The Customer is NEVER Right - A Nurse Practitioner's Perspective
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Letter to Dr. Kelli Ward

Dr. Kelli Ward,

I AM A NURSE! Like you a member of a time-honored profession, healthcare, trusted with saving lives and stomping out disease. In 2012, I published “The Customer is NEVER Right: A Nurse Practitioner’s Perspective”—a provocative account about customer service in healthcare and our great nation’s silent national crisis—the overwhelming amount of collateral damage left behind from placating to patients.

Rating healthcare is NOT about healthcare but solely about customer retention for profits. The evidence, rating healthcare has done NOTHING for healthcare but leave behind an overwhelming amount of collateral damage for more than thirty years now. Collateral damage that includes but is not limited to: Healthcare directed violence, a violence that has become more frequent, more brazen, and more violent. The opioid epidemic. The overwhelming amount of fraud, waste, and abuse linked to the pervasive incentives attached to customer satisfaction. Worse of all, the killing of patients as research has shown that the most satisfied patients not only spend the most on healthcare but they are most likely to be admitted and most likely to die.

I NO longer believe healthcare is broke but instead as intended—customer retention for profits and NOTHING else matters. Because if rating healthcare were about healthcare those tragedies wouldn’t be so common. Those tragedies only because of healthcare’s obsession with rating healthcare for the sake of customer retention for profits, by any means necessary, regardless the cost or LOSS of so much.

After more than ten years of taking on this monumental task alone, of taking healthcare back to MAKE HEALTHCARE GREAT AGAIN, I wrote “The Customer is NEVER Right” with two goals. First, to shine a light on this silent national crisis. Second, and as important, to recruit companions that would help with pushing back against the status quo and towards ABOLISHING all rating of healthcare; as it is the responsibility of healthcare workers and NOT anyone else’s to steer healthcare in the right direction

Unfortunately, I have failed at gaining traction for both those goals despite presenting them at national and international healthcare conferences. Failure for two reasons. First, healthcare’s submissive, altruistic, and accommodating culture which has been exploited by outsiders. Second, but most toxic, the retaliation from healthcare administrator against those who push back and why in healthcare I am known as Persona Non Grata for my heresy.

On that note, the reason I write to you. After unable to recruit companions from our ranks in healthcare I reached out to federal legislators for assistance with first ABOLISHING HCAHPS (Healthcare Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems); hoping for a domino effect that would unequivocally ABOLISH ALL rating of healthcare. In 2016, I wrote to our state Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake, and also to Senator Lamar Alexander (Chairman, Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee), Senator Chuck Grassley (Chairman, Judiciary Committee), and former Senator Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire), the latter two because of their position against the opioid epidemic. In 2017, I also wrote to Health and Human Services Secretary (Dr.) Tom Price. Sadly, none of them returning correspondence, except for Senator Flake’s aides whose reply was, “…never had [rating healthcare] been an issue.”

A reply I found hard to believe as the misfortune of rating healthcare is well documented and so is its collateral damage left behind, especially with regard to healthcare directed violence, the opioid epidemic, and the fraud, waste, and abuse associated with accommodating patients for the sake of customer retention.

Dr. Ward, I supported your candidacy over Senator John McCain and now over Senator Jeff Flake. I also support President Donald J. Trump. One of President Trump’s goals is to eliminate two policies for every new policy. HCAHPS is most definitely a policy our nation can do without, with the ultimate goal of ABOLISHING ALL rating of healthcare.

I do not know if ABOLISHING HCAHPS is a position that would benefit your run against Senator Jeff Flake, who found my petition irrelevant despite the overwhelming amount of collateral damage left behind from rating healthcare. However, I am sure you, as most healthcare workers, are well aware of the tragedy of rating healthcare of which outsiders are either naïve to or chose to look away from. If you find this topic of your interest it would be my pleasure to assist you as I can.

GOOD LUCK! Thank you for your time and attention. Please contact me at your convenience regarding this topic of which I say, “I am not a customer service subject matter expert. Instead, I am a patient compliant expert. The difference, customer service is about drama. I do patient care.”


Jose Angel Torres, NP

I AM A NURSE! A profession that year after year the public has recognized as the most honest profession and with the greatest ethical standard of any profession.

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