MGMA: Successful groups prioritize patient satisfaction

If you don't yet use patient satisfaction surveys at your practice, now may be the time to start. Almost 80 percent of medical practices deemed "better performers" conduct patient satisfaction surveys, up from 76 percent in 2007, according to the results of a recent survey from the Medical Group Management Association. Further, higher performance was correlated with more frequent surveys.

What's more, as healthcare reform approaches, more practices are tying satisfaction scores to physicians' pay. Nearly 10 percent of better-performing practices said they use satisfaction survey results as part of their compensation formulas, according to the survey.

"Successful groups actively and regularly solicit feedback from their patients," said Kenneth T. Hertz, principal of MGMA Health Care Consulting Group, in a survey announcement. "Patient satisfaction surveys give practices an immense amount of detail on their patients' experience, and that feedback is particularly useful as medical groups seek to improve and elevate the care they provide."

As practices strive to provide more accountable care under the Affordable Care Act, patient experience will become increasingly important, Todd Evenson, vice president of consulting services and data solutions at MGMA, told Forbes. "It is not clear what vehicle they are going to use as to how quality is evaluated but there will likely be clinical as well as patient experience components to the value equation."

Practices need to also transition from their current survey instrument to the government's Clinician and Group Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CG-CAHPS) survey sooner rather than later because it's the one payers will likely use to measure patient experience and reward related dollars, patient experience expert Meryl Luallin, told attendees during a presentation at this year's annual MGMA conference in San Diego.

To learn more:
- see the announcement from MGMA
- here's the survey
- read the post from Forbes