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U.S. ties hospital payments to making patients happy

by jmiller on October 18, 2012

Everyone in health care should read this article posted in the Oct. 14th Wall Street Journal. “The pay-for performance programs highlight a fundamental difference between the candidates in the 2012 presidential race.  The Romney campaign says it would improve health care and lower costs by turning chunks of the system over to the private sector.  The Obama administration wants to achieve the same goals by working within the existing system and lacing it with financial incentives, so health-care providers get paid when they perform and penalized when they don’t.  The new payment rate combines hospitals’ patient-satisfaction scores with a measure of whether hospitals follow a dozen procedural metrics for treating such things as heart ailments and pneumonia Doctors and nurses say the customer isn’t always right in medicine.  “You go to Disney for a great vacation experience; you go to Ruth’s Chris for a great dining experience.  Do you think it is a great experience when I tell you that you have stage-four cancer and you may be dead in three months?”  Click here to read full text.