As previously blogged, health insurer’s WellPoint, has teamed with Zagat to survey the attitudes of its subscribers toward the doctors they have used. The patients rate their doctors in four broad categories, indicate whether they would recommend the doctor to someone else and can add comments if they wish. The end result, once enough ratings come in, will be a composite score for individual physicians indicating where they rank on a scale from poor to extraordinary.
A New York Times editorial writes that the idea of patient-based ratings has some doctors in a tizzy. They insist that patients are in no position to judge which doctors are best and that some patients may respond to glib charm rather than professional competence. The Times Editorial notes that the Commonwealth Fund, a pioneer in evaluating health care systems around the world, relies in part on surveys of patients’ experiences.