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KPBS Midday Edition

New Statewide Website Rates Doctors

A screenshot of the CAqualityratings.org website.
A screenshot of the CAqualityratings.org website.
New Statewide Website Rates Doctors
New Statewide Website Rates Doctors GUEST:Dr. Parag Agnihotri, chair, physician advisory group for CAqualityratings.org

KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. How does one Dr. compare with another? It's impossible without becoming their patient. Now there is more help. 12 is a new state website that rates doctors. The information is based on claims information provided by a health insurance companies. Joining me is Dr. Parag Agnihotri the chair physician advisory group for CAqualityratings. org and Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical . This is the first time such a large undertaking -- undertaking has come on. There are a few websites that have patience post ratings for their doctors. Is there any input from patients on this site? At this stage, no. This is the first time we created this database. You are correct the patient's perception of care how they score on the Dr. has not been incorporated yet. There are many other third-party websites like yelp. It leads to some issues because there is no scientific reliability behind the websites. This is the first time in the state taking a large database, physicians have created a website for physicians. We have database for almost 10,000,000. By using scientific rigors and national quality measures we have created this website. A consumer can go and see and see what their waiting for the physician is. This is to empower the patient and physician to improve the quality of care and improve the communication and trust between patients and physicians. How do the rankings work? Is it a star system? Yes. If a star system. It goes from 1 to 4 star ratings. You're not comparing and artificial benchmark -- this is peer-to-peer comparison. The ratings reflect if doctors recommend tests. What can patients tell about doctors in the criteria? If I was a patient I would look at the reading to see how my physician is performing on this national standard quality measure. This is a snapshot. I want to be careful and not drawing too many conclusions from this website. This gives you one snapshot how to the physician is performing on some quality measures. It is not measure the total care. If I was a patient I would use this on the way on how to have a conversation with the physician. The idea of any kind of ranking system for doctors is not very popular among physicians. Why did you want to get involved in this project? The reason we got involved was because we started seeing so many third-party websites pop up. They were not using a scientific way to rate or score a physician. As a collaborator, we wanted to show things to our patients what we believe is the right measures to display and we want to put science behind it. By providing the science and the correct measures we are doing a service to the patient's. They can then have reliable information to which go upon. CAqualityratings. org has been criticized by some doctors because it does not factor in the patient's side of the doctor-patient relationship. For example how will patients are complying with Dr. recommendations. How do you respond to that criticism? Is a practicing physician I do understand. I understand there are times when I make recommendations for certain measures and patients or their families may not follow. Most of the patients to follow the recommendations but there are certain patients who may not be going -- undergoing these tests because of misconceptions. A patient may have a fear about going under a breast cancer screening. As a physician we have a responsibility to engage the patient and to explain to them the pros and cons of undergoing a screening test or immunization or having an antibiotic. By doing so we can improve of the quality for all of California. Over the past many years we've seen more evidence come forward where when we engage patients in the decision-making we as the state has shown improvement of the quality. You said there are about 10,000 doctors included in this ratings website. Some specialties are represented more than others aren't they? We wanted to make sure we displayed scientific reliable information. We went with the data we had. Bring out its for their primary physicians. As we go forward and collect more data we will be able to display for a larger group of physicians. How else are you hoping to expand this website? Right now we have data from four large insurances. We would like to expand to have more health plans participate in this. We would like to expand the number of measures which we can displayed so we can have more complete picture for a physician. We would like more physician participation in this. And also consumer feedback to see how we can bring this valuable tool to the patients to improve care for California. We've been talking about the new website CAqualityratings. org and my guest has been Dr. Parag Agnihotri . Thank you for your time. Thank you for having me.

There's a new statewide website that rates California physicians by aggregating claim information from health insurance companies.

The website rates medical doctors based on whether or not they recommend particular medical tests and procedures for patients with certain conditions. It is searchable by physician name, specialty and location.

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Dr. Parag Agnihotri is the chair of the physician advisory group for CAqualityratings.org. He is also the medical director for Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical.

Agnihotri joined Midday Edition on Thursday to talk about the ratings website.