Aggregating social media reviews—the wisdom of crowds—has turned into a powerful new tool for consumers, helping them to find trusted services quickly and efficiently. It’s also allowed new businesses to rapidly reach their intended market and tweak their services based on consumers’ real-time feedback.
Industries like health care, however, remain stubbornly opaque and resistant to dedicated consumer feedback. Yet in a new Manhattan Institute study of New York State hospital ratings on Yelp, which boasts some 140 million unique monthly users, Yelp reviews were correlated with better medical care.
No matter how the federal health care debate turns out, developing more reliable health care guides for consumers has the potential improve care quality, saving lives and eliminating billions of dollars in needless costs.
According to the Health Care Cost Institute, about 43% of all spending by individuals with employer-sponsored insurance in 2011 was shoppable, meaning that it was spent on medical services whose prices could be significantly lowered without compromising quality. New tools like reference pricing....
Paul Howard is a senior fellow and director of health policy at the Manhattan Institute. Follow him on Twitter here. Yevgeniy Feyman is an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Follow him on Twitter here.
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