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Should physician compensation should be tied to performance—or in this case, perceived performance? Among our respondents, around one-fifth of physicians say patient ratings do currently affect their pay. But the vast majority of physicians do not believe it should, with a staggering 88 percent saying patients’ opinions should have no bearing on their paycheck.
Consider the situation in a hospital where higher Medicare payments are dependent on receiving a good score on patient surveys. Medical staff may feel pressured to take certain steps (for instance, order unnecessary tests or prescribe certain medications) to earn a higher score. In such cases, the focus may switch from achieving a positive health outcome to attaining a high rating.
However, just over half of patients do believe physician pay should correlate with patient ratings. And in fact, nearly 3 in 10 patients report they’d be more apt to provide a negative rating if they knew it would affect a physician’s compensation—for unsatisfied patients, apparently, money talks.
But how do people feel when the question of performance and pay is based on their own positions? Nearly three-quarters of respondents in the architecture/engineering field would prefer performance-based pay, as do around 73 percent of those in transportation and materials moving and 71 percent of people in business and financial operations.
Interestingly, 80 percent of respondents in the legal field and in production do not think pay should correlate with customer satisfaction. People in the fields of computer/mathematics, advertising and marketing, and education/training were also strongly opposed to performance-based pay.
See next report: Patients’ Specific Wishes