Radiologists Underrepresented on Physician-Rating Sites

September 23, 2015

Few radiologists are rated on physician-rating websites.

Radiologists are often rated favorably on physician-rating websites, but they are significantly underrepresented compared with nonradiologists, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Researchers from Emory University in Atlanta, GA, and the Neiman Health Policy Institute, in Reston, VA, sought to assess the level of radiologist representation on popular physician-rating websites.

The researchers randomly selected 1,000 self-designated diagnostic radiologists and manually extracted their rating information from five popular online physician-review websites:

HealthGrades

Healthcare Reviews

• RateMDs

Kudzu

Yelp

The results showed that only 197 radiologists (19.7%) were profiled on any of the five online physician-review websites. Twenty-four (2.4%) were rated on two sites, and none were profiled on three or more. They also found that of all 6,775 physicians listed on a single electronically interrogated site, only 30 (0.4%) were radiologists.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_crop","fid":"41629","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image media-image-right","id":"media_crop_1371417916810","media_crop_h":"0","media_crop_image_style":"-1","media_crop_instance":"4419","media_crop_rotate":"0","media_crop_scale_h":"0","media_crop_scale_w":"0","media_crop_w":"0","media_crop_x":"0","media_crop_y":"0","style":"height: 267px; width: 200px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin: 1px; float: right;","title":"©Andrei Marincas/Shutterstock.com","typeof":"foaf:Image"}}]]

“With 28,555 (5.2 percent) of all 547,849 Medicare-participating physicians identified as diagnostic radiologists, radiologists were thus significantly underrepresented online,” the authors wrote. “Although reviewed radiologists and nonradiologists were rated online by similar numbers of patients (1.13 ± 0.43 versus 1.03 ± 0.22, P = .22), radiologists were rated (on a low to high score of 1 to 10) significantly higher than nonradiologists (median 8.5 versus 5, P = .04).”

The researchers concluded that while radiologists were often rated highly on these rating websites when they were reviewed, they were severely underrepresented compared with other physicians. “Given the potential for patient satisfaction scores and public domain information to affect referrals and future value-based payments, initiatives to enhance radiologists’ online presence are advised,” they wrote.