Physician Compensation Tied More And More To Patient Satisfaction

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In a recent article published by Forbes, contributor Bruce Japsen summarizes a new trend in physician compensation. According to the article, “more doctor pay is being tied to patient satisfaction metrics, another sign health care may be coming more consumer-friendly.” Currently, physicians and doctors are mainly compensated based upon health outcomes, but this is slowly beginning to change. The Medical Group Management Association’s annual compensation analysis “shows 2.31 percent of specialists’ pay was tied to patient satisfaction in 2013 compared to 1.61 percent in 2012.”

Although the increase is minor, physicians and doctors must closely track these metrics moving forward. Many health care providers are in favor of adopting even more patient satisfaction metrics, including “adopting the ‘triple aim’ framework developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.” The framework’s mission is to improve the overall experience of a patient, by measuring quality and satisfaction.

The adoption of patient satisfaction metrics is becoming increasingly real. “Plans- sold by the likes of Aetna, UnitedHealth Group, Humana, and Cigna- are rated on measures like cutting call waiting times as well as how well they encourage preventative care such as getting regular blood tests for diabetes.” Patient satisfaction will continue to play an increasing role in health care today, and physicians running their own practice must be aware and willingly embrace this evolution.

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