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Informing Policy. Advancing Health.

Finding Dr. Right

Finding Dr. Right

Even if you don’t know what provider directories are, you’ve probably used one. They may have even given you a headache or two.

Provider directories are the lists of doctors you can usually find on your insurance carrier’s website.  They contain information about providers in your plan’s network. This includes things like physicians’ names, office locations, specialties, and whether they are accepting new patients.

Directories are supposed to help patients select a provider who is covered under their plan. But both providers and consumers in Colorado are raising concerns that this information is inaccurate and out of date.

Why does this matter? Without accurate information, consumers may unknowingly obtain services from a provider who is out of their network – and find themselves on the hook for the full payment. 

Inaccurate directories can also be frustrating. You take the time to find a great doctor in your plan’s network, only to discover upon calling that the practice is no longer accepting new patients – contrary to what the website said.

This summer, CHI sat down with insurance carriers, medical providers, and other industry stakeholders to get their thoughts on the accuracy of these directories and how they can be improved.

What we found was an overall consensus that directories could use some work. But we also asked carriers and providers to think through innovative solutions. Check out CHI’s new report to hear more about these ideas and how they could be implemented.