The Meaning of Cost in Value

We associate many things with money. One example: If it costs more, it’s better.

Money is not just a physical item representative of some good or service.  It has meaning past trade. Having more money does not just mean that you can accumulate more things. Socially, it states that maybe you have accomplished more, are a better decision maker, make better behavior choices, etc. It possesses status and other cultural attributions. Not a surprise. You know this.

The $15 beer will taste superior to the $1.50 beer. It just does, because we know it’s better. It’s contextual priming. That’s why blinded taste trials are often so interesting, because the context is removed and you are left with a singular sensory organ (taste organs of the tongue and mouth, yes and olfaction). Continue reading

Who is Satisfied?

How are we going to do this?

In other industries customer satisfaction is part of the delivery, but not directly tied to product price. Companies are “paid” by happy customers with more business (referral, word of mouth, etc), or market leverage to increase the cost of service (increased value of product) with customers happy to pay that increase due to increased value, to them.

This works in a market system, where individuals are in charge of their monetary decisions. But that isn’t health care.

In a move towards payment for outcomes, where will customer satisfaction have a role? (we don’t know whether we will be paid better for better outcomes, or paid a set fee for an average expected outcome and it’s up to us to beat that average… who knows)

Is there any talk of adding customer satisfaction directly to payment? Sometimes that’s all we have. No significant change in patient status, but a very satisfied customer with the care, service, advise and input given. Perhaps they leave with an understanding of their condition, ways to manage it and strategies to avoid deleterious effects of their disease/dysfunctional process… but no change in ROM, strength or patient reported outcome measures. Continue reading