This information, which appears on the public website, is intended as a convenience for website users. This website's facts on the survey and on doctors' scores are the responsibility of CHECKBOOK/CSS. In contrast, the information on doctors' addresses, hospitals, etc. comes from various sources and is intended merely as a convenience for users; users should check it independently before relying on it.
CHECKBOOK/CSS collected address, phone number, specialty, hospital, gender, and medical school information for each doctor from public or proprietary data sources and/or health plans.
With regard to addresses, the CHECKBOOK/CSS staff called each doctor's office(s) shortly before the first survey mailing to the doctor's patients to confirm at least one address. Since that time, CHECKBOOK/CSS has made some address changes if letters mailed to the doctor were returned as undeliverable, or if other address-change information came to CHECKBOOK/CSS's attention.
With regard to board certification in a specialty, the starting point for the information displayed on this website is from the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and has been extracted and manipulated from the Directory Database compiled by Elsevier and ABMS to publish The Official American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS©) Directory. (This website has not been designated as an Official ABMS Display Agent and thus the ABMS data provided is not deemed valid for Primary Source Verification (PSV) purposes as required for accrediting organizations.) It should be noted that CHECKBOOK/CSS was unable to acquire information on board certification of osteopathic physicians through the 18 osteopathic specialty boards, so some osteopathic physicians who are board certified might not be listed as being certified. Also, Elsevier did the matching of ABMS information against information CHECKBOOK/CSS has on each physician to identify physicians who are certified by ABMS specialty boards. Elsevier is able to use only a limited set of identifying information to do its matching (first, middle, and last name; date of birth; specialty; gender; and National Provider Identifier-but not some other information CHECKBOOK/CSS has on physicians). So the matching process is not always correct, and some physicians might not be properly identified as ABMS-certified. Finally, the board certification information was updated based on information provided by Elsevier/ABMS in July 2010; some physicians may have become certified since that time and the certification of some may have expired.
At least 60 days before survey results for a doctor were first made public, the doctor was sent a personal Access ID code by First Class mail and invited to edit or add address, hospital, and other information on a CHECKBOOK/CSS website. Physicians can continue to use this Access ID to make corrections and updates. For the most part, CHECKBOOK/CSS makes changes indicated by the doctors, including information the doctors claim about board certification. But if the doctor deletes a specialty that CHECKBOOK/CSS used as a basis for including the doctor in the survey, CHECKBOOK/CSS still lists that specialty for that doctor, among other specialties that the doctor may ask to have listed.