Due to backlash from hospitals about the new HCAHPS Star Ratings that were scheduled to release last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have decided to delay the release to answer concerns expressed about how the scores are calculated. CMS intends to publish the HCAHPS Star Ratings to be utilized by consumers when comparing hospitals. The star ratings focus on quality measures related to patient experience and were designed to improve the consumer’s ability to interpret the information posted to the CMS Hospital Compare website. The site displays a one to five star rating for each of the 11 publicly reported HCAHPS measures plus a summary star rating that averages all the HCAHPS Star Ratings. The release is expected to be delayed until July 2016.
Hospitals are concerned that the perceived flaws in the methodology of calculating the star ratings will result in misled consumers. Last year, only 251 hospitals received a five star rating under the patient satisfaction measures out of the total 3,500 hospitals that were rated. Hospitals are requesting more visibility to the data used in order to ensure the ratings are accurate.
Many industry stakeholders are concerned about the impact on the ratings that will occur due to the exclusion of many socioeconomic factors. In particular, hospitals that treat lower-middle class patients think they will be at a disadvantage because these patients typically receive less frequent medical care which can result in more complex medical needs. The delay was a relief to many hospitals and stakeholders but unless they are able to come to an agreement with CMS, it is likely that they will push for an extension of the delay.
It has been a trending topic in the healthcare industry about the shift of focus to the patient experience. Many providers are strategically modifying their policies and procedures in an effort to improve patient experience and increase ratings. One area of the patient experience that cannot be overlooked is the final interaction the patient has with the provider: payment for services. The patient may not have any complaints about their experience when they walk out the door, but when they start receiving medical bills and are unable to pay, it can change their entire outlook of the overall experience. MyLoans was designed to allow the patient to break up their medical bills into manageable, monthly payments. Relieving the pressure of medical bills by providing the patient an option that fits in their monthly budget, will alleviate any negative impact to the patient’s overall satisfaction.
By providing patients with fast access to medical loans at a fair and unchanging interest rate, the MyLoans™ software by Epic River enables financial institutions to ease the financial stress of health care through collaboration with medical providers. Not only can medical providers offer patient financing for medical care needs, but doctors and hospitals alike can finally get immediate funding of their patient’s outstanding balances. Additionally, financial institutions gain new customers and interest income with little administrative overhead in exchange for servicing the loan. For more information, visit www.myloans.co.
About Epic River, LLC
Since its inception in 2005, Epic River has been providing high quality software services aimed at solving process-intensive problems. With a focus on high quality and rapid delivery, Epic River’s methodology accelerates the process of innovation while keeping a firm grasp on the business case behind the application, enabling our partners to grow their market leadership. The company’s unique approach to the agile methodology and user experience ensures both parties work closely together every step of the way. Whether you’re looking to expand into new technologies or markets, need a custom internal tool, assistance with architecture, or simply need someone you can trust to make technology decisions, Epic River is at your service. For more information, visit www.epicriver.com.