Health 2.0 Editorial in the LA Times, by Matthew Holt

On Sunday the LA Times had an editorial, no less, about physician rating sites. Now to be honest it didn’t say a whole lot except that there’s no one answer yet to the question, “which web site should I go to find out absolutely everything I need to know about physicians?” It was written about (or at least used as its frame of reference) the Wellpoint and Zagats deal, even though there’s no there there yet that anyone (even a Wellpoint member) can see. Somewhat more surprisingly, it didn’t mention the seventeen stories about Wellpoint’s naughty behavior in California in the last year. Funny that, because the LA Times (in the guise of reporter Lisa Girion) broke those stories. So just perhaps Wellpoint may not be the best place for consumers to go for unbiased information.

For that matter two local LA companies, Xoova and Careseek (FD, I’m on the CareSeek board), might have got a mention rather than handing all the plaudits to out of state worthies like Revolution (and N. Cal renegades like Vimo) let alone the incomparably bad RateMDs.com.

But these are minor nit-pickings with what’s a good general article, suggesting that the medical establishment is against these sites (no, shit!) and that the database integration required to manage them is a big challenge (True, and database management and integration is not something you often read about in editorials!).

The editorial’s main contention suggests that this is inevitable and that this is a good thing. That is correct, even if we’re not as “well into the trend <snip> dubbed ‘Health 2.0’ ” as the LA Times believes we are!

Matthew Holt

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