Insiderpages launches doctor reviews

Mass marketed, free, reviews of doctors in all specialties, along with malpractice data. How do you think that's going to change the competitive landscape?
Written by Dana Blankenhorn, Inactive

Insiderpages, a directory site owned by a unit of IAC (they weren't part of the 2008 breakup) is launching consumer reviews of doctors.

The service is called DoctorFinder.

Thanks in part to a partnership with Healthgrades, the site will have data on about one-third of the nation's 900,000 doctors at launch.  (The direct corporate parent is CitySearch, so the site gets a lot of cross-traffic.)

Along with patient reviews, the site's listings will also include what insurance each doctor takes, and publicly-available data on such things as malpractice suits, said general manager Eric Peacock.

(That's him above, in a mug shot sent by the company. The Insiderpages unit is based in San Francisco. If they were in the Gehry-designed IAC Building in New York I'm sure he'd have a tie on.)

"InsiderPages already gets 6 million visitors a month, and 5015 million page views, through Google," he said. So this will have an immediate impact.

Healthgrades does a 10-question survey and sells the data to hospital networks, in the form of studies or consulting services, Peacock explained.Healthgrades does a 10-question survey. It uses the data to create studies and in consulting services with hospital networks. (Note: The original sentence was subject to misinterpretation.) InsiderPages is using the same set of questions, adding written reviews, and adding its own data to the mix in an innovative way.

It's called fund raising.

"We put together fund raising web sites for schools. Parents write up reviews over three weeks, and for each review we make a donation to the school. We never marketed that program. We just put it out there. It spread by word of mouth, and we've donated $500,000 to 1,700 different groups."

That's not all, Peacock said. Where someone is running a triathlon and needs sponsorships," the site does micro fundraisers. "People are asking friends to write reviews. And these are adults who write great reviews."

Not everything gets in, of course. "We read every review that is submitted for a fund raiser and delete each one that doesn't meet our terms and conditions.

"We've learned ways to search for certain words or phrases that break our terms or conditions. You can't allege illegal activity or malpractice. Our community points out these things and we take action.

"We also allow businesses – doctors or restaurants or contractors – to come on to their profile page. They can claim their page, they can respond to reviews for free. We provide that voice as well."

This reminded me of Angie's List, and while the two sites are technically competitors Peacock is a fan.

"I love Angie's List. They charge a subscription. We provide virtually the same information, 90% of what they provide, for free. That's the business model we choose to pursue and we make our money through advertising.

"I love that they're out there advertising. They're raising expectations, training consumers to expect that, and that's what we offer."

A quick review of the site by ZDNet found 6,649 doctors listed in the Atlanta area, including my own personal physician, who I must add already has seven highly positive reviews. (Sign me up as number eight.)

Mass marketed, free, reviews of doctors in all specialties, along with malpractice data. How do you think that's going to change the competitive landscape?

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