BCBS of Texas rolls out physician rating site

Hanging tough in the face of furious physician criticism, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas has kicked off a program allowing beneficiaries to compare physician ratings. The health plan is the largest in the state, with more than 40,000 participating physician and 3.4 million beneficiaries, so its decisions have a significant effect on the market as a whole, making the ratings a major issue for the state's doctors.

The BCBS quality score currently uses 38 measures, and will add 12 more measures next year. Alongside their listing in the provider database, physicians get either a light blue ribbon or dark-blue ribbon based on their quality and affordability ratings. Consumers access the ratings through the site's physician-finder feature.

While it wouldn't halt its plans entirely, the health plan has attempted to calm physicians by making some shifts in its approach. After talking with doctors, the plan agreed to change its ranking system somewhat, removing a grey ribbon it planned to use to designate physicians who don't perform well or couldn't be ranked due to a lack of data. 

To get more detail on the controversy:
- read this Dallas Business Journal piece

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