Turning the Tables: Doctors Rate Patients

Some doctors, tired of often capricious, inaccurate, and statistically flawed ratings of their performance, have decided to fight back. “Pa-Rate,” is a new service that enables physicians and their office staffs as well as hospital personnel to anonymously grade the performance of patients they encounter. Speaking for the group who developed the website, Dr. Giovanni van Bronckhorst, a surgeon, who is president of the American Association of Medical Doctors, said, “We think it is now time for doctors to start evaluating their patients.” The patient rating system will cover several categories including compliance with diet, exercise and other instructions, taking medications, courtesy, frequency of cancellation of appointments, showing up late, paying bills on time and calling for prescription refills on weekends. When a patient calls any physician for an appointment, staff can access the Pa-Rate website and enter the patient’s name and birth date. A complete summary of all ratings—from 1 star to 5 stars—will appear. Data on whether a patient has ever been discharged from a practice or sued anyone will also be displayed. Dr. Nicholas Anelka, a family practitioner from Piso Mojado, California, said, “I’m looking forward to using Pa-Rate to help me choose only the best patients for my practice.” “It’s like Carfax, only for patients,” said Dr. van Bronckhorst. The site will be free to all licensed physicians who register and will be supported by advertising from drug companies, device manufacturers, and malpractice insurance companies. Patients will not be permitted to contest any ratings nor will discovery of names of physicians who submitted ratings be possible. Not surprisingly, patient advocacy groups are up in arms...
The True Costs of Alienating Patients

The True Costs of Alienating Patients

As healthcare costs rise, patients are demanding a higher level of service. This expectation goes beyond the bedside and includes everything from registration to final statements. Every individual involved in the patient experience, from receptionists to medical staff, has an impact on satisfaction. The billing and collections process is no exception. There is a strong correlation between the billing and collections experience and loyalty to providers. Research has shown that when patients find their experience to be favorable, they’re satisfied with the overall provider experience about 99% of the time. Loyalty can be severely impacted by negative post-care experiences, which in turn can have an impact on one’s bottom line. Lifetime Value of Patients Loss of the lifetime household healthcare expenditure is estimated to be more than $1.5 million for hospitals and over $1.0 million for physician-related expenses, according to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau.  See the table below for a deeper breakdown of these expenses: Affects of Malpractice Malpractice suits are another negative post-care experience that can impact the bottom line. When it comes to malpractice suits, it doesn’t matter whether you win, lose, or settle. Besides being expensive, being sued by patients is extremely stressful to both hospitals and physicians. The risk of being in a lawsuit increases from 0% for those with very good patient satisfaction ratings to 19% for those with very poor ratings. Physicians are not found negligent in more than 90% of cases that go to trial, but more than $110,000 per case is spent defending those claims. Reimbursement Concerns Under CMS’s value-based purchasing proposal, as much as 1% of diagnosis-related group...