Zagat Ratings For Your Doctor?

Due to a fairly awesome article in Smart Money awhile back, we’re now under the impression that Zagat ratings are sort of a scam to sell plaques, but we’re apparently in the minority. Now WellPoint is adopting the Zagat method to rate doctors. Yes, doctors.

From the WSJ Health Blog:

Diners are well-acquainted with the Zagat Survey approach to rating restaurants, hotels and bars. But now the consumer guide and rating company is teaming up with WellPoint to tackle the world of physicians.

Starting in January, members in some of WellPoint’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans will be able to go online and review and rate their experiences with doctors. The health insurer, which has 35 million members nationwide, first plans to make the rating tool available to 1 million, though where exactly remains to be disclosed.

Patients using the online tool will get to apply the same 30-point scale that has helped make or break plenty of restaurant reputations. In place of familiar food, décor, service and cost categories, though, doctors will be rated on trust, communication, availability and cost. WellPoint says each entry will display contact information, the 30-point scale ratings in each category, plus the percentage of members who recommend the physician.

Dr. Smith’s waiting room is “full of old, crappy magazines,” but the doctor himself “listens to my problems” but “his staff is rude.” His handwriting is “indecipherable.”

According to WellPoint, the site will be monitored for “inappropriate allegations.”

Zagat Gets Into Doctor Ratings [WSJ Health Blog]