Patient satisfaction will impact Medicare reimbursement in October 2012

Although Medicare has been publishing patient-satisfaction scores on its Hospital Compare website since 2008, it will begin using them to adjust payments, reports Kaiser Health News in conjunction with the Washington Post. Under CMS's "value-based purchasing" proposal, Medicare will withhold 1 percent of its payments to hospitals starting in October 2012, putting those funds into a pool to be distributed as bonuses to hospitals that score above average on several measures. Patient satisfaction scores would determine 30 percent of the bonuses, and clinical measures for basic quality care would decide the rest. Article