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Rating doctors, one state at a time

In a special edition of the magazine, Consumer Reports is publishing Ratings of 19 Wisconsin medical groups that, combined, serve nearly half the state’s patients. The Ratings are the result of a unique collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (WCHQ) with whom the medical groups have voluntarily shared their performance data.

The Ratings include data that the groups themselves collect on how well they provide essential care, such as screening for certain cancers and vaccinating against pneumonia, as well as how well they treat people who have heart disease. Overall, Wisconsin groups stack up well. All 19 groups ranked at or above the national average in CR’s overall score.

“We have long urged all physicians to report their data to the public. Only then will patients be able to make fully informed choices when choosing healthcare providers,” said John Santa, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center.

Consumer Reports is producing a special version of its magazine for distribution to subscribers and newsstands in Wisconsin.

The Ratings follow CR’s Ratings of doctors’ practices in Massachusetts and Minnesota, released in May and August, respectively. The three efforts are the result of a grant from RWJF related to its program called Aligning Forces for Quality. That initiative is RWJF’s signature effort to lift the overall quality of health care in 16 targeted communities, reduce racial and ethnic disparities, and provide models for national reform.