Patients are actively seeking reviews and ratings to make healthcare decisions. Patient satisfaction scores, provider reviews and social media sites are all playing a part in the decision-making process and have the potential to have a significant financial impact on providers.
PwC’s Health Research Institute (HRI) surveyed 1,000 consumers on how they utilize ratings in making healthcare decisions. Nearly half (48%) of respondents said they’ve read health-related reviews, and of those, 68 percent have used that information to select a physician, hospital or, to a lesser extent, a health plan, pharmacy, drug or medical device. The study also points out that no single trusted source of ratings is currently available and that consumers will use a variety of sources to make an informed decision.
Consumers’ main interests are of the physician-patient relationship, what to do after a hospital visit and how to easily obtain service from their health plan. Research by The University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) found that word-of-mouth recommendations hold the most influence, while online patient reviews and ratings hold a significant and growing role in choosing a provider. Kelly Barnes of PwC stated, “As consumerism in healthcare gains steam, customer feedback has become a determining factor in the success of health organizations. Ratings connect consumers’ experience to quality, and quality connects to financial performance, market share and reputation.” The single largest source for information according to the report was Consumer Reports, identified by 43% of respondents who have read reviews. Consumer Reports’ Health Ratings Center, formed in 2008, has published ratings on drugs, hospitals, health insurance, doctors, and diseases and preventative services. That aside, healthcare organizations and retailers alike are vying at taking advantage of the enormous market opportunity to be the single trusted rating source in the healthcare industry.
In the public arena, patient reviews have already become a factor in provider reimbursements. Insurers who serve Medicare beneficiaries can stand to earn more than $5 billion in bonus payments linked directly to patient feedback before year 2014. For more information about PwC’s HRI healthcare rating survey and how ratings are affecting healthcare, please visit http://www.pwc.com/us/scoringhealthcare or click the image below.