Geisinger Health System has paid out more than $400,000 to patients as part of its “money-back guarantee," which it launched last year to refund patients who were unsatisfied with their care experience.
The refund program, called Geisinger ProvenExperience, has allowed the system to target potential patient satisfaction issues, according to an article in the (Sunbury, Pennsylvania) Daily Item.
The Danville, Pennsylvania-based system’s chief patient experience officer, Greg Burke, M.D., tells the publication that so far patients have expressed concerns that emergency department wait times are too long, employees may be impolite and it may be hard to get an appointment with certain departments.
The $400,000 in refunds is just through the end of the fiscal year in August, Burke said, so the number may be closer to half a million when the program celebrates its first anniversary next month.
"The effort is to do it right for every patient every time," Burke told the newspaper. "Just like any legitimate or ethically sound business, you back your product. Except I think the stakes are higher. You want to reduce human suffering and promote good health. That's a pretty important product."
ProvenExperience allows patients to rate their experiences on an app and request a refund of up to $2,000 for poor satisfaction, FierceHealthcare previously reported. It does not include disputes on care options, for example, so doctors do not feel as though their knowledge is being called into question.
Geisinger CEO David Feinberg said earlier this year that competitors think the system is “nuts” for offering such a promise, but thus far the program has improved patient satisfaction and builds trust with consumers.