Finding the right medical provider can be a daunting process. It is not always easy to find information about the cost or quality of a provider’s services.
The following resources are publicly available and can assist you in that process:
(a) Current State Resources
The Commonwealth operates a website whereby you can compare the cost and quality of medical providers in Massachusetts.
You can compare information about Massachusetts physicians at the Board of Registration in Medicine’s website.
For assistance in choosing a dentist, you can search through the Massachusetts Dental Society’s database.
You can locate a community health center that will serve your needs here.
You can check the status of a provider’s license here.
Links to these and other health care informational resources can be found at this comprehensive website.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also operates a website where you can compare providers.
(b) Private Resources
Some privately-run resources with Better Business Bureau accreditation for comparing health care providers and accessing patient reviews include healthgrades.com and yelp.com.
(c) Massachusetts Health Care Payment Reform
Massachusetts legislation passed earlier this year provides for improved patient access to information regarding medical providers. It calls for an improved consumer health information website that will include the prices of individual provider services. The legislation also creates the Center for Health Information and Analysis, which will collect provider cost data and will maintain the consumer health information website. The statute provides that “[t]he center shall make available actual costs and prices of health care services, as supplied by each provider, to the general public in a conspicuous manner on the consumer health information website.” See Section 19 of Chapter 224 of the Acts of 2012, available at http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2012/Chapter224.
Anne Johnson Landry
Committee Counsel and Policy Advisor
Office of State Senator William N. Brownsberger