HealthDay News — Online consumer ratings of specialist physicians do not predict objective measures of quality of care or peer assessment of clinical performance, according to a study published online September 8 in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

Timothy J. Daskivich, MD, MSHPM, from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and colleagues compared consumer ratings with specialty-specific performance scores (metrics including adherence to Choosing Wisely measures, 30-day readmissions, length of stay, and adjusted cost of care), primary care physician peer-review scores, and administrator peer-review scores for 78 physicians representing eight medical and surgical specialties. 

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The researchers found that across ratings platforms, there was no significant association between mean consumer ratings and specialty-specific performance scores, primary care physician scores, or administrator scores. There was also no association between ratings and score subdomains related to quality or value-based care. For physicians in the lowest quartile of specialty-specific performance scores, only 5 percent to 32 percent had consumer ratings in the lowest quartile across platforms. Ratings were consistent across platforms, with a physician’s score on one platform significantly predicting his/her score on another in five of 10 comparisons.

“Online consumer ratings should not be used in isolation to select physicians, given their poor association with clinical performance,” conclude the authors.

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