Thursday, April 14, 2011

Health care consumers start to use websites to make decisions

It’s not online nirvana yet, but websites that help consumers compare hospitals and other health care providers on cost, quality and customer satisfaction — which have been around for years — may finally be starting to gain some traction.
Paul Markovich, executive vice president and chief operations officer at Blue Shield of California, had been a skeptic — not so much about the quality of information being offered, but about how frequently consumers were using the data to make important decisions.
But now he appears to be seeing some light at the end of the transparency tunnel. By transparency, Markovich and others mean giving consumers, the public, and health care entities themselves access to specific quality and cost data that can help drive decisions and improve care.

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