Safety-Net Hospitals

A new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine show that the 25% of hospitals with the highest proportion of Medicaid patients score nearly 6 percentage points worse on measures of patient satisfaction compared with what is called non-safety-net hospitals.   Here a taste of some of the questions:

  •  “How often did doctors explain things in a way you could understand?”
  • “How often was your pain well-controlled?”

These metrics are putting these lower income hospitals at risk since they could get less pay from the government.   As if anyone wants more incentive to leave a very tough work environment, these hospitals will get paid less so they will pay their employees less or cut more and more of them. This will undoubtedly decrease these these patient satisfactions scores even more.   Do you see the vicious cycle that will occur?  And remember, patient satisfaction scores have not been proven to be worth a damn.  The insanity of this blows me away.

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