How do doctors get rated by their patients?

FOX's Alex Hein explains:

This is Housecall for Health.

Whether or not a doctor is rated well by patients may depend entirely on where the visit takes place.

In a small U.S. study, patients gave the same doctors different ratings depending on where their visit occurred.

Researchers compared patient satisfaction surveys collected from three different locations staffed by the same set of doctors. One was an emergency department in an urban environment, while the other two were urgent care sites in more suburban areas.

Patients who saw doctors in the emergency room gave them consistently lower scores compared to those in urgent care settings.

Although doctors may act differently in an emergency room compared to a calmer office setting, researchers say the results also suggest that ratings are not a completely reliable measure of the quality of care physicians give.

As healthcare payers put more focus on patient experience, the scores are being used to reward physicians and hospitals which do well, and punish those who don't.

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Housecall for Health, I'm Alex Hein, FOX News.