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At DocSpot, our mission is to connect people with the right health care by helping them navigate publicly available information. We believe the first step of that mission is to help connect people with an appropriate medical provider, and we look forward to helping people navigate other aspects of their care as the opportunities arise. We are just at the start of that mission, so we hope you will come back often to see how things are developing.

An underlying philosophy of our work is that right care means different things to different people. We also recognize that doctors are multidimensional people. So, instead of trying to determine which doctors are "better" than others, we offer a variety of filter options that individuals can apply to more quickly discover providers that fit their needs.

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Increasing accessibility

Recently, we've made a flurry of changes to our website to make it more accessible to users who might have visual impairment or difficulty using the keyboard. There's a standard for this called WCAG, and we've been reviewing its guidelines and looking at various examples. If you find any consumer-facing functionality that doesn't seem to work, please let us know.

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California insurer proposes pharmacy network

People have talked about provider networks, and how visiting some in-network facilities can lead to surprise out-of-network charges. Much less common has been insurance companies trying to limit where patients can get their medications. Kaiser Health News reported on Blue Shield of California's proposal to do just that.

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A quick history on RVU

Dr. Duzak wrote an informative blog post about the relative value unit (RVU), a concept developed to figure out how to reimburse physicians for their work. Dr. Duzak points out that RVU does not consider quality or patient experience, so physicians have a financial incentive to maximize the number of procedures done, rather than efficiency or health outcomes for the patient. The author also references one of the long-standing controversies of the RVU-based system (known as Resource Based Relative Value Scale, or RBRVS): how much specialists get paid for their work relative to how much primary care doctors get paid. Overall, the post is both readable and informative about the problems with the RBRVS that doctors in the US work with. The author suggests some values that should be incorporated into a new version of the system, but is light on the details of how good metrics could be developed for those values.

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How much of medicine is evidence-based?

The Atlantic published a lengthy article examining the issue of over-treatment and the use of ineffective procedures. The piece cited research by Dr.

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ACOs associated with less spending

A recently published study found that patients cared for by accountable care organizations (ACOs) on average cost less in post-acute care than patients who were treated by non ACO-providers. The study looked at providers who participated in the Medicare Shared Savings Program, which rewards participating providers whose patients' care cost less. The hope is that if providers can benefit from cost savings, overall treatment costs will become less expensive. Providers might be able to achieve this by paying closer attention to their patients' health or by spending more time educating their patients. Some provider clinics go as far as hiring additional staff to help their patients avoid costly hospital re-admissions; they expect that the cost of the additional staff will be more than covered by the financial rewards from the overall savings.

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