This Wall Street Journal report articulates why ArmadaHealth was created – to find the best available doctor for you! Doctor finder/rating sites are chock full of stale and incomplete data, often excluding sanctions and lawsuits. Free sites exist that track doctors’ sanctions and legal entanglements; however, unless one knows how to read physician credentials, an average consumer can get lost in the jargon and still not know if the physician actually treats their condition or, preferably, has an area of clinical focus which includes the condition (a sub-specialty) – or is even alive, according to the article.
Key Highlights from the Article:
“…The researchers compared two groups of online reviews. One group consisted of ratings for 221 doctors in Illinois and Indiana who had paid medical-malpractice claims and had disciplinary actions against them. The other group had ratings for 221 doctors in the same two states with clean records. Based on their findings across five online rating services—Healthgrades.com, RateMDs.com, Vitals.com, WebMD and Yelp.com—the researchers reported no significant difference in the two groups’ ratings.”
“…Of the five websites in the study, only Healthgrades reports medical-malpractice claims and disciplinary actions, but it misses 90% of those claims and actions, according to the study authors. A separate study published in February in JAMA Health Forum found that doctors with one paid medical-malpractice claim in the past five years were roughly four times as likely to have one or more future paid claims in the next five years.”
“…Dr. Hong at George Mason University says her research shows patients rate a doctor’s empathy as the most important factor in deciding where to receive care, even though it isn’t synonymous with clinical competence. In a recent check of doctor ratings, Dr. Hong says she found that many glowing reviews about one doctor were actually about free doughnuts at the doctor’s reception desk. ‘This is different than eating in a restaurant,’ she says. ‘You can’t go once and go somewhere else to compare. You can’t have that surgery again on your heart.'”
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With a subscription, read the WSJ article here:
Doctor-Rating Websites Lack Convictions and Medical Malpractice Claims Against Some Physicians