WellPoint rolling out physician reviews system

WellPoint has announced that it expects to roll out its planned physician reviews system sometime during the first quarter of this year in partnership with restaurant reviews giant Zagat. As planned, the new tool allows members to rate physicians on trust, communication, availability and office environment. It will also include a section allowing consumers to make comments. The system will be implemented first among WellPoint's 35,000 members in Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield subsidiaries based in Los Angeles, Connecticut, greater Cincinnati and Dayton, OH.

As part of the launch, WellPoint executives have taken pains to note that physicians won't face any negative repercussions from any bad consumer reviews they might receive, and that the ratings will also have no effect on reimbursement levels. However, I doubt that reassure everyone. Given the sensitivity of the ratings issue, I predict that WellPoint will run into a goodly number of unintended legal and operational headaches as this thing rolls forward.

To learn more about the program:
- read this Healthcare Finance News article

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