Patients willing to pay $3,152 more for total joint replacement surgeons with higher star rating: 4 details


Patients are willing to pay more out of pocket for total joint replacements at a hospital with a higher star rating than at an average hospital, according to a study published in the January 2021 issue of Health Affairs.

The study authors surveyed 200 consecutive new patients with hip and knee pain about how CMS star ratings affected how much they'd be willing to pay for surgery. Four findings:

1. The average patient was willing to pay $2,607 more for hospitals with a higher star rating.

2. Patients were willing to pay $3,152 more on average for physicians with higher star ratings.

3. If patients had a prior surgery or experience with the star rating system, relative value of the added star dropped by $539.25 for hospitals and $934.50 for physicians.

4. Travel was also a small factor, and patients were willing to pay an extra $11.45 not to travel an extra mile.

"Patients appear more willing to accept significantly higher copayments for higher quality of care, and surgeon quality seems relatively more important than hospital quality," concluded study authors.

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