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Why quality reports for hospitals and doctors are interesting but flawed

Every patient eventually asks the same question: “How can I find the best hospitals and doctors?”

The solution might seem easy, since we live in a world where information is readily available on the Internet. In a few clicks we can shop for goods, review consumer products, market ourselves on social media, and complete financial transactions instantly. You would think that health care, which accounts for 17 percent of the GDP, would have all these same features.

Think again. Health care information for consumers is woefully unsophisticated compared to other industries. Ask anyone who has ever attempted to find prices for health care services, interpret a medical bill, or schedule an appointment online.

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