Kaiser Health writes: Nationally, the hospital industry has improved in all the areas the Patient Satisfaction surveys track, including clean and quiet their rooms are and how well doctors and nurses communicate. But hundreds of hospitals have not made headway in boosting their ratings, federal records show.
Feedback from patients matters to hospitals across the country. Since Medicare began requiring hospitals to collect information about patient satisfaction and report it to the government in 2007, these patient surveys have grown in influence. For the past three years, the federal government has considered survey results when setting pay levels for hospitals. Some private insurers do as well.
In April, the government will begin boiling down the patient feedback into a five-star rating for hospitals. Federal officials say they hope that will make it easier for consumers to digest the information now available on Medicare’s Hospital Compare website. Hospitals say judging them on a one-to-five scale is too simplistic.