Study suggests Yelp can help people find quality healthcare – Healthcare Dive

Dive Brief:

  • Yelp ratings can provide a useful guide for people shopping for quality healthcare, a new report concludes.
  • The Manhattan Institute found that Yelp ratings for New York state hospitals correlated with established quality metrics — those with higher ratings had lower preventable readmission rates.
  • As the number of Yelp ratings grows, they will become even more helpful in steering people toward high-quality hospitals, the authors say. 

Dive Insight:

The report urges New York policymakers, public employers and Yelp to increase visibility of and access to Yelp reviews when consumers are choosing health plans. It also suggests linking simple quality metrics to a hospital’s Yelp review page so that patients can access more detailed information on specific concerns.

An April 2016 study in Health Affairs found that Yelp’s crowd-sourced hospital reviews complemented the data patients and hospitals derive from Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey results.

In 2015, Yelp rolled out a new feature — in conjunction with ProPublica — that provides data on emergency room wait times, facility fines, reported deficiencies and other useful information about healthcare organizations. The data is gathered by the investigative journalism nonprofit.

With the shift to value-based payment models, more and more attention is being paid to patient engagement and patient experience. Some healthcare organizations, including Intermountain Healthcare and Geisinger Health System, have taken to publishing patients’ physician reviews as a means of motivating doctors and boosting quality scores.

Last month, the California Healthcare Performance Information System launched a star rating system to help consumers find quality providers in the state. The online database contains more than 10,000 physicians and shows how they measure up against others in their specialty based on a scale of one to four stars.

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