Press Ganey…has become a hated target of hospital physicians, outstripping even trial lawyers. Utter its name in an emergency room and you’ll likely unleash a cloud of four-letter words. Based in South Bend, Ind., Press Ganey is the nation’s leading provider of patient satisfaction surveys, the Yelp equivalent for hospitals and doctors, and a central component of health care reform. Over the past decade the government has fully embraced the “patient is always right” mode l — these surveys focus on areas like waiting times, pain management and communication skills — betting that increased customer satisfaction will improve the quality of care and reduce costs. There’s some evidence they have. An ObamaCare initiative adds extra teeth, to the tune of $850 million, reducing Medicare reimbursement fees for hospitals with less-than-stellar scores.
The current system might just kill you. Many doctors, in order to get high ratings (and a higher salary), overprescribe and overtest, just to “satisfy” patients, who probably aren’t qualified to judge their care.