Zagat and Wellpoint (Oysters?)

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At first blush, the idea to allow consumers to rate their doctors seemed a bit odd. What do most patients really know about physician prowess? Upon further thought, though, I realize how often I tell friends about my orthopedic surgeon and what a great job he did on my knee. You either like your doc or you don’t, right?.  S/He fixes what’s under the hood or s/he doesn’t. It really doesn’t get much simpler than that.

 

And that’s the beauty of the Zagat’s new approach to physician rating being tested by Wellpoint insurance users in a few states around the country. Patients are writing reviews of  their docs and providing scores, viewable only by other Wellpoint consumers.

 

One argument physicians use against this service is they believe patients don’t always take a doctors advice, especially on lifestyle issues like healthy eating. So, say the docs, why should these patients be able reviewers?  My response to that argument would be  docs need to take the time to be more persuasive; a physician who can’t motivate a patient toward a healthier lifestyle is lacking some doctoring skill. That’s part of the package.

 

Let’s face it, patient outcomes as measured by procedural success, zero infection, no readmission to hospital, etc., are still the preferred measures of physicians (and hospitals), but there is certainly room for a patient rating system that allows receivers of healthcare to weigh in.  It’s the American way. Peace!