The AHRQ specifications recommend, but don't require, that 113 patients be surveyed for each physician. In fact, CHECKBOOK/CSS selected at least 113 patients per physician, but selected and surveyed a larger number where possible-up to a maximum of 150 patients per physician in the Denver, Kansas City, and Memphis areas, and up to 170 patients per physician in the New York area.. The average number of patients surveyed per physician ranged from 142 to 157, depending on the metro area.
CHECKBOOK/CSS included in the survey all physicians for whom the combined health plan lists of patients who had had visits and who could be surveyed reached 113 or more. That number was reached for 479 physicians in the Denver area, 713 physicians in the Kansas City area, 437 physicians in the Memphis area, and 936 physicians in the New York area. A total of 68,067 surveys were mailed out in the Denver area, 103,537 in the Kansas City area, 63,717 in the Memphis area, and 147,033 in the New York area.
The sample of patients surveyed included primarily commercial health plan members. The patient-provided demographic characteristics of the patients who responded to the survey about a doctor are shown in each doctor's Survey Results Report, along with the characteristics of the entire pool of survey respondents for the metro area where the doctor is located.
There are many physicians in each metro area, even in the specialties the survey focused on, for whom CHECKBOOK/CSS, working with the health plans lists of patients, could not identify a sample of at least 113 patients to survey. Those physicians were not included in the survey results reported on this website. The fact that a physician is not listed says nothing, either good or bad, about that physician.
So that there will eventually be comparable patient-feedback survey results and scores for all or virtually all actively practicing physicians, CHECKBOOK/CSS plans to offer a system for physicians who have not been included in the survey to participate in a follow-on survey that will produce comparable results and scores. Physicians interested in being included in such a survey are invited to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.