Turns out a “top doc” may not actually be a “top doc”

There is an interesting article in the New York Times’ Well blog last week that really makes you stop and think. The article, “Top Doctor, Dead or Alive,” points out that – for the most part – physician ratings really don’t mean anything.

In fact, the author received a letter naming her relative one of the world’s top physicians in his area of expertise. The problem? He’s been dead for 16 years.

Clearly the methodology behind the giving of awards needs to be closely examined, instead of just being accepted at face value. Many of these awards simply use old phone records or patient reviews (not always the most reliable or accurate) to determine recipients.

To help sort through all the junk, we recommend you look for awards that explain WHY the doctor/insurance provider was a recipient. Additionally, ask yourself who the organization presenting the award is and why they are qualified to make such determinations.

ACHP plans receive many credible awards that are supported by evidence of their high-performance – the type of awards that can be good resources for patients.

Take a look at just a few of the most recent awards our members have received from credible sources:

UPMC’s ‘Convergence’ Recognized for Improving EHR Access

HealthPartners Named 2014 ‘Most Wired’

Nineteen Kaiser Permanente Hospitals Honored by U.S. News & World Report

UCare Wins Two Gold Aster Awards for Excellence in Communication

U.S. News & World Report Ranks Two Baylor Scott & White Health Hospitals in Texas’ Top 10

HealthPartners Recognized Nationally for Sustainability Programs

Don’t take all provider/doctor awards at face value. Always ask yourself why the award was given and who awarded it.

-Alex Orton