Survey: 48% of patients would choose out-of-network providers with better reviews

As online reviews become an increasingly popular way for patients to choose care providers, 82 percent of patients use online reviews to evaluate physicians and nearly half of patients (48 percent) would go out of their insurance network for a physician with better reviews, according to a Software Advice survey.

To determine how patients use online reviews for physicians, Software Advice surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. patients.

Here are four survey findings.

1. The majority (72 percent) of patients use online reviews as their first step in choosing a new physician, while 19 percent use online reviews to validate choosing a physician they have tentatively selected.

2. More than half (54 percent) of patients reported using reviews sites "often" or "sometimes," while just over 25 percent of respondents use them "rarely."

3. Only 7 percent of patients said they leave "very negative" or "somewhat negative" feedback on reviews sites, while a combined 52 percent of patients reported leaving "very positive" or "somewhat positive" feedback. Eleven percent of patients said they write "neutral" reviews.

4. Sixty-five percent of patients feel it is "very" or "moderately important" for physicians to respond to online reviews.

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