In a Nutshell: You never want to cut corners when it comes to health-related matters, but it’s important to know what you’re paying for. Navigating the complicated, expensive health care system that’s in place in the US requires doing some research. High-quality, in-network doctors are easier to find thanks to Healthgrades. This online platform adds transparency to the process of choosing general practitioners, specialists, and dentists based on patient reviews and detailed data that breaks down which doctors in your area fit your needs. The site has become a trusted source for 1 million daily users, who rely on its resources to ensure they’re booking appointments with reputable doctors.
“Well, it’s not life or death.”
You’ve likely heard this statement while agonizing over something insignificant. When it comes to health care, you don’t want to take that chance by not doing your research before booking an appointment or choosing the right health insurance plan.
There’s no way around it. The US health care system is especially complicated and costly. In fact, an average routine trip to the doctor’s office is three times more expensive in the US than it is north of the border in Canada. And the gap widens further when paying out of network. Despite the money involved with the health care system, The Commonwealth Fund ranked the US last of the top 11 industrialized nations in overall health care and the World Health Organization listed America at 37th in the world.
This is not a knock on American doctors, who spend years of intense education and hands-on training to learn how to save lives. Much of the expensive nature of the system comes from associated administrative and pharmaceutical costs outside of a doctor’s control. Still, this high price tag for medical treatment calls for transparency in the system.
Recognizing this, Healthgrades was founded in 1998 in Denver, Colorado. The platform is the leading online consumer resource for hospital, doctor, and health care reviews, drawing around 1 million daily visitors who want to do their homework and shop around before making health care-related decisions.
Users of the site are able to make appointments based on attributes that are most important to them, such as insurance carriers accepted, patient satisfaction scores, clinical quality ratings, areas of expertise, and average wait times.
Having access to these kinds of details allows customers to make more informed decisions about their health care, including searching by procedure specialization, and finding highly rated hospitals and in-network doctors and dentists. Dealing with the health care system can be daunting, but it’s a lot easier when you have comprehensive, easily digestible information on a single site.
From Choosing the Right Plan to Negotiating Rates: Tips to Avoid Excess Out-of-Pocket Expenses
Healthgrades provides patients with a comprehensive selection of resources to help avoid overspending on medical procedures, hospital visits, and medication. Staying informed and knowing how to read the fine print can result in lower patient costs.
These resources cover topics like identifying an in-network provider in an HMO or PPO, comparing providers before having a procedure done, buying medication in the right place or buying generic, and negotiating costs with your doctor. Educating yourself through extensive research is the first step toward saving on unnecessary medical costs.
In today’s healthcare system, people are often blindsided by the true costs of the care they’re receiving or are about to receive. With so many high-deductible plans available, people don’t realize they can shop around or use other ways to avoid excess out-of-pocket costs when applying their insurance.
Enhanced Site Experience Lets You Tailor Your Search and Compare Based on Specific Needs
With Healthgrades’ upgraded site and search experience, users are now able to more easily access the health care information that’s suited to their individual needs. An enhanced user experience means visitors can research and compare providers and physicians more easily, and make selections using tailored results based on the criteria important to them.
“Consumers make appointments after evaluating the attributes most important to them, including provider experience, patient satisfaction scores, clinical quality ratings, and areas of expertise,” said Andrea Pearson, Chief Marketing Officer for Healthgrades. “According to research Healthgrades has conducted, access to this type of information about a physician and his or her practice increases a consumer’s likelihood to make an appointment by 82%.”
Not only does conducting proper research guide you to quality care, it also helps you avoid paying for the wrong health care or, in some cases, the wrong procedure. It also aids in minimizing the need for numerous doctor opinions — and excessive deductible costs — where you’re paying for consultations.
Healthgrades lets you do all of your research in advance so you don’t get stuck in a trial-and-error cycle before finding the right doctor or plan.
Patient Reviews: See What Others are Saying About Their Health Care Experience
With over 6 million doctor reviews, Healthgrades provides you access to unbiased information before you decide on a physician or specialist.
It’s important for those in the health care industry to receive positive feedback because, while their credentials and experience are certainly important, many patients prioritize what other patients are saying when booking an appointment. Studies show that 77% of patients use online reviews to evaluate physicians before making a final decision.
“More and more patients are visiting Healthgrades.com to review their physicians and share details about their care experience,” Andrea said. “Most consumers seek information about a provider that is both objective and subjective to make an informed health care decision. This paints a more holistic picture of a provider and helps consumers determine where to book an appointment.”
Affordable Health Care Starts with Awareness
With so many patients now relying on provider and doctor reviews to help make their health care decisions, transparency is becoming increasingly important to the industry.
Healthgrades allows you to make informed health care decisions with a searchable platform, consumer reviews, and valuable educational resources. Higher satisfaction rates lead to greater patient loyalty and more patient referrals as well, so this kind of transparency is a win-win for patients and physicians.
“We bring together sophisticated functionality to choose doctors, technology solutions that help patients connect with and build better relationships with their physicians, educational content and a sense of community,” Andrea said. “This makes Healthgrades a must-visit first for consumers when they need to find a doctor.”