- Geisinger Health System President and CEO David Feinberg, MD, has caught the industry's attention after going out on a limb late last year with the system's new ProvenExperience money-back guarantee, which other healthcare executives warned was a "dumb idea,” the Washington Post reports.
- The program, which allows patients to request a refund amount from their co-payments or deductibles if they aren't satisfied with their care, has turned some skeptics into supporters after proving to increase patient satisfaction scores, which factor into federal payments to hospitals.
- Concerns the program would be abused so far have been unfounded. From October 2015 to mid-March 2016, patients filed 74 refund requests, for which Geisinger refunded or waived a total of almost $80,000, the Post reports.
The question is whether Geisinger's cost in customer refunds, a first in the healthcare industry, is paying off and can do so for other systems. Experts suggest the $80,000 refunded in the time frame is less than it would cost for a consultant to review patient experience issues, and the feedback provides valuable, real-time information about what the system is getting wrong and right.
Feinberg's recent presentation on its guarantee reportedly "blew away" other executives during a meeting of the Alliance of Community Health Plans, which represents 22 health plans and provider groups.
“It is sad and ironic that a business that has decided to listen to its customers and be responsive and even occasionally refund some money is considered so out-of-the box,” Ceci Connolly, the group's president and chief executive, told The Washington Post.
Geisinger's success so far is swaying at least one other system, University of Utah Health Care, to consider implementing a similar program.