Rating Doctors May Be Hazardous to Your Health
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.
John C. Goodman is president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, a free-market think tank established in 1983. The Wall Street Journal and the National Journal have called Goodman the “Father of Health Savings Accounts.” Goodman’s health policy blog is the premier right-of-center health care blog on the Internet. It is the only place where pro-free enterprise, private sector ...