Fears “Trip-Advisor” doctor website may reduce access to care


Doctors may avoid treating high-risk patients as a result of a ‘Trip-Advisor’ style doctor rating website run by several private insurers, the AMA says.

The warning comes after insurers Bupa and HBF announced this week they were joining nib as “investors and participants” in the Whitecoat healthcare provider platform launched in 2013.

In a statement the insurers say Whitecoat is: “a healthcare provider directory and customer review website that helps consumers find, choose and review healthcare providers based on their service experience.”

It has also been dubbed the “TripAdvisor’ for healthcare by the insurance companies.

However, news of its expansion has been met with concern from AMA President Dr Michael Gannon.

“The last thing you want is doctors being concerned about their stats being splashed all over the internet and then avoiding high risk cases,” he said in a statement.

“If you start telling me that you’re going to publish all my wound infection data, will I turn around and say look, I’m not going to operate on diabetics anymore, there’s no way I’m going to operate on people who are morbidly obese,” he said.

“We can’t have people determining the care they give out of fear of what a blunt instrument like an infection rate might show on the internet,” he added.

 

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