According to a recent report in the New York Times, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) plans to use "mystery shopper" techniques to survey primary care physicians across the country in an effort to determine the difficulty of obtaining care. HHS officials say that surveyors will contact physician's offices and pose as patients to determine how easily they can obtain an appointment. Surveyors will also make note of whether it is easier to obtain an appointment depending upon whether the caller has public or private insurance. HHS officials indicate that the program was modeled on a similar survey conducted by the Bush Administration and that all information is kept confidential.
Source: New York Times article