Angie’s List Now Rates Doctors

Posted: April 30, 2008 by Doc in Medical
Tags:

Online Ratings Irk Doctors
By Kim Painter,
see original article at USA TODAY
Considering a new doctor? Hoping to learn more about a doctor you already see? Or maybe you’d like to praise or pan one.

You could do it the old-fashioned way and talk to friends and relatives or even the doctor in question. Or you could do this: Go online and read and respond (anonymously, if you like) to everything you find about that doctor, not only on basic search engines but on a growing list of websites that rate, rank and dissect the careers of physicians.

As of this month, you can even read and write doctor ratings at Angie’s List, the site where members in 120 metropolitan areas rank their plumbers, roofers and landscapers.

But before you start clicking, know this: Your doctor may hate being treated like a plumber — or a dating show contestant.

“Imagine there was a dating site where every time you went on a date, someone could rate you,” says Delia Chiaramonte, a family physician and patient adviser in Towson, Md. “That would really change the way you saw dating. … It definitely makes (doctors) paranoid.”

Doctor-rating sites — especially those that include patient ratings and comments — have the potential to sour already strained relationships between the nation’s patients and physicians, Chiaramonte and other critics say. Though doctors care very much what patients think and welcome scientifically valid patient surveys, anonymous online ratings and rants can ruin reputations and destroy trust, says Nancy Nielsen, president-elect of the American Medical Association.

Patient care suffers, the critics say, when doctors are made defensive and fearful.

But the creators of such sites say they offer essential information. Some, including HealthGrades.com and the newer Vitals.com, include details on training, experience, certification and disciplinary history along with patient ratings. Some include information supplied by physicians: At HealthGrades.com, physicians can pay a fee to add details and even a video to their profiles, says spokesman Scott Shapiro; at Angie’s List, physicians are welcome to respond to members’ posts, says founder Angie Hicks. Vitals.com also invites physicians to respond, says co-founder Mitchell Rothschild.

Consumers are smart enough to consider the thoughts of other consumers as just one factor when choosing a physician, just as they have traditionally considered the opinions of friends and neighbors, Shapiro says. At HealthGrades.com, consumer ratings (on factors ranging from office cleanliness to a physician’s listening skills) are just “one data element among many,” he says. The site does not include free-form comments.

Angie’s List does, and the comments are useful, Hicks says: “People are still looking for that over-the-back-fence kind of recommendation.”

But the fact that Web surfers can’t see who’s behind that fence bothers many physicians. “One disgruntled patient” could cause a lot of trouble, Nielsen says. And, she says, “doctors are not going to want to spend their time going into a (site) and correcting a smear.”

Hicks, Shapiro and Rothschild say their sites block multiple negative or positive postings from the same source. And, they say, the bottom line is that we live in an age in which consumers seek information from many different sources before making major decisions. The sites just make relevant facts and opinions more accessible, they say.

“A lot of information is good,” Rothschild says. “More is better.”

HOW TO TAKE THE MORE TRADITIONAL ROUTES

Here are some other options for checking out doctors:

    Ask for referrals from a physician you trust. Be sure to ask why your doctor recommends particular colleagues.
    Read doctor profiles at websites maintained by hospitals and physicians’ offices.
    Check with state medical boards for records of disciplinary action against a physician. Get started with the Federation of State Medical Boards at fsmb.org.

LINK:
How to Find a Doctor Online at CNN.com

Advertisements
Comments
  1. Where’s the list?
    I need a list of primary care physicians in San Diego or Los Angeles area.

  2. melissa says:

    i believe there are not enough sites that allow people to voice their opinions about physicians..my belief is that for too many years doctors have been made out to be above criticism..the old adage “the doctors knows best” is played out on supremely ridiculous levels in America..doctors should in fact be scrutinized by as many avenues possible since in many circumstances they literally hold another person’s life in their hands …i would want all the pros and especially the cons in terms of patient feedback and then make an informed decision from all the data…

  3. Uniqua says:

    Sheeeoooot. I just want to find a good doctor that takes my new insurance. I don’t want to pay $20 to find one. That’s more than my copay!

  4. Jim Wilson says:

    We need a list and rattings for an Endrinchronolgyst that practices in SW Suburbs of Chicago.

  5. laura1234 says:

    Terrible customer service from Angies List and they insulted me a member http://www.angiesconlist.com

    My Company received a poor review from a “non client”. We were able to prove the person posting was not a client however Angies List would not remove the post. Their suggestion was to have our clients purchase memberships or submit a marketing peace from their company to “our clients” and have them submit free reviews to another portion of thier site. Obviously this would promote their site and give the impression to our real clients that we support their forum. We believe this is extortion. They allowed “non clients” to post false things about our company and then told us to have our real clients purchase memberships to dilute the bogus posts. We actually caved into this extortion and purchased memberships for our actual clients so people would see real reviews not just bogus posts. Angies List claimed that because we purchased the memberships for our clients they felt we fabricated the postings and deleted our real clients memberships. Obviously this is a harmful action.

