Don’t be Fooled by Pay-to-Play Online Doctor Referral Sites
Independent, unbiased assessment of medical care is more important today than ever. Don’t be fooled! Anyone can draw up a “best of” list, and many organizations do.
Drug companies favor those doctors who are high prescribers of their drugs. To many health insurance companies, a physician’s fees are often a more important factor than quality. Many publications and websites recommend health care providers who pay to get their names mentioned.
Pay-to-Play Directory Listings Common
Paying to be listed in a doctor referral service is common among online directories. In addition, doctors can pay extra to be listed first in your database search results.
The article ‘ABC News Investigates Top Doctor Awards: Are They Always Well Deserved?’ includes a warning:
“Don’t be confused by sound-alike websites like ‘TopDocs.com’. ‘TopDocs.com’ does not claim to rank doctors in any way. In fact, regardless of true top doctor status, a spot at TopDocs.com is available to any physician who pays for membership. The cost to buy a spot on the TopDocs.com website ranges anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000, in addition to an annual fee of $1,600.”
Don’t fall prey to hype, advertising, or third parties that have something to gain by recommending a particular healthcare provider.
Consumer Ratings of Doctors May be Just as Flawed
Some people believe that patient ratings are the best source of information on doctors. Unfortunately, that is a misguided assumption. Patients may be able to rate a doctor’s “bedside manner,” but they know little about the complexity of medical care.
In fact, an article in Forbes magazine stated:
“The current system might just kill you. Many doctors, in order to get high ratings (and a higher salary), over-prescribe and over-test, just to “satisfy” patients, who probably aren‘t qualified to judge their care. And there’s a financial cost, as flawed patient survey methods and the decisions they induce, produce billions more in waste.”
Some web sites for A-Fib patients may be biased, often for financial gain. When searching online, always ask yourself:
“Who is paying for this website, and what is their agenda?”
Do not rely entirely on doctor ratings or doctor referral sites. Instead, get personal referrals, refer to our Directory of Doctors and Medical Centers as needed, and then do your own research on each doctor. For guidance, see our article: Finding the Right Doctor for You.
At A-Fib.com, we accept no fee, benefit or value of any kind to be listed in our Directory of Doctors and Medical Centers. A-Fib.com is not affiliated with any practice, medical center or physician.