Perceived Time Spent With the Physician and Patient Satisfaction

Since the enacting of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010, patient satisfaction has become a significant factor in reimbursement schedules for physicians. For instance, in 2016 the US Department of Health and Human Services tied an estimated 30% of Medicare payments to “alternative payment models that reward the quality of care over quantity of services provided.”1 Understanding factors that contribute to patient satisfaction and being able to reliably measure them are essential in this new healthcare environment.

In the Winter issue of the Ochsner Journal, Kedia and colleagues examine whether the perception of time spent with the physician improves the satisfaction of patients presenting for initial evaluation of knee osteoarthritis.

The authors hypothesized that patients would be accurate judges of time within 5 minutes and that patients who perceived greater time spent with the physician would have higher satisfaction scores. However, patients perceived their time with the physician to be an average of 6.5 minutes more than the actual time, and no relationship between patient satisfaction and patients’ perception of time spent with the physician was evident.

Read more about the impact of perceived time on patient satisfaction here.

1. US Department of Health and Human Services. HHS Reaches Goal of Tying 30 Percent of Medicare Payments to Quality Ahead of Schedule. https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2016/03/03/hhs-reaches-goal-tying-30-percent-medicare-payments-quality-ahead-schedule.html.

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