The New York Times’ Ron Lieber asks why, as restaurant and other review sites flourish, nothing comparable has developed for doctors. Part of it has to do with legal complications of such reviews. It also hinges on what information is available:
Perhaps the biggest problem with the ratings is that they are incomplete. WellPoint tracks doctors’ communication skills, availability, office environment and trust, but it doesn’t yet provide information about medical outcomes. While it’s nice to know how long different obstetricians make you wait, it would also be helpful to know how many babies they end up delivering by Caesarean section.
Health care review sites such as Castlight are moving in this direction, giving some insurance subscribers access these metrics. But, right now, consumers tend to be insecure about shopping for physicians. As a result, they don’t spend much time on the task: A recent survey found Americans put more effort into shopping for a dishwasher than for a doctor. .