Report: Higher performance = $ for hospitals
Hospitals with high performance scores in patient care are more profitable, according to a new report from Press Ganey.

The top 25 percent of U.S. hospitals with the highest scores on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) question about performance were, on average, the most profitable and had the highest clinical scores, the South Bend, Ind.-based healthcare consultancy reported.

Results were based on the performance of 3,062 hospitals that charted performance for at least 12 months on elements of value-based purchasing.

The firm also found that, since the advent of public reporting of clinical and patient satisfaction data, hospital performance across the board has increased. “Compliance rates with evidence-based standards of care have increased for most of the common causes of hospitalization, including heart attacks, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care,” the report noted.

For example, from the time voluntary public reporting began in 2006 to when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010, the composite performance score for hospital performance on the heart failure measure set saw a significant increase. Overall, hospital ratings on the HCAHPS survey increased from 64 percent to just above 67 percent over the same period, also indicating improved performance.

The report additionally provided data on a number of areas in healthcare, including:
  • Emergency department (ED)—Patients seen in the ED from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. report much higher satisfaction ratings than those that arrive at any other time.
  • Inpatient—Patients are more satisfied now than they were four years ago (a 2.25 percent increase in satisfaction scores for inpatients).
  • Healthcare employees—The closer employees are to patients, the lower their workplace satisfaction and engagement, likely due to the higher stresses and responsibilities of patient care.
  • Medical practice—Medical oncology, cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology are the top medical practice specialties for patient satisfaction (among 25 specialties evaluated).
“Excellence in patient experiences, clinical outcomes and financial profitability often occur together,” the report concluded, “likely because ‘quality’ is often structural or systematic. When an organization focuses on quality, it tends to do so in all areas.”