hours," Stossel says in an opinion piece for, "and no one bothers to call or email to say, 'I'm running late.' Few doctors give out their email address. Patients can't communicate using modern technology."

In addition, he is forced to fill out duplicative paperwork and complains that some hospital workers are indifferent to his needs. He questions whether all the medical tests that doctors order are even necessary. 

Talk of how much all of his treatment is going to cost, he notes, is discouraged, which makes comparison shopping virtually impossible. The entire enterprise, he writes, is paid for by insurers and the government. As a result, Stossel believes that hospitals don't care about customer service because the patient doesn't pay for the care.

Yet the healthcare industry is responding to calls for patient-centered, value-based care. Geisinger Health System will even issue refunds if patients feel that their experience lacked kindness and compassion. However, researchers warn that an overemphasis on patient satisfaction could hurt quality improvement efforts. 

To learn more:
- read Stossel's opinion piece