How to Shop for a Quality-Based Health Plan [video interview]

Joan Justice, Moderator, HealthWorks Collective


HealthGrades is a free online resource for finding and reviewing physicians and hospitals.  They have just released a report entitled 2014 Report to the Nation, which is “designed to arm Americans with unbiased, data-driven information to help consumers make informed healthcare choices. This information is available to the public free-of-charge.

The report analyzed 40 million Medicare patient records from 4,500 hospitals nationwide performed over the last three years for the 31 of the most common procedures and diagnoses (e.g., heart attack, stroke, pneumonia, colorectal surgery, COPD) to assess individuals risk of death or complication based on the hospitals performance in that specific field.

HealthGrades rates hospitals and physicians on thier site.  Access is free and the site is easy to operate and navigate.

In shopping for health insurance plans, quality of hospitals and physicians is important.  HealthGrades strategic advisor, Dr Archelle Georgiou explains,

Consumers need accurate information to make meaningful choices between plans. With the Affordable Care Act expanding access to care, it’s more important than ever to understand your options, including the quality of care offered at the hospitals and affiliated physicians in your plan.

Below is a cool infographic showing the advantages of using HealthGrades to shop for a quality healthcare plan:


Watch the following interview as Dr Georgiou talks more about why it is important to think about quality when shopping for a healthcare plan:

By Joan Justice

First Posted at HealthWorks Collective on 10/29/2013

Joan Justice, Moderator, HealthWorks Collective
Joan Justice, Moderator, HealthWorks Collective


  1. Just don’t forget to call your preferred doctor’s office and make sure of 2 things: #1-they accept the health plan #2-that they are taking patients with your hoped for health plan.
    This is a dream out of reach where I live. Many doctors don’t accept Medicare or Medicaid, and some other insurance plans. We have one hospital health system that went out of business spring 2013. It’s back in business now. Some of their doctors left the state as it was the last straw. People lost their health care coverage. Many doctors convinced their hospitals to provide delivery rooms for women in their 3rd trimester or had problems for free. These doctors provided free care. These poor women had already paid for prenatal and delivery.

    Considering, I joined the best plan available. I didn’t have a choice in doctors. I believe that I now have a good team. It really doesn’t make any difference, as long as I don’t have to wait 3-4 months or longer to get an appointment; the office and hospital are still open. So, I had strep for 5 months–a cardiologist cut through the red tape and waiting list for me to get a different doctor-he seems to be lots better-he ran a strep test on me and I still had it. The horse pills he prescribed killed the strep. At least this hospital system hasn’t dropped me on the floor yet or grabbed me by a broken arm where the bone is sticking out, or sent me to PT for carpal tunnel syndrome, when I had a broken wrist. Having hot wax therapy on a broken wrist is worthy of the Gestapo. Unfortunately, there are so many people in my position.