Chief experience officer role gains traction among payer, provider organizations

Amid an increased focus on customer service in healthcare, the new role of chief experience officer (CXO) has emerged--one that both insurers and hospitals hope will add a personalized level of care, according to an article in Managed Care Magazine.

When the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services eliminated financial bonuses for Medicare Advantage health plans that didn't have a four- or five- star rating, insurers that administer MA plans improved their performance, the article notes, receiving more four- and five-star ratings on the program's scale. And healthcare providers also have incentives tied to the quality of their customers' experience.

This is especially important given the rise of the Affordable Care Act, as it spurred health plans to focus more on attracting individual business as well as satisfying consumers in high-deductible plans who may be paying more out of pocket, according to the article.

"For hospitals, health plans and the entire healthcare system, the customer's experience has never been more important," Ingrid C. Lindberg, a consultant believed to be the first chief experience officer for a health plan, tells Managed Care. "They need to have someone paying attention to what the consumer, the customer or the patient is looking for and making sure that they design their products and services in such a way that they are easy to understand and use."

Still, some health insurers feel the position is a waste of resources, arguing that patient satisfaction should not fall on the shoulders of one or two high-ranked administrative officials but instead be everyone's responsibility, the article states. But fans of the CXO believe that having a strong representative in the position means more one-on-one interaction, which would engage patients and make them, their families and clinicians equal partners in healthcare.

Indeed, in the provider realm, CXOs such as Dawn Rudolph of Saint Thomas' Health in Nashville have led the way in creating patient advisory committees, which focus on feedback and communication, FierceHealthcare has reported.

To learn more:
- read the Managed Care article