TRENDS DRIVING ONLINE PHYSICIAN REVIEWS AND RATINGS
The increased importance of physician ratings can be attributed to three trends:
- Younger patients, including millennials, who are becoming a bigger presence in healthcare are more likely than older patients to turn to social media, crowdsourcing and online consumer reviews when choosing products and services including medical care.
- The ubiquity of smartphones allows patients to quickly and easily look up reviews and post their own.
- Increased cost-sharing in the form of deductibles, co-payments and higher premiums means that patients are more likely to shop around for care and demand a better care experience.
About 95% of respondents in a 2018 survey said they find online ratings and reviews of doctors “somewhat” to “very” reliable, and 41% check a physician’s ratings even if a trusted physician referred the provider. Up to 60% of people use web-based physician rating systems when choosing a physician, according to a May 2019 study in the journal Risk Management Healthcare Policy.
Even standardized patient surveys are viewed by many in the medical field as flawed but necessary. The Clinical and Group Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, for instance, is used by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to calculate reimbursements to providers.