Physician profiling has emerged as an effort to satisfy increased demand for information about the cost and quality of health care. Health plans, physicians and consumers all have distinctive purposes and methods for reviewing physician profiles, but they share several concerns about the data itself and the interpretation of this data. These problems have been so severe that physician profiling has not been widely accepted as an appropriate tool for quality improvement and cost control. However, through the use of improved data, more informed interpretation, and involvement of key stakeholders, physician profiling may one day be considered an effective and worthy investment.



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