AF4Q Greater Boston teams up with Consumer Reports to Releases Patient Experience Data

04 Jun 2012

Massachusetts Health Quality Partners (MHQP) and Consumers Reports collaborated to provide Massachusetts consumers with reliable and useful information about primary care physicians. Together, MHQP and Consumer Reports released patient experience ratings of nearly 500 primary care physician practices in Massachusetts, including 329 adult practices and 158 pediatric practices. The report promotes patient engagement, encouraging consumers and creating opportunities for them to become more involved in their health care. Patients can use the MHQP findings, now featured in the special report “How Does Your Doctor Compare?” in the July issue of Consumer Reports, to see how their care priorities line up with the priorities of their primary care practices and to understand better what to expect and ask for at the doctor’s office to improve their own care and strengthen the relationship with their doctor. 

MHQP’s results are based on 64,000 responses to a statewide survey completed by patients. Patients included 47,565 adults and 16,530 parents of children, all of whom had commercial health insurance. The survey asked about the areas of care that patients know and care about most, including how well physicians communicate, coordinate medical care, and know their patients, and whether patients would be willing to recommend their doctor to family and friends. The survey also asked patients about their experiences with the office staff, including nurses, receptionists, and the people who handle billing and insurance questions. The parents of children were asked a different set of questions to reflect specific health issues of children. The results of the survey showed high- and low-scoring practices in all parts of the state, but with none of the seven regions scoring better or worse overall than any other region. This is hopeful news to all Massachusetts residents, who regardless of where they live, are close to high-scoring practices.

Additional Findings:
• 63 percent of respondents said their doctor was always informed and up to date about the care they received from specialists.
• Seventy-two percent said someone always followed up with them to provide results on tests,
• 57 percent said the front office staff was always as helpful as they should be.
• One of the biggest challenges identified was related to difficulties the respondents encountered with scheduling and seeing their doctors in a timely way.

The results of the survey are also available for free on the MHQP website.

About Consumer Reports:
Consumer Reports is the world's largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has more than 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website, and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, DC, the states, and in the marketplace.

Read Massachusetts patient experience report: How Does Your Doctor Compare?