Blue Cross Wants NC Consumers To Rank Doctors

North Carolina's largest health insurer has hired the firm behind the Zagat dining guide to run an online rating service of the state's doctors.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Monday that the move by
Blue Cross and Blue Shield is part of a push by insurers and regulators to make the health care system more transparent for consumers. Blue Cross covers more than 3.7 million people and its online ratings will use only nonmedical measures.

Critics question whether limited information on doctors' personalities and other nonmedical factors will really help consumers. Some wonder whether insurers aiming to control costs will prejudice the data.

The North Carolina Hospital Association started posting comparisons online last year.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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