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Editor's Correspondence
July 23, 2012

Satisfied to Death: A Spurious Result?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: RAND Corporation and Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts (Drs Friedberg and Schneider); Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Boston (Dr Safran); Department of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston (Dr Safran); and Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston (Dr Schneider).

Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(14):1110-1114. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.2060

Fenton and colleagues1 find associations between higher patient experience scores and greater hospitalization rates, total expenditures, and mortality. Their results are puzzling because they conflict with a large literature demonstrating associations between higher patient experience ratings and a variety of favorable outcomes including better medication adherence, better performance on most clinical process measures, reduced hospital use, and lower inpatient mortality rates.25

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