Quality Tools: Doctor Reviews & Price Transparency Tools
Posted Apr 06 2009 11:15pm
Are these tools useful?
Doctor Review Websites
The November 28 edition of Slate.com included an interesting article by
Dr. Kent Sepkowitz. His article sheds some light on all the doctor rating websites
available today. Dr. Sepkowitz spent many hours reviewing doctor rating tools,
including free sites and sites that require subscriptions or fees to obtain this information.
His conclusion: the online doctor rating tools are very lean, content-free and
lack any useful information.
Last month I posted a blog about finding the best value (understanding
the quality side of health care in addition to finding the best cost) and listed 25
different websites that offer doctor ratings. I neglected to mention that I
never use these doctor rating sites because they are not useful. They
lack meaningful data. All of them. Instead, I ask my doctors, family,
friends, and community for their personal recommendations. Then I go online
and start to research the doctor’s certifications in more detail using many websites,
tools and blogs to read other patient’s comments and experiences. Since this
is user generated content, you need to be able to read between the lines. Sometimes
people just have a bad day and they should skip writing reviews online until they
have 24 hours to think about what they want to write and their mood stabilizes.
Price Transparency Tools
I am dedicated to promoting price transparency in health care.
This is what I do and that’s why I launched OutofPocket.com almost two years ago.
If I can help consumers make more informed and cost-effective choices before visiting
a provider, then I have accomplished my mission. When consumers start
making more informed choices, become active participants in their own health care
and demand greater transparency --- good things result including lower costs,
more innovation, more choices and improved access to medical care.
OutofPocket.com is not the only price transparency tool available. Dozens
of others are out there and I research all the new tools to evaluate
their usefulness so I can talk about these tools in my next presentation. Unfortunately,
the price transparency tools seem to have the same disease as the doctor rating tools.
Each has some amount of data, but not enough to be meaningful and comprehensive.
Wouldn’t it be interesting if these tools collaborated and consolidated their data
to produce a robust tool where shopping for routine health care servcies would
be comparable to the experience of shopping for items using eBay or Amazon.com,
where you can easily compare quality, prices and recommendations?
Here is the short list of 20 price transparency tools.
If you would like my comprehensive list and review of each tool, please send me a
note and I’d be happy to forward this information to you.
Alijor AMA CPT Lookup Tool Carol CostHelper DoctorPricing HealthcareBlueBook HealthPricer HospitalVictims MainStreet Medica MedcareCompare MyHealthScore MyMedical Costs MyRegence OutofPocket PatientCare RemakeHealth Spectrum Health UCompreHealthCare USA Healthcare Costs Vimo