Another feature of the site is that it offers consumers the chance to contribute to physician quality data. You can go to the CalQualityCare.org site and rate your healthcare providers through a 10-question survey.
"Those are developed not by patients reporting their experience but by reviewing claims data and seeing whether or not the patients actually did get the services that are recommended," says Maribeth Shannon, director of the California Healthcare Foundation's Market & Policy Monitor Program.
As with other tools, ratings are available at the medical group level, which means you won't find information about your individual physician.
Medicare.gov. The federal government offers a tool called Physician Compare, through which doctors participating with Medicare are identified by their involvement in one or more quality programs. Consumers logging on to the site will see a green check mark on their physician's profile page if he or she participates in the programs.
Although involvement in these programs may suggest a commitment to quality, experts acknowledge that it provides a somewhat loose link.
Resources and links
Physician licensing and complaint and disciplinary information: Medical Board of California
Medicare rankings: Medicare.gov
Zamosky is the author of a new book, "Healthcare, Insurance, and You: The Savvy Consumer's Guide."