Higher Patient Ratings Indicate Hospitals Better Prepared for Value-based Purchasing - Press Ganey

In First Look at Impact of VBP, Latest Data from October 2011 Finds Average Hospital Rating Improved

Feb 01, 2012, 08:00 ET from Press Ganey Associates, Inc.

SOUTH BEND, Ind., Feb. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- According to Press Ganey, the average overall rating of hospitals by patients has improved following the start of the initial value-based purchasing (VBP) performance period in July 2011. This indicates that hospitals are better prepared to meet the new VBP criteria that affects their performance-based Medicare payments.

Based on proprietary patient discharge data through October 2011 - the most recent available - Press Ganey's findings supplement older, publicly available data to provide more current insight into the patients' view of hospital care. By comparison, the most recent publicly available data, released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on its Hospital Compare web site on Jan. 26, 2011, covers patients discharged April 1, 2010 through March 31, 2011. The most recent public data does not cover the VBP performance period, so it does not allow for analysis of how the initiation of VBP has impacted hospitals nationwide.

Press Ganey's proprietary database reflects the most current performance information from 44% of U.S. hospitals participating in CMS' Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey.

"Because we work with significantly more hospitals participating in HCAHPS than any other company, the more timely Press Ganey database foreshadows trends that will eventually show up in the publicly available HCAHPS data," said Deirdre Mylod, vice president, improvement services, Press Ganey. "Our analysis shows that hospitals prepared well for the start of the value-based purchasing performance period which began in July 2011. The sharp rise that we can see in our more recent data - which is not yet visible in the public data - is similar to the increase we saw in our database after CMS initiated a national consumer awareness campaign about the HCAHPS survey in May 2008."

The additional insight provided by more current data is especially valuable as hospitals refocus their improvement efforts to succeed under VBP. The Press Ganey proprietary database showed that in July 2011, hospitals had an average increase in the "overall rating of the hospital" of almost three-quarters of a point (0.7) compared to the previous month of June. CMS is scheduled to release its July 2011 HCAHPS data in July 2012 in the form of an annualized score. This public data set will not allow for analysis of seasonal trends or month-to-month comparisons.

According to Press Ganey's data for discharges from July through October 2011, since the VBP performance period began, the overall hospital performance score continued to improve and remained higher than the previous year. The average overall hospital rating in October 2011 was 0.9 percentage points higher than the average score for April 2010 through March 2011, the time period covered by the current public data set. CMS public data will include October 2011 discharges as part of its expected release in October 2012.

In addition, Press Ganey's analysis found that the average "likelihood to recommend" score for hospitals was 1.5 points higher in October 2011, compared to April 2010 through March 2011 results (the latest CMS data available). To understand the impact of this improvement, consider that in 2010 the American Hospital Association reported annual total hospital admissions of more than 36.9 million patients. The new level of performance seen in the Press Ganey data would translate into an annualized figure of nearly half a million more patients giving their hospital a rating of "definitely recommend" as compared to the year ending in March 2011.

The HCAHPS survey is a national, standardized, publicly reported survey of patients' perspectives of hospital care. The most recent HCAHPS data from CMS is available on the Hospital Compare web site at hospital.compare.hhs.gov and covers discharges through March 2011.

To receive future Press Ganey reports on HCAHPS data, email media@pressganey.com.

Press Ganey Associates, Inc.
Recognized as a leader in performance improvement for more than 25 years, Press Ganey partners with more than 10,000 health care organizations worldwide to create and sustain high performing organizations, and, ultimately, improve the overall health care experience. The company offers a comprehensive portfolio of solutions to help clients operate efficiently, improve quality, increase market share and optimize reimbursement. Press Ganey works with clients from across the continuum of care - hospitals, medical practices, home care agencies and other providers - including 50% of all U.S. hospitals. For more information, visit www.pressganey.com.

SOURCE Press Ganey Associates, Inc.