Site Selection Method

SITESSelection Method

General

  1. Our database received a jumpstart, with that of the Informed Patient Institute:  https://www.informedpatientinstitute.org/ .  The Informed Patient Institute (IPI) is an independent nonprofit organization that provides credible online information for consumers about health care quality, patient safety and health care costs.  It doesn’t rate providers directly, it rates the sites that rate the providers.  They have an extensive database, and from that we used sites in the categories of Hospital and Physician.
  2. We searched for sites in English.  We did note for many of the sites, whether other languages were available, but the searches were conducted in English.
  3. We performed a google adwords search to see the search terms which might be the most used, as well as most on target, for the various areas of interest.
  4. Google Searches were conducted with the following settings:
    • Turn on Safe Search
    • Do not use Private Results
    • Region Settings: United States
  5. When we ran across sites that were designed to provide directories of links, we didn’t list the linker site, but we did visit the linkees and included them.  Ex: http://consumerhealthratings.com/ is a linker site.
  6. If a site showed signs of abandonment, excessive bugs, or list very out of date data, it was not added to the database.

Drug Pricing

We were looking for sites that provided pricing information, information on discounts or direct purchases of drugs.

  1. Google: (drugs OR prescriptions OR pharmacy OR medications) AND (buy OR purchase OR discount OR coupon OR find OR price OR cost)
  • We looked for sites geared towards consumers.
  • We only included sites that provided Drug Pricing.
  • We skipped private insurance company sites.
  • We skipped “find an agent” sites.
  • We skipped articles explaining “how to do it”, and only focused on those that helped you price and purchase drugs.  However, we reviewed any links that these informational sites might have contained.
  • We skipped any sites that contained Canada or another foreign country in the name, although some Canadian sites were reviewed in any case, when that was not obvious.

Insurance Shopping

  1. .Google: (“health insurance” OR “hospital insurance” OR “healthcare insurance” OR “health care insurance”) AND (buy OR purchase OR discount OR plan OR quote OR find OR price OR cost OR compare)
  • We looked for sites geared towards consumers
  • We looked for sites that allowed you to select a plan.
  • We skipped sites, specifically federal or state government sites that required registration.
  • We skipped private insurance company sites.
  • We skipped “find an agent” sites.
  • We skipped articles explaining how to do it, and only focused on those that helped you choose between plans.  However, we reviewed any links that these informational sites might have contained.

Hospital Pricing and Quality

  1. Informed Patient Institute Database
  2. Survey of Sites previously performed by HonestHealth for New York State
  3. Google: (hospital OR healthcare OR “health care” OR “medical care”) AND (prices OR costs OR charges) AND (procedure OR condition OR service OR surgery OR operation OR treatment)
  • We looked for sites that showed costs by provider.  We didn’t look for sites that controlled costs, or reported statistics for costs that might be used by a researcher.
  • We looked for sites geared towards consumers.
  • We looked for sites that allowed you to Find a Hospital specifically, and did not include sites in the hospital category that  just referenced them as part of another search such as Find a Doctor.
  • We skipped any single insurance or single facility site
  • We skipped news articles discussing the process.
  • We skipped scholarly articles discussing the process or advocating.
  • We skipped sites that required a credit card or subscription fee (“Pay Wall”) to view information.
  1. Google: (hospital OR healthcare OR “health care” OR “medical care”) AND (reviews OR surveys OR quality OR measures OR safety OR ratings)
  • We looked for sites that showed some kind of quality measure by provider.  We didn’t look for sites that might be used by a researcher or industry insider.
  • We looked for sites geared towards consumers.
  • We looked for sites that allowed you to Find a Facility, not just reference them as part of another search such as Find a Doctor.
  • We skipped any single insurance or single facility site
  • We skipped news articles discussing the process.

Physician Pricing and Quality

  1. Informed Patient Institute Database
  2. Google: (doctor OR physician OR “medical group”) AND (prices OR costs OR charges) 
  • We looked for sites that showed costs by provider.  We didn’t look for sites that controlled costs, or reported statistics for costs that might be used by a researcher.
  • We looked for sites geared towards consumers.
  • We looked for sites that allowed you to Find a Doctor, not just reference them as part of another search such as Find a Facility/Hospital.
  • We skipped any single insurance or single doctor or single medical group site
  • We skipped news articles discussing the process.
  • We skipped scholarly articles discussing the process or advocating.
  1. Google: Google: (doctor OR physician OR “medical group”) AND (reviews OR surveys OR quality OR measures OR safety OR ratings )
  • We looked for sites that showed some kind of quality measure by provider.  We didn’t look for sites that might be used by a researcher or industry insider.
  • We looked for sites geared towards consumers.
  • We looked for sites that allowed you to Find a Doctor specifically, did not include sites that  just referenced them as part of another search such as Find a Facility/Hospital.
  • We skipped any single insurance or single facility site
  • We skipped news articles discussing the process.
  • We skipped sites that required a credit card or subscription fee (“Pay Wall”) to view information.

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