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Determinants of Patient Loyalty to Provider Identified

More than 15 percent of patients at high risk for leaving their current physician, practice

MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Determinants of patient loyalty have been identified and include confidence in care provider and coordination of care, according to a report published by Press Ganey.

Researchers from Press Ganey explored the issue of patient loyalty in relation to implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Based on 1.3 million patient records, key drivers were identified for patients at the highest risk of switching provider. The analysis produced an algorithm which can be used by medical groups to identify loyalty drivers in their own population.

The researchers found that 15.7 percent of patients were at high risk for switching providers, defined as patients who were not very likely to recommend their physician or their medical practice to others. Key determinants of patient loyalty included confidence in the care provider; care coordination; concern care providers show for patients' questions and worries; listening; and courtesy.

"Through this analysis, we found that the most important predictor of patient loyalty is a patient's confidence in their provider," Thomas H. Lee, M.D., the chief medical officer of Press Ganey, said in a statement. "Practices that foster trust between providers and patients not only can attract new patients, but will also optimize the impact of CGCAHPS [Clinician and Group Consumer Assessment of Health Providers and Systems] performance and value-based payments."

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