Study: Healthcare Reviews, Ratings Increasingly Impact Hospitals' Bottom Lines

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As consumers increasingly look to reviews and ratings to make healthcare decisions, patient satisfaction scores and even reviews posted on social media sites like Yelp and Facebook can affect a hospital financially, according to a report by PwC's Health Research Institute.

According to HRI, 48 percent of respondents said they have read healthcare reviews, and of those, 68 percent have used that information to select a physician, hospital or, to a lesser extent, a health plan, pharmacy and drug or medical device. The number of consumers using reviews is smaller than in other industries like retail or entertainment, but the study points out that single, trusted rating system for healthcare reviews does not exist — yet.

Patient reviews have already become a factor in payments received from Medicare. In 2013, $850 million in provider pay will be shifted based on patient satisfaction scores as part of CMS' Value-Based Purchasing program.

"Customer experience is now a matter of dollars and cents," said Kelly Barnes, PwC's U.S. health industries leader, in a news release. "Ratings connect consumers' experience to quality, and quality connects to financial performance, market share and reputation."

More Articles on Patient Satisfaction:

University of Utah Health Care's 5-Pronged Approach to Patient Satisfaction
Patient Experience Roundtable: Raising and Maintaining Patient Satisfaction
New Index Rates Hospitals by Patient Engagement

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