- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 4, 2015

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A Pittsburgh-based health care system is expected to post patient satisfaction surveys and star ratings of physicians online this week to help patients choose the right doctor.

The ratings of up to five stars are based on more than 200,000 reviews of over 1,600 physicians. Initially, UPMC is expected to post 20,000 comments from email surveys about doctors, nurse practitioners, midwives and others. A provider must have received at least 30 surveys over the past 18 months to qualify.

Tami Minnier, UPMC’s chief quality officer, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (https://bit.ly/1MKabSc) the move is all in the name of transparency.

“We as an organization firmly believe in the empowerment and engagement of patients and families and the community to understand and evaluate health care,” Minnier said. “What better way to help patients and families evaluate part of what UPMC does in care delivery than from sharing the information on our physicians?”

Doctors and providers who receive negative comments can appeal to a board of peers, but UPMC intends to publish most comments and ratings.

Minnier said she expects skeptical doctors to warm to the system.

Attorneys said they’re not sure the comments could be legal ammunition in medical malpractice lawsuits. Pittsburgh attorney Anthony D’Amico said most criticisms would be hearsay in court, but he would still read the comments for context while exploring a malpractice claim.

Minnier said UPMC isn’t concerned with the ratings’ impact on lawsuits.

“That has not been the experience of others nationally who have implemented such ratings,” she said. “We are not sharing any protected patient information.”

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Information from: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, https://pghtrib.com


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