With the start of 2013 comes what is sure to be a roller-coaster of a year for the health care industry as a whole, and hospital services in particular. Hospitals will continue to be watching carefully for what impact of the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) will have on them this year. 2013 rolls out some major milestones including Medicaid payment adjustments for primary care physicians, preventive health care coverage, increased taxes for these programs, and expanded authority to bundle payments for hospital services. (HealthCare.gov Timeline)
All of these changes point to the continued need for strong outpatient programs including Wound Centers. Outpatient revenue continues to outpace inpatient revenue in growth and is poised to exceed collections of inpatient services for most hospitals in the next few years. (HealthLeaders) With the changes coming down the line, that trend should increase, helped along by a slight bump in outpatient payments by Medicare for 2013. (1.8%)
Over the next week, we will cover five items which will need to be carefully monitored to insure the success of your wound center:
5. Patient Satisfaction
As reported in Kaiser Health News, "In what amounts to a nationwide competition, Medicare compared hospitals on how faithfully they followed rudimentary standards of care and how patients rated their experiences." These ratings, along with other metrics, result in either a bonus or a penalty for hospitals which can reflect, up or down, 1% of Medicare reimbursement for the hospital. Thirty percent of this score is based upon surveys of former patients. Your patient satisfaction scores may have a significant impact on hospital revenue.
Due to the nature of outpatient wound centers and the fact that the teams often get to know the patients well over an extended period of time, outpatient wound care programs have historically enjoyed excellent patient satisfaction scores. Paying close attention to this important measure has never been more vital. This may also be a new measure for the "value" of a wound center for the hospitals they are part of.
The 2012 numbers and financial penalty or bonus have been calculated for each hospital and can be viewed here. How did your hospital do?