WASHINGTON, DC – Medicare announced groundbreaking plans to use physician and nurse surveys to rate their patients by 2017 as a measure to set “individualized” price schemes for services rendered by health care providers. Shortly thereafter, private insurance carriers followed suit and proclaimed their intent to utilize satisfaction scores to determine coverage for patients.
“It has been well established that there are good doctors and there are bad doctors out there,” said Marilyn Tavenner, head of CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services).
“The machinations triggered by the ability of patients to rate their physicians and hospitals have been wildly popular not only among the patients themselves, but among all healthcare administrators. But we also recognize that there are good patients and bad patients out there, and doctors and nurses have been begging for years to be able to rate their patients. We hear those pleas.”
Although the surveys will be phased in nationally by 2017, CMS has initiated pilot surveys in several test markets, including Los Angeles, California.
“Oh God, I’ve been waiting for this for so long,” admitted LA emergency medicine physician Dr Sri-Sheshadariprativadibayankaram.
“Most of my patients are so sweet even though I don’t usually bother to fill out a survey about them. But I can’t wait to fill out another survey when we reevaluate that frequent flyer who always berates the nurses and greets me with expletives. Last week I gave him straight 1-star ratings in every category. He usually comes back around this time of the month so I’ve been picking up shifts to get another crack at a survey about him.”
Several hospitals are offering cruises and vacation packages to providers who volunteer to take care of 1-star patients, since somebody still ethically has to take care of them.
While doctors and nurses are pleased to finally have the opportunity to point out the bad apples among the patient population, many patients have expressed concerns about this system.
“I don’t think it’s fair,” proclaimed a tearful Gwendolyn Malingren. “I have been forced to expand the radius for my shopping for doctors and hospitals because they are charging me more based on those damn surveys about me. I have chronic hair pain syndrome, and sometimes I get cranky. They need to put up with me. They need to understand my predicament, especially since I have so many allergies and the only medication that works starts with a ‘D’ but I can’t remember the name.”
She continued after almost having a pseudoseizure, “Anyway, these websites where the doctors fill out surveys about me are public and I can only suppress 3 bad reviews about me. After that, all the reviews are available to anyone with a simple Google search. And the doctors can write whatever they want about me without any repercussions!”
When asked about Malingren’s concerns, Dr Sri-Sheshadariprativadibayankaram responded, “Hmmm. I sympathize. Must be tough. Break out your checkbook if you want to be seen here.”