Last November, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the calendar year (CY) 2023 Medicare Physician Payment Schedule (MPS) and Quality Payment Program (QPP) final rule that impacts payments for physicians and other healthcare practitioners. The agency said it remains committed to promoting more meaningful participation in the Quality Payment Program for clinicians and to creating policies that continue to drive value and improved health outcomes for patients.
Communication with patients, providers, the health care system, and health plans ensures that patients receive holistic care. This includes access to their records, ensuring appointments are timely, access and communication with care providers, and care that is most needed. It’s good for your practice because it lowers medical malpractice risks, improves patient loyalty, contributes to employee satisfaction, and boosts quality measurement scores.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) defines the Patient Experience as the range of interactions that patients have with the healthcare system, including their care from health plans, and from doctors, nurses, and staff in hospitals, physician practices, and other healthcare facilities.
The patient experience and patient satisfaction go together, yet they are distinct quality measurement processes. Patient satisfaction involves general communication with the patient about their visit, such as asking if the patient would like coffee or water while they wait for their provider. Service recovery, i.e., making something right when something went wrong is also part of satisfaction. Patient satisfaction also involves several aspects of healthcare delivery that patients value highly when they seek and receive care, such as getting timely appointments, easy access to information, and good communication with healthcare providers.
“Patient satisfaction and patient experience are often used interchangeably,” said PMI Instructor Jan Hailey, MHL, CMC, CMCO, CMIS, CMOM, PMI Instructor, and former Director of Quality for Saint Joseph Physician Network in Mishawaka, IN. “They are distinct benchmarks. To assess patient experience, you must find out from the patient if something that should have happened did happen or how often it happened.”
Jan led the physician network and comprehensive interdisciplinary team across the health system working closely with providers, management, staff, community, and payers to develop strategies for process improvement, gap closures, and patient experience. She developed a documentation improvement program and a Hierarchical Condition Category (HCC) coding education program to predict future healthcare utilization by accurately reporting patient complexity.
Jan advocates for the “Quadruple Aim” approach to care which involves the experience of care, quality of care, and lower costs. It also works to reduce physician burnout. Attend her upcoming live webinar, Leveraging Value-Based Care in Your Practice, on Tuesday, May 2. She will discuss eligibility criteria for participation in the value-based payment programs, MIPS Value Pathways, APMs, MVPs, scoring and payment adjustments, and more.