Fogelman College of Business and Economics
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Emin Babakus

Examining the Viability the Hospital Consumer Assessments of Healthcare Providers and Systems

Researchers are investigating the validity of a standardized measure of patient perceived hospital service quality.  The research team is comprised of researchers from the Fogelman College of Business & Economics, Union University and Methodist Health Systems.

In 2008, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has begun requiring all adult acute care hospitals across the country to report data based on the Hospital Consumer Assessments of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey to serve as the new standard for assessing patient perceived quality of services provided by hospitals.  This survey instrument contains scales that are intended measure patients’ evaluations of the quality of communications with nurses and doctors, responsiveness of the hospital staff, pain management, discharge information, communication about medicines, and physical environment (cleanliness and quietness of the hospital environment).

In the future, hospital revenues streams will be contingent upon the results produced by this standard instrument since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid intend to use HCAHPS as the basis for reimbursement rates.  While HCAHPS has been widely deployed in hospitals in the U.S. over the last few years, evidence regarding its validity is scarce and validation efforts are still within the infancy stage.

The purpose of the study is to examine the validity of the perceived quality measure in the HCAHPS survey instrument in an effort to generate additional insights about the scientific and practical viability of HCAHPS.  Such validation efforts are necessary since this instrument produces data that are used for rewards and sanctions in the hospital sector.  Furthermore, the data can be a marketing tool for a hospital provided that the results are favorable.  Justification of using HCAHPS data for such important purposes must be based on sound scientific evidence about the viability of the measures employed. 

The research team comprises Dr. Kevin Westbrook (kwestbro@uu.edu), Associate Professor of Marketing, Union University, and Cori Grant (grantc@methodisthealth.org), Marketing Research Director, Methodist Health Systems, and Dr. Emin Babakus, First Tennessee Professor and Professor of Marketing, The University of Memphis.

Read more about FCBE research


Emin Babakus

Emin Babakus

Read more about FCBE research

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Last Updated: 1/23/12