This makes a lot of sense. Who better than an insurance company to provide ratings to doctors so their clients have a better idea of which doctor to pick for their own healthcare?
Well, it sounds good anyway.
However, their star system is based on the following criteria:
- How closely does the doctor follow scientifically valid treatments?
- How much do the treatments that the doctor performs or recommends cost the insurance company?
- How efficient is the doctor?
Does this sound like a complete mess?
Doctors who shuffle patients in-and-out quickly, who recommend less expensive treatments even when more expensive tests might be helpful, and who "stick to the book" even when their own judgement tells them otherwise, these docs will do great.
But doctors who pay attention to the patients even if it takes a little longer, and who make quality judgements about the right tests and procedures for that particular patient is going to be punished in the star system.
Which doctor would you prefer?
These stars will likely tell which doctors are most profitable for United Healthcare, not which doctors are the best docs for the patient.
I hope United Healthcare patients understand that.