Despite skepticism from other healthcare organizations, Geisinger’s refund system for dissatisfied patients is working!

admin Business of Healthcare

As a patient, we have learned to be pretty tolerant of some of healthcare’s oddities in this country and admittedly have set expectations regarding customer service to be pretty low.  Minimally, one expects to not get sicker after receiving care and that the problem addressed is ‘on the mend’.   Most of us are resigned to tolerate long clinic wait times, emergency department delays, difficulty in transferring records between providers, and the persistence needed to ensure one gets results from lab or imaging tests.

Despite all of this, it is the simple stuff that ends up being the tipping point for extreme dissatisfaction.  You fill out your insurance forms for the Nth time.  The EHR is missing a key allergy despite having told providers multiple times.  Your prescription order is wrong.  The more complicated the condition of the patient, the more likely that any of these things will happen.

All of these reasons are why Geisinger Health System’s ProvenExperience program is so special.  This offers patients the opportunity to request refunds via a mobile app for when they feel that they received substandard care.  HBR has profiled the initiative and shared some of the initial results.  While the initial metrics for the program show that it is not revenue neutral, it is costing less than expected and the gains in customer satisfaction have a value that cannot immediately be measured in dollars.  Geisinger is building trust and becoming truly patient-centered by moving forward with this program, and I look forward to seeing how the data shakes out over time.