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New Smartphone App Offers Info On Healthcare Quality

Aired 3/28/13 on KPBS News.

A smartphone app that allows you to see how other consumers rate your medical group and health plan? Check.

— The California Office of the Patient Advocate just released its first smart phone app. Consumers can use it to see how well their health plan or medical group takes care of patients.

The free California Healthcare Report Card app has consumer ratings of the state's ten major HMOs. It also rates plans and doctors groups on the quality of care they provide for diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions.

Barbara Marquez, deputy director of the Office of the Patient Advocate, said the smartphone app has other helpful information, including questions people can ask their doctor.

"We give you some questions that are fairly generic, but very helpful, to have at hand so you can ask while you're in the doctor's office, and that they don't happen after you leave, going I wish I had asked the doctor this or that," she explained.

Marquez encourages consumers to use the app to check the ratings, and ask doctors what their medical group is doing to improve care.

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