Background: Online surgeon ratings are viewed as a measure of physician quality by some consumers. Nevertheless, the correlation between online surgeon ratings and surgeon quality metrics remains unknown. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between online surgeon ratings and hernia-specific quality metrics. Study Design: The Americas Hernia Society Quality Collaborative (AHSQC) is recognized by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare as a Quality Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) that reports risk-adjusted quality metrics for hernia surgeons. All surgeons who input at least 10 patients into the AHSQC and had both a HealthGrades.com and Vitals.com rating were included in the analysis. The association of surgeons’ average, risk-adjusted QCDR quality score with their online ratings was investigated using a linear regression model. Results: A total of 70 surgeons met inclusion criteria. The median number of evaluations each surgeon received on HealthGrades.com was 7; the median number of evaluations each surgeon received on Vitals.com was 3. There was a statistically significant correlation between the ratings surgeons received on HealthGrades.com and those that they received on Vitals.com (p < 0.0001). However, there was no correlation between surgeon ratings on either HealthGrades.com or Vitals.com and surgeon QCDR quality scores (p = 0.37 and p = 0.18, respectively). Conclusions: Online physician rating systems correlate with one another, but they do not accurately reflect physician quality. The development of specialty-specific, risk-adjusted quality measures and appropriate public dissemination of this information may help patients make more informed decisions about their health care.
ASJC Scopus subject areas