All of us experience a never-ending number of first impressions. Consider that first visit to a restaurant highly recommended by friends. After being seated, five or ten minutes go by without a waiter coming to the table. When the waiter does arrive, they seem distracted with no discernible facial expression. How does this indifference make you feel? Or what about the flight attendant who treats you like an empty seat when you try to ask a simple question? In either case, the chance for a warm, enjoyable experience disappears after such a cold beginning.
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Current strides in improving patient safety in hospitals and medical facilities provide clear evidence that the healthcare industry has the capacity for meaningful change. However, providers continue to face significant obstacles; perhaps the biggest obstacle of all revolves around developing and expanding a vigorous “safety culture.” Indeed, much of the focus has been on technology and incremental process improvement, but building a “culture” is the foundational contributor to ensuring patient safety.
The patient satisfaction survey, HCAHPS, reflects patients’ perspectives of their hospital experience. The survey results are used to compare hospitals to each other using measures that are significant to healthcare consumers. HCAHPS scores are used by CMS to determine a slice of reimbursement to hospitals, making up 25% of a hospital’s Total Performance Score in the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing program for 2016.
Providing a better patient experience continues to challenge hospitals and other medical facilities, despite:
- The numerous national conferences examining this issue and proposing means to better achieve it;
- The countless newspaper stories, magazine articles and blogs discussing this over the past several years.
What prompted this deluge of interest?
Clinicians play an integral role in leading the adoption of CMS regulatory changes.
What follows is a summary of program updates for FY2017 that will impact healthcare reimbursement.
Value-Based Purchasing Program:
The Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Program for FY2017 (with performance period of 2015) will focus on several domains: