healthgradesThe world of online reputation management is ever-changing and requires constant updates and attention. That, you probably know by now (especially if you’re a regular on this site).

While managing your physicians on sites like Vitals, Healthgrades and RateMDs it is important to be aware when big changes are coming to prevent your doctors from falling through the cracks. The last thing you want is to be caught on the outside looking in when someone posts a negative review about you.

The last thing you want is to be caught on the outside looking in when someone posts a negative review about you.

Screen-Shot-2015-06-29-at-8.23.20-AM-300x240Healthgrades recently implemented a new strategy to protect your physicians’ information by limiting who has access to it. In other words, it’s becoming tougher and tougher for you or a third party to go into Healthgrades and claim or update your physician’s profile. You may have noticed this if you recently tried to log into your Healthgrades account and saw the pop-up that states “Our User Agreement and Privacy Policy Have Changed.” as denoted here by the obnoxious pink arrow on the screenshot.

Why Did HealthGrades Upgrade Their User Agreement?

Healthgrades claims that this is to protect physician (and so do their lawyers and to some extent… and we like the idea of increased protection too).  However, the reality of it is that we now have yet another step in the process for doing our job of maintaining physician profiles on these websites that nobody even asked to be on in the first place.

The latest hurdle is the implementation of a Data License Agreement (downloadable at the bottom of this post for your convenience). Essentially, it’s a contract used to verify your affiliation with the physician and give you permission to access and update their information on Healthgrades. We’re pretty certain it’s also a contract to protect Healthgrades from possible litigation for posting information about physicians online without actually getting permission from the physicians themselves.

Previously, Healthgrades requested not only NPI numbers but also license numbers, birthdays and DEA numbers in order to claim the physicians.

What You Need to Know

This new Data License Agreement needs to be signed by an office manager at your practice and then counter-signed by a Healthgrades representative. When you send the signed version back to them, don’t try sending only the signature page.  The lawyers want all 10 pages of the agreement.

Fotolia_43909755_S-200x300Once the practice has signed on the dotted line and been counter signed, you can now send Healthgrades a spreadsheet of your providers and your account will be created or updated. This part is kind of nice because you no longer have to go in one-by-one to update profiles.

You may be thinking to yourself, ‘Phew, I’m covered because all of my physicians are already claimed on Healthgrades.”

Not so quick. We work with a lot of physicians and private practices and just because you were claimed and all verified last week, doesn’t meant that’s the case this week.  In fact, we’ve noticed quite a few physicians who were deleted from rosters because they were not verified (or because they haven’t signed the new Data License Agreement with Healthgrades).

Your next step is to schedule a meeting with your office manager to go over the new agreement. If you are the office manager, go ahead and download the agreement below so you can sign it and get it to your Healthgrades representative as soon as possible. In no time you will have access to all of your physicians under one account. Then you can sit back and relax wait for the next change which is sure to be coming soon.

Additional Resources