Patients and Payers Know Your Practice Metrics. Do You?

By Annette Boyle, MDalert.com contributing writer.

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  • Our Physician Focus tool allows you to see the information that patients see about your practice, your ratings, and how you compare to your peers.
  • For many patients comparison shopping for medical care has become standard operating procedure.
  • For better or worse, more and more patients, network and coverage decisions will be made through the metrics lens.
  • See the Treatment Tracker on our Data page to see your own numbers.

Your patients may know more about how you practice medicine than you do. Over the past several years, a number of private and government websites have begun to collect and publish data on a wide variety of physician practice metrics. This information is being used to help patients see what hospitals charge for specific procedures, their rates of nosocomial infections, mortality, re-hospitalization, and more.

Our Physician Focus tool allows you to see the information available to patients about how you practice medicine—and how you compare to your peers. For many physicians, the concept of comparison shopping for medical care is anathema, but for many patients, it’s become standard operating procedure.

Use Physician Focus to compare the number of tests and procedures you perform versus peers in your community and your specialty based on Medicare Part B data. Check out your fees compared to others in the area. If your rates put you in the top 10%, a red note will be visible. That’s something that may concern patients—and payers.

Likewise, if you perform procedures that others in your specialty don’t, you’ll see an orange symbol. Patient advocates and plan administrators may see outliers as medical cowboys, but it could be you’re an innovator developing a more effective technique or a cost-conscious physician who continues to use a tried and true method rather than following the herd to the latest and most expensive options.

Either way, you’ll want to know your metrics and understand how they can be interpreted so that you can take steps to explain to patients or insurers to explain why different is better in your case.

For better or worse, more and more patients, network and coverage decisions will be made through the metrics lens. You may find this highly quantified perspective of medicine oddly distorted, but by getting comfortable with the numbers in the Physician Focus and other tools on our site, you’ll get a clear view of how patients and payers see you.


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