UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., July 19 (UPI) -- Hospitals that spend the most on cleaning and maintenance do not get the highest grades for cleanliness from patients, U.S. researchers say.
Deirdre McCaughey, assistant professor of health policy and administration at Pennsylvania State University and master of health administration students Samantha Stalley, Schaeffer Charles and David Lutz found little relationship between the amount of money hospitals spend on environmental services and the scores they receive from patients.
The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems surveys ask patients to rate the cleanliness of their room and the overall cleanliness of the hospital.
These scores are important because the Value-Based Purchasing Program of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requires hospitals to earn good scores to receive full reimbursement for Medicare patients, McCaughey says.
"The results were not at all what we expected," McCaughey says in a statement. "We thought that spending more money would lead to better scores, but we actually found ... it is not in the best financial interest of a healthcare organization to just spend more money to improve HCAHPS scores, but rather to think about how that money is spent."
The findings were presented at the 19th Annual Health Forum and the American Hospital Association Leadership Summit in San Diego.