Healthgrades Vs. Zocdoc: Best Online Doctor Booking Platform

If you’re trying to book a doctor’s appointment online, you’ve probably come across the two biggest players in the space: Healthgrades and Zocdoc. But which one should you use?

Here’s an in-depth look at the key differences between these platforms to help you decide.

A Brief Comparison Table:

Core FocusDoctor research and reviewsOnline appointment booking
Doctor ProfilesVery detailed with credentials and ratingsMore basic with less credentials info
Search FiltersBy specialty, location, gender, languages, hospital affiliationsBy specialty, location, insurance, availability
Booking CapabilitiesLimited – some profiles enable bookingFully integrated into all profiles
Appointment AvailabilityMust call to check availabilityReal-time availability shown
WaitlistingNo optionCan waitlist for popular doctors
RemindersNo remindersEmail/text reminders and tracking
PaymentsN/ASeamless copay/insurance collection
Membership FeesFree for patientsDoctors pay monthly fee
Mobile AppYesYes
International AvailabilityPrimarily US focusedAvailable in 20+ countries
Original ContentRobust library of health articlesVery limited health content

Overview Of Healthgrades

Founded in 1998, Healthgrades operates an online platform that lets patients search for doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers based on specialty, location, insurance, and patient ratings and reviews.

Some key features of Healthgrades include:

  • Provider profiles with qualifications, specialties, education, awards, and certifications
  • Verified patient ratings and reviews
  • Advanced doctor search by location, specialty, gender, language, and more
  • Appointment booking integration with some provider profiles
  • Original content on health conditions and treatments
  • Cost estimation tools for common procedures

Healthgrades primarily makes money through paid doctor profiles and advertising but provides a free service for patients. It has information on over 3 million doctors, dentists, nurses and hospitals.

Overview Of Zocdoc

Zocdoc is a newer platform, founded in 2007, that focuses specifically on online doctor appointment booking.

Some key features of Zocdoc include:

  • Search for doctors by speciality, location, insurance, and availability
  • Real-time appointment booking integrated into all provider profiles
  • Reminder calls/emails and easy cancellation
  • Seamless insurance verification and copay collection
  • Zocdoc-guaranteed appointments with short notice booking

Zocdoc makes money by charging doctors a monthly subscription fee to use its booking platform. It currently has listings for over 2.5 million healthcare providers.

Main Differences

While both platforms offer robust doctor search features, the core difference lies in their booking functionality:

  • Healthgrades focuses more on providing in-depth doctor profiles and ratings but has limited booking capabilities. Only some doctor profiles enable online scheduling.
  • Zocdoc prioritizes real-time appointment booking and is built specifically for this purpose. All Zocdoc profiles integrate booking.

In terms of search filters, Zocdoc has more options for finding available doctors with open appointments within a specified timeframe. Healthgrades offers more filters based on doctor credentials and patient reviews.

Zocdoc also offers more robust booking features such as waitlist options, reminders, and streamlined insurance verification. But Healthgrades provides more educational content about medical conditions, treatments, and average cost ranges.

Also Read: Comparison Between Surescripts And Covermymeds.

Pros And Cons Of Healthgrades


  • More comprehensive doctor profiles detailing experience and qualifications
  • Verified patient ratings to evaluate doctor quality
  • Good option for researching doctors before booking elsewhere
  • Original healthcare articles and cost estimation tools
  • Free to use for patients


  • Limited direct online booking capabilities
  • Fewer filters and options for finding open appointments quickly
  • No special features for booking like reminders or waitlists
  • Must book appointments separately by calling doctor offices
  • Primarily US-focused

Pros And Cons Of Zocdoc


  • Fully-integrated real-time booking for fast appointments
  • Robust filters for finding available doctors with openings
  • Streamlined insurance verification and copay collection
  • Appointment reminders and easy cancellation
  • Waitlist options for popular doctors
  • Global platform with doctors in over 20 countries


  • Doctor profiles less detailed than Healthgrades
  • Mixed reviews of accuracy for real-time availability
  • Requires doctors to pay monthly subscription fee
  • Out-of-pocket fees can be high without insurance
  • Limited educational healthcare content

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Which Platform Is Better Overall?

For pure appointment booking simplicity, Zocdoc comes out ahead. The seamless booking integration and robust search filters give you the best chance of finding an open appointment slot quickly. Key features like waitlisting and reminders also remove headaches from the booking process.

However, Healthgrades shines when it comes to researching doctors’ qualifications, hospital quality, and getting educated on medical conditions before you book. The doctor profiles contain more credentials details. And the platform offers helpful content not found on Zocdoc.

For a balance of both, many patients use Healthgrades to research doctor options and read reviews first. Then they head to Zocdoc to actually book appointments once they’ve selected providers.

Ultimately, it depends on your priorities. If you want in-depth doctor research and price estimation, go with Healthgrades. But if you want the easiest and fastest booking experience, choose Zocdoc. Both platforms aim to improve access to quality healthcare.

Also Read: Comparison Between Doctor On Demand And MDLIVE Doctor Service.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why did Zocdoc fail?

Zocdoc has not failed. The company is still operating and has raised over $190 million in funding since it was founded in 2007. However, Zocdoc did struggle with a failed international expansion strategy in 2015, which led to pulled operations in Europe.
Specifically, regulatory hurdles around remote doctor consultations and trouble tailoring its model to each regional healthcare system led to challenges scaling globally. Zocdoc has refocused on growth in the US, where it already had strong traction and name recognition.

Is Healthgrades legitimate?

Yes, Healthgrades is a legitimate platform for researching doctors and hospitals. It has been operating since 1998 and partners with over 3 million healthcare providers to populate its platform.
Healthgrades conducts verification on doctor credentials and patient reviews to ensure accuracy. However, you should still do your own research in choosing a doctor rather than rely entirely on Healthgrades ratings and reviews.

How does Zocdoc work?

Zocdoc works by partnering with doctors/healthcare providers and integrating its online booking platform into their practice. Doctors pay a monthly subscription fee to list their real-time availabilities in the Zocdoc system.
Patients can then search for participating doctors on Zocdoc and book confirmed appointments online instantly 24/7 based on the doctor’s open slots. Zocdoc streamlines insurance verification, reminders, reviews and more around the booking process.
Zocdoc is free for patients to use. It makes money from the monthly fees charged to healthcare providers to access its platform and bookings functionality.

Why is my Healthgrades review not showing up?

There are a few reasons why your Healthgrades review may not be posting publicly:
It is still going through Healthgrades verification process: They screen all reviews which can take 3-5 business days.
You didn’t actually complete booking an appointment on Healthgrades: They only publish reviews by users who booked on the platform.
The review contains prohibited content: Healthgrades screens for inappropriate or promotional content.
There is an error or glitch: Sometimes delays happen on their end. Try re-submitting the review.
If it has been more than 5 business days and your review follows their guidelines, contact Healthgrades support to investigate the issue.

Also Read: Comparison Between MEDICA And Blue Cross Blue Shield.

The Bottom Line

Healthgrades and Zocdoc both provide valuable services for finding quality doctors and booking appointments online. Healthgrades offers comprehensive provider research while Zocdoc focuses on booking simplicity. Most patients get the best experience using both platforms together.

Hopefully this comparison helps provide clarity on the pros and cons of each and how to get the most out of your online healthcare search. The key is leveraging technology to access verified information and more convenient booking options.

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