WellPoint, Zagat Survey To Create Physician Ranking Guide

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Physician Ranking

WellPoint by the end of March will release an online physician ranking guide based on patient input to more than one million members, USA Today reports. The WellPoint guide, developed with Zagat Survey, will rank physicians based on trust, communication, availability and office environment on a 30-point scale.

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Theguide also will include patient comments. At least 10 responses about aphysician will be required before any information is posted about them.The ratings guide will not include information on medical expertise andwill not be based on claims data, health plan-generated data or otherfactors, such as medical malpractice settlements.

WellPointplans to roll out the survey tool to all of its 35 million members atsome point in the future. WellPoint's partnership with Zagat "comes asconsumers increasingly turn to the Internet to learn about products andservices -- and see customer reviews," according to USA Today.Jason Gorevic, chief marketing and product officer at WellPoint, said,"More consumers are asking for information about what other consumersthink about their doctors to help them make better choices."

However,some consumer advocates are concerned that customer satisfaction shouldnot be the only determinant when choosing a physician and that theresults are likely to be skewed because unhappy patients are morelikely to submit reviews than patients satisfied with their experience(Appleby, USA Today, 10/22).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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