This month the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) added outpatient and ambulatory surgery centers to the list of health care sites that should send out patient satisfaction surveys. Like the surveys already in use in hospitals and offices, this initiative starts out as a voluntary reporting program. But in time, the surveys will be mandatory and CMS will publicly report aggregate data. CMS is starting to use the surveys for “value-based purchasing,” where they calculate reimbursement rates for health care sites based on the quality of work that they do.
An interesting article on WBUR.org (Boston’s NPR Radio Station) discusses how these patient satisfaction surveys are on the rise, but how these surveys may be harming patient satisfaction in the process of measuring it because of how they are administered.