Flawed Data With Physician and Hospital Rating Sites

March 1, 2013
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ImagePhysician and hospital rating websites are flawed. Indeed, the information is often so out-of-date that what little value these sites have to offer is completely gone. 

I found my own doctor, who has been deceased for 8 years, still showing up on Vitals and HealthGrades

ImagePhysician and hospital rating websites are flawed. Indeed, the information is often so out-of-date that what little value these sites have to offer is completely gone. 

I found my own doctor, who has been deceased for 8 years, still showing up on Vitals and HealthGrades

I have said a couple times the rating are unreliable. If UCLA and Boston Hospitals never seem to make the top of their listings, the rating systems aren’t working. They are using some type of quantitative formula to crunch these numbers, but they aren’t good formulas. 

I have also said well just keep like a Yellow Page listing and they can’t get that right, either.

So, here’s the latest: Dr. Arnold Klein, once Michael Jackson’s dermatologist, been in the news with a warrant out for his arrest in relation to his bankruptcy case. You can go to the links on both Vitals and HealthGrades sites and the doctor’s site has been down for a while. But there is a video about him is still up on Vitals. image

Yet, a few months ago there was an article stating that HealthGrades is seeing fewer reviews. I can see why. If the accuracy is failing, people won’t use it.

You can buy insurance off the Vitals site. A lot of this comes from the data selling epidemic that strangles the U.S. and stifles job growth as companies and banks just sell data instead of doing much in the tangible areas for revenue growth. 

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Physician Rating Sites Are Seeing Fewer Reviews These Days–Flawed Data Catching Up Along With Loss of Value As Consumers and Doctors Lose Interest?

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HealthGrades has put Dr. Arnold Klein on the Honor Roll and both sites still have him listed on staff at a couple hospitals. It obvious they don’t mine the news and have a small section to where they might update information like what we see on TV and on the web. I don’t know the doctor; this just suggests to me the lack of accuracy of these sites.

Dr. Arnold Klein made big national news. How many doctors hide from authorities living on a glacier?  You would think that with this amount of information made available to the public, HealthGrades and Vitals would take notice. Nope.

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I looked way back in my posts and found a 2009 blog post about Dr. Arnold Klein appearing on Larry King. 2009! Which makes it appear that it has been about 5 years since either sites updated their data.

A couple years back some doctors and I did some comparisons and we found all kinds of mistakes on sites like these, including doctors who were deceased, doctors listed at hospitals they had never set foot in, and so forth. It’s totally bogus that these sites are make money by selling data and get advertising revenue, but want the doctors themselves to update the data. There are other services that doctors pay for, like ZocDoc. They are totally different because you can make appointments on ZocDoc and it’s a service the doctor wants, and thus they do update their own profiles there. Don’t confuse the two. 

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Last year in the news, it was announced that HealthGrades was joining the board of a company that does market research… huh?  Maybe not on doctors and hospitals, right?

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Anybody heard of Dr. Gary Michelson who won a couple billion from Medtronic years ago and retired? He does a lot of neat philanthropy work for dogs and human. Well, he’s on Vitals and HealthGrades still. I think he stopped practicing 8 years ago. Hopefully, while I’m writing this post and accessing their websites, Vitals and HealthGrades are catching my IP and scraping data.

The main point is the algorithms are not working very well. And I can’t blame the hospitals and doctors for being outraged

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Hospitals like UCLA and Harvard sometimes received lower rating than one would expect, especially considering they offer specific procedures and treatments that no one else does. This is just wrong.

I’m very concerned about the buying and selling of data that nobody checks or fixes. The time has come to license and tax data sellers. We could use the revenue to fund the NIH and the FDA. This has become an epidemic in the US and it hurts consumers every day.

image: doctor ratings/shutterstock