Since rolling out a program in November 2015 that guarantees patients will receive a level of compassion and kindness with their medical care, Geisinger Health Systems has paid out more than $400,000 in refunds.
According to a story in The Daily Item, the ProvenExperience initiative could easily top half-a-million dollars by the time it reaches the one-year mark. Refunds per patient can be as little as $1 to over $2000 depending on the findings of a hospital study performed by patient advocates. The refund program is not focused on the full hospital experience, but rather the specific interactions that patients found uncompassionate. This would not include a patient disagreeing with the medical care they received, so the expertise of doctors is not being called into question during the process.
Speaking to The Daily Item, Geisinger Health System President and CEO Dr. David Feinberg said, “The way I see it, if you go into Starbucks and you’re not happy with your order, they don’t sip your latte and argue that they made it correctly. They just take care of you on the spot. What matters to me is that every patient is satisfied with their treatment and so I started thinking, ‘What is our guarantee? What is our refund?’ We need to be disruptive to move the practice of providing a great patient experience forward and so the decision was made to give unsatisfied patients their money back.”
In an end-of-year message to employees, Feinberg noted that Geisinger had seen nearly five percent growth over the fiscal year. “Over the past fiscal year, we’ve made progress with improving access and enhancing the care we provide. We’ve begun to implement same-day appointments, initiated an external scheduling app … with great success.” According to The Daily Item, Geisinger’s annual financial update for the fiscal year listed a $167.5 million profit.