Top patient care performers are most profitable hospitals

Hospitals with high performance scores in patient care are more profitable, according to a new Press Ganey report. The top 25 percent of U.S. hospitals with the highest scores on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) question about performance were, on average, the most profitable and had the highest clinical scores, suggesting that patient experience, coupled with clinical outcomes, can mean financial profitability for the institution.

Hospitals have taken notice, too, amid national initiatives. With the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) first national pay-for-performance program, hospitals now link quality with reimbursements. Through the Hospital Inpatient Value-based Purchasing Program (VBP), hospitals starting on July 1 began reporting clinical and patient experience measures from which CMS calculated VBP scores; HCAHPS makes up 30 percent of the total hospital inpatient VBP score. Effective Oct. 1, 2012, those scores will translate into reimbursement changes, according to the report. And by 2013, hospitals will face penalties for negative clinical outcomes, such as high readmission rates and hospital-acquired conditions.

"Taking great care of patients is the best business model for hospitals," Press Ganey CEO Robert Draughon said in a press release yesterday. "Hospitals that are making performance on patient satisfaction and publicly reported clinical core measures a priority are proving to be the most successful."

The report found that more public reporting leads to higher rates of compliance in the top MS-DRGs, including acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, pneumonia, and surgical care.

"It is interesting to note that the only hospitals that showed a positive profit margin were those that were highly rated by their patients," the report states. "...Although there is not a lot of difference in the clinical measures among the four groups of hospitals segmented on patient rating score, the top quarter of hospitals based on HCAHPS overall rating score also have the highest average clinical score. Taken together, these [results] suggest that excellence in patient experiences, clinical outcomes and financial profitability often occur together."

For more information:
- read the press release
- check out the report (reg. req.)

Related Articles:

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Doctors, nurses out of touch with patient expectations
Quality incentives show mixed results for hospitals, payers
Joint Commission names top-performing hospitals in quality
Pay for performance yields mixed results, study says

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