Despite strong opposition, a little progress is being made at informing consumers about medical quality and prices.
Healthcare Blue Book has some info about normal prices for standard procedures.
Healthgrades has some information about which hospitals produce the best outcomes (although more of the site seems devoted to patient ratings of doctors, which probably don’t make much distinction between rudeness and killing the patient).
Insurers are trying to create rating systems, but reports are vague about what they’re rating.
One objection to ratings is that
such measures can be wrong more than 25 percent of the time
A 25 percent error rate sounds like a valuable improvement over the current near-blind guesses that consumers currently make. Does anyone think that info such as years of experience, university attended, or ability to make reassuring rhetoric produces an error rate in as low as 25 percent? Do medical malpractice suits catch the majority of poor doctors without targeting many good ones? (There are some complications due to some insurers wanting to combine quality of outcome ratings with cost ratings – those ought to be available separately). Are there better ways of evaluating which doctors produce healthy results that haven’t been publicized?
More likely, doctors want us to believe that we should just trust them rather than try to evaluate their quality. I might consider that if I could see that the profession was aggressively expelling those who make simple, deadly mistakes such as failing to wash their hands between touching patients.