Roundup: Putting Quality First in Health Care

By Nisha Patel
March 12, 2018

When it comes to your health, the right doctor can make all the difference. That’s why physician quality—including a doctor’s years of experience and clinical expertise—is the topic of our latest blog roundup. Let’s jump in!

#1: How Important is Physician Quality to Patients?

Cost and convenience often play a huge role in selecting a doctor, but what about physician quality? Grand Rounds surveyed more than 1,100 covered members to find out if quality is a deciding factor.

Survey says: Members who usually prioritized convenience were 4x more likely to sacrifice appointment availability in favor of physician quality—as long as it was clear what made them high-quality. Presented with four doctors’ scorecards, survey-takers were asked which physician they’d want to see for headache symptoms. Which doctor would you choose?

#2: Low-Quality Doctors Prescribe More Addictive Medications

Millions of American adults suffer from migraines and other severe headaches year after year. Many prescribed medications offer short-term relief with long-term consequences. This includes increased headache severity and frequency, and opioid dependency. In these instances, patients may be inappropriately prescribed medications with providers perhaps unaware of the risks.

Grand Rounds analyzed the rate at which doctors prescribe these medications. The results were eye-opening. In one finding, lower-quality physicians are prescribing one addictive medication in particular—called butalbital, which, alongside opioids can cause overuse headache—to headache patients 4-5x more often than high-quality physicians. And the consequences of this approach by providers are huge. The U.S. has seen over one thousand overdose deaths per month from prescription opioids alone. Read more on how doctor quality can make a difference in ensuring safe, effective treatment.

#3: Determining Physician Quality is Our Bread and Butter

Yes, you read that right. Grand Rounds is impacting health care where it’s most important: between patients and care providers. Using physician quality data, we empower patients  to make informed, confident decisions around their health care. And Forbes agrees: our physician quality models informed their recent lists of excellent physicians in cardiology and breast cancer oncology. Read the full post, here.

Want to learn if you’ve got access to Grand Rounds through your employer? Find out here.

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Nisha Patel

Nisha Patel

Dr. Patel is a board-certified internist with an interest in evolving healthcare through technology and improving patient access to healthcare. She joined Grand Rounds after completing Internal Medicine residency and a fellowship in Nephrology at the University of Chicago. Her clinical and research interests include patient outcomes in chronic kidney disease. Her areas of focus were patient awareness of their disease, bone mineral metabolism and dialysis access. Dr. Patel completed her medical degree at Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine and participated in an international health rotation in Ethiopia, spurring an interest in healthcare access.