Geisinger Health System, a Pennsylvania based health services organization, has a reputation for excellence and quality patient care. Over the years it has been nationally lauded for its high-quality patient care & education, mission statement, research and community service. Geisinger's commitment to patient satisfaction is evident in its latest initiative: customer refunds.
While this concept has been around for ages in the retail industry, it hasn't been seen before in a hospital setting in this way. The idea was first introduced by Geisinger president & CEO David Feinberg, who joined the Geisinger team last May, and the customer refund pilot program was approved to expand to all patients system-wide in early April. The ultimate end goal? To greatly improve customer experience and satisfaction, a metric which is closely tied to the funding hospitals receive from the federal government
Geisinger Health is one of the nations largest health systems, boasting 10 hospital locations to serve residents in the surrounding areas of Pennsylvania and south New Jersey. The organization also has its own health insurance program, which covers more than 500,000 patients. This program is what allows Geisinger to afford bold innovations in patient care: their short-term losses are offset by long-term relationships with patients covered by their insurance plans.
Geisinger has a reputation for innovating towards better patient experience. A decade ago, the hospital system was the first to introduce a 90-day warranty for all surgery patients. Measures such as this and the new customer refund program have already proven their efficacy in boosting patient satisfaction scores for the health organization.
Refunds are limited to co-pays and deductibles, and have ranged from a $20 refund to several thousand dollars. Most refunds are given for reasons such as long wait times or poor treatment by medical professionals. Though Geisinger leadership claims that most feedback has been positive thus far, another benefit of offering customer refunds is the information that they gain from patient stories. Feinberg emphasizes how the refund process serves to highlight the areas of patient care that require improvement.
As of mid-March, the refund program - named ProvenExperience - had received 74 requests for refunds from patients.