- Complaints from consumers


Have you heard bad news or consumer complaints about a hospital, nursing home, or physician? Are you facing a surgery or procedure and are concerned about your doctor's experience? Do you have complaints about a hospital and wonder if using its services again is a good idea? As a health care consumer, you have a right to have your concerns and complaints addressed and to have easy access to objective information about the safety and quality of care that health care providers and organizations deliver.

HealthGrades offers solutions to one of today's toughest health care challenges: the safety and quality of patient care. HealthGrades, online at, objectively evaluates hospitals, nursing homes and physicians and provides hospital and nursing home ratings and physician profiles to consumers. HealthGrades and provides independent ratings and profiles that have helped millions of consumers make good health care decisions based on the quality of care.

HealthGrades and helps consumers make informed health care decisions by supplying independent quality ratings and cost information for the nation's 5,000 hospitals, quality ratings on 16,000 nursing homes, and in-depth profiles including disciplinary actions of the nation's 750,000 physicians. Getting access to this information is easy simply by visiting The Web site also provides lists of five-star physicians, hospitals, and nursing homes in your area, including addresses and phone numbers.

In additional to physicians, health care consumers can search for information about a variety of other health care providers and professionals, such as dentists, athletic trainers, nutritionists, clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, and physical therapists. Information about alternative medicine specialists is also accessible online including chiropractors, homeopaths, massage therapists, and acupuncturists. Consumers who have visited a health care provider or physician can complete a patient experience survey to share their opinions about the care they received.

HealthGrades also partners with hospitals and health care organizations to help them understand, improve and communicate the safety and quality of care they deliver. Hospitals use HealthGrades' quality reports to compare their clinical outcomes to national benchmarks and to understand how patient safety performance impacts mortality, length of stay and costs. HealthGrades' physician-led clinical-advisory services work with these organizations to improve patient safety and quality of care in such areas as cardiology, orthopedics, critical care, and gastrointestinal medicine. When hospitals and healthcare organizations make clinical quality the core strategic imperative of their organizations, consumers benefit by receiving higher quality care.

In addition to working with more than 400 hospitals nationwide, HealthGrades' team of expert researchers and statisticians publish well-respected public studies of hospital quality in America. These comprehensive studies analyze more then 40 million hospitalization records over the most recent three years to identify national trends in clinical excellence, patient safety and women's health. In fact, HealthGrades recently releases the results of a 2009 hospital quality study that found that patients at highly rated hospitals have a 52 percent lower chance of dying compared with the U.S. hospital average.

HealthGrades works with physicians to help them better educate patients about their specialties and practices through and the HealthGrades Connecting Point™ Program.

Many of the nation's largest health plans and employers to give their employees and plan members access to HealthGrades' complete set of decision-support tools—HealthGrades Health Management Suite. This program includes provider ratings, health optimization modules, and health care finance tools that help guide individuals to better care providers, manage health care costs, and promote healthier lives.

HealthGrades also provides critical information to more than 40 liability insurance companies, including the top three nursing home and hospital insurers, to assess providers' quality and risk potential.

In addition, HealthGrades encourages health care consumers to empower themselves with relevant information through its network of educational Web sites that include,, and and are Web sites that provide easily accessible online medical health information. The sites are independent, objective sources of free, factual health information for both consumers and health professionals. and help health care consumers understand their health conditions by offering crucial and accurate health information that is otherwise difficult to find. The objective of both sites is to encourage consumers to be informed and interested in managing their health, and to know what questions to ask their doctors to help ensure they are getting the best health care possible. and provide helpful tools such as a symptom checker and lists of questions that a physician should ask to help reach a specific diagnosis. Healthcare consumers can research symptoms, diseases and conditions, and join online forums. The Web sites also provide links to important and timely health care and medical news articles. is a popular and comprehensive online resource of health care consumer news about current research and clinical trial opportunities. The Web site also offers free disease information and treatment options on more than 2,000 diseases and conditions. You can use to search for online articles and recall information on a condition you may have, see treatment options, and find information on research currently taking place for a particular condition. You can also access research and treatment trials for a particular condition that are currently looking for participants.

HealthGrades' Web site also gives consumers the opportunity to rate their physicians through an online survey. Health care consumer response is welcomed regarding wait time, courtesy of the office staff, and trust in the physician. The survey is free, confidential, and does not ask the consumer for personal information. Consumers can also see how their physician compares with other physicians nationwide.

The Web site also offers a survey to users of HealthGrades services. Consumer and company response is welcomed on the Web site survey. Simply click on the survey tab in the upper right hand corner of the home page.

HealthGrades continues to expand its services with such additions as its online list of five-star doctors. This list was created using objective quality measures, rather than basing it on subjective surveys of patients or colleagues. This list helps health care consumers to choose from among the nation's top-notch physicians based on such parameters as education and specialty training, affiliation with five-star rated hospitals, and a practice that is free from malpractice judgments and sanctions.

In 2009, HealthGrades also released the first ever list of top-rated hospitals for organ transplantation. Based on patient outcomes, quality data for each of the 266 hospitals that perform transplants were made public at to help patients in need of kidney, lung, heart, and liver transplants research choose a transplant center.

Founded in 1999, HealthGrades is headquartered in Golden, Colorado, and has over 200 employees. HealthGrades and its employees enjoy sponsoring and volunteering for charitable and fund-raising events. Our participation brings the HealthGrades team closer together, and allows us to provide support for and response to community and global needs. A few of the ways we've been able to contribute include donations to the Katrina Relief Fund, the victims of the Asian tsunami, and for medical supplies for Guatemala. Employees have also volunteered for or participated in such events as Race for the Cure - Breast Cancer, and the MS 150 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

In these ways HealthGrades and are here to support every link in the health care chain, including the consumer, the community, hospitals, physicians, employers, health insurance plans, and liability insurers.

So if you are unsure about your physician's skill, have complaints or have heard consumer complaints about a hospital, or simply want to know more about a disease or condition you have, HealthGrades services are easily available online for you. HealthGrades and its network of Web sites, including,,,, and, can arm you with the information you need to make the best health care choices possible for you and your family. - Consumer complaints against doctors

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