Health care quality can vary. Where you go for care matters. These messages deserve the public’s attention. A national survey by Public Agenda found that a majority of Americans do not know that clinical quality may vary among doctors and hospitals. Greater transparency of a health care provider’s quality and outcomes can enable patients to make comparisons that will improve access to quality care. Yet such transparency remains a topic of great debate within the health care sector.

There are websites offering ratings and objective measures for patients and providers, such as Medicare’s Hospital Compare, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, and Healthgrades, but awareness is low. Patients also want to hear from other patients, and people are turning to more commonly known sources of user reviews and ratings, such as Yelp, to read reviews of health care experiences. Some health care systems, including Northwell Health in New York State, are responding by publicly posting patient-generated reviews of doctors or ratings based on patient satisfaction surveys. Medicare’s Hospital Compare has adapted by incorporating surveys of patient experience into its ratings.

On May 17, 2018, NYHealth hosted a conversation with experts on the availability and transparency of health care rating websites and how to better engage consumers.

Panelists were:

  • Leah Binder, President and CEO, The Leapfrog Group (see slides)
  • Susan Congiusta, Assistant Vice President of Patient Experience, Northwell Health Physician Partners (see slides)
  • Pat Mastors, Executive Director, Patients’ View Institute (see slides)
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