For retail department stores, the slogan “the customer is always right” was popularized and perhaps even invented by Marshall Field, whose department stores and name have very much been a part of Chicago life.
Could such a policy be good for the hospital business?
Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania is trying to find out. Geisinger is now offering refunds of up to $2,000 to dissatisfied patients. Geisinger Health System President and CEO Dr. David Feinberg explained:
On the next page of the app is ‘I would like a refund’. The refund page knows how much you paid. There’s a sliding scale. You can ask for $100 back, or $2,000 back.
Between October 2015 and mid-March 2016, Geisinger received 74 refund requests and has refunded or waived nearly $80,000 in hospital charges.
Dr Feinberg noted two interesting aspects he has observed about the program:
“First, most patients who have given negative feedback have clicked the option to give positive feedback, too.
“Second, nearly all patients who ask for refunds request only a portion of their money back, even though Geisinger will give full refunds, no questions asked.”
On the pages of this blog, there have been told many tragic stories of patient deaths. So, imagine if you will:
- The widow of John LaChance not paying for his hospital costs.
- The mother of 11-year old Leah receiving from the hospital an immediate apology and reimbursement of charges for her death.
What do you think? Should this be the policy at all hospitals? Please let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.