Public Release: 

Is there an association between number of patients doctor sees and online patient rating?

JAMA Surgery

Bottom Line: Lower online patient ratings for urologists in California were associated with practices that saw more patients.

Why The Research Is Interesting: Online reviews are an increasingly popular tool for patients to evaluate and choose physicians. Online reviews are influenced by many factors, including patient wait times; however, little else is known about the effect of patient practice volume on physician reviews.

Who and When: A review of 2014 Medicare data for 665 urologists in California

What (Study Measures): Medicare billing data, including number of patients seen per urology practice (exposure); online patient ratings (outcome)

How (Study Design): This was an observational study. Researchers were not intervening for purposes of the study and cannot control all the natural differences that could explain the study findings.

Authors: Gregory P. Murphy, M.D., Washington University, St. Louis, and coauthors

Results: Higher online patient ratings were associated with urologists who saw fewer Medicare patients.

Study Limitation: The data may not accurately represent a physician's non-Medicare patient population.

Study Conclusions: Urologists in California who saw more patients tended to have lower online patient ratings but more research is needed to understand the factors that lead to more satisfied patients.

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For more details and to read the full study, please visit the For The Media website.

(doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2018.0149)

Editor's Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

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