    Here is what Evan Hock, Operations Manager @ Angies Help Desk Wrote To Our Company.
    Because We Did Not Follow Their Suggestions To Promote Their Company He Insults Us By Saying Our Method Was Fraudulent
    Wonderful Customer Services ” Evan” We Appreciate Your Comments AND FALSE ACCUSATIONS
    Here are his comments: Please reach out to Mr. Hock and tell him what you think about his customer service skills towards a forced member here is his number and email: EVANHO@ANGIESLIST.COM or Phone: 317-396-9622

    HIS COMMENTS : Further, I have reason to believe that your involvement in gathering some or all of these reports is beyond the mere purchase of the memberships. I believe that you have set up these accounts, and have submitted the reports on your own business in an effort to falsely inflate your rating on our service. It should be noted that the penalty for self reporting is a one year suspension from the list, during which time your profile would not be available in category/keyword searches, and would contain a notification of the activity we found. Angie’s List has not suspended your business while our investigation is being conducted, but we reserve the right to do so. We will be removing the aforementioned reports today. By doing so, Angie’s List is in no way singling you out. Rather we are acting in accordance with our published guidelines. To not enforce the guidelines would be to give you special treatment, which Angie’s List cannot and does not do.

    If you need help gathering service reports by legitimate means, we have a number of free tools at your disposal. Most notably, we offer a program called “Fetch” through which we will contact your clients on your behalf to gather feedback on your business. I understand you may have thought it necessary to purchase memberships for your clients, but with nearly 50,000 Angie’s List members in the area, I think you might be surprised how many of your 9000 happy clients are already members, and would thus be eligible to give you a report. If you’d like information on this free program, please let me know.

    I AM A MEMBER: NICE INSULT EVAN FRAUD IS A DIRTY WORD AND WONDERFULL CUSTOMER SERVICE. EVEN BRAGING ABOUT YOUR CUSTOMER COUNTS, THAT MAKE ME A CUSTOMER FEEL SO WARM.

    ANGIES LIST RESPONSE TO THIS COMMENT: NONE

  6. Joseph Rosen says:

    Need a primary Doctor with Oxford Health in or around Red Bank NJ.

  7. Sandra Kopko says:

    Need a Pulmonary Medicine Specialist in the Northwest Indiana area.

  8. Roxanne Popa says:

    My husband is suffering from back pain. We are looking for a good doctor to help in the Kansas City, Missouri area.

  9. HELEN says:

    i have not read this valuable info but I feel I am going to walk away with a doctor that is not going to take me for granted

  10. I require a doctors opinion as a second opinion.
    what do you sugges? thank you.

    charels smillie2487605263

  11. My family all the time say that I am killing my time here at web, but I
    know I am getting experience everyday by reading thes nice articles or reviews.

  12. frisco maids says:

    Remarkable issues here. I’m very glad to look your post.
    Thanks a lot and I’m taking a look ahead to contact you.
    Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

  13. Myrtie Sullivan says:

    This is my first glance at Angie’s List. I am impressed with the mostly positive postings and your service. It would have saved me a lot of permanent disfiguring, trauma and being lied to via false marketing advertising. The gross insult came at my follow up 6 month appointment. The surgeon stated that I “was not healed yet, give it more time”. I was negatively patronized when the surgeon offered ‘corrective surgery’ by the same Doctor. It is like an assembly line, callous rough employees moved me like a side of beef when preparing to do the right side.They operated in an office, not set up as a medical clinic. I should have been concerned when this face ‘lift’ organization required all costs prior to the ‘procedure’. I look substantially more disfigured than prior to surgery, I was unconscious for a full week after the procedure, being cared for by friends instead of camping as planned. The salesperson informed me that I could return to work or normal routine within 2 days after the procedure. My face remains full of new wrinkles and a “turkey neck” appearance with folds of skin. My mouth is disfigured among several other noticeable scars. My disappointment is not measurable. I was more attractive without this gathered skin prior to surgery, No other Dr. that I have consulted will attempt to correct the disfiguring areas due to not knowing the pattern of deep sutures.

  14. michael p. mcgrath says:

    I have had a miserable experience with a neurosurgeon in Pittsburgh Pa, who not only lied to me but also slandered me in a report.How do I let people know what Dr.Eugene Bonnoratti has wrongfully done to me so others can not waste their time with him?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s