The two biggest factors affecting the bottom line for providers center around evolving payment models tied to reimbursements and an increase a new study in consumer choice when it comes to attracting and retaining patients, according to a new survey.
“With increased consumerization in healthcare, providers and organizations are faced with having to adapt to changing markets where patient and member satisfaction is increasingly driving loyalty,” says Allison Hart, chief healthcare market research and insights strategist at West.
West’s Prioritizing the Patient Experience surveyed healthcare consumers and found that too many are dissatisfied with their current care—noting they either believe that their providers don’t have a strong sense of their individual needs or aren’t focused on improving their health.
In fact, 88% admitted they would switch healthcare providers if they weren’t completely satisfied and 74% would put off scheduling appointments altogether. Because the financial health of organizations are intrinsically tied to value-based payment models that use patient satisfaction as a performance measure, providers are feeling the pinch.
“We found a significant disconnect between the initiatives providers are prioritizing and the areas that patients say are most vital to satisfaction. Patients tended to focus on the overall experience—ranking advanced knowledge of out-of-pocket costs, shorter wait times, and not feeling rushed highest on their priority list,” Hart says. “While providers felt these issues were important, their main focus tended to center on office efficiency—such as ensuring staff is friendly and accommodating and ease of scheduling appointments.”
The survey also found that 94% of providers were also keenly aware that patients are shopping around more today than in the past when they were not satisfied.
“The mismatch between patient/provider priorities is driving a shopper mentality, and while providers acknowledge patients shop, they haven’t necessarily connected that to the fact that they may not always be I tune with what patients want,” Hart says.