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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

New portal aims to make it easier to find a doctor |



The Integrated Healthcare Association announced Tuesday the debut of a one-stop digital portal where health-care practitioners and insurers can update information for online consumer directories. Leaders say it will cut down on the time and costs of meeting state mandates for accuracy.

If you are a typical patient you have gone to your provider directory, or your hospital's physician directory, or you searched Google, WebMD, or Healthgrades search and found a doctor you want to see. You call the office and find out he/she is not a provider for your plan, even if he/she is listed in the plan directory. I often run into this problem.  It defies a simple solution until now.  Directories are prepared once a year or at the best quarterly. Since the dawn of the HIT evolution these directories can be updated now in near real time.

 It says a doctor is accepting Medicare patients. Not! Or, it says an obstetrician is accepting new patients. Nope!
Errors in medical directories are common all around the United States. In fact, the U.S. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services reviews directories for a third of its Medicare Advantage plans every year. Between November 2017 and July 2018, it found that 48.7 percent of directories had at least one error. That figure has hovered close to 50 percent over the last three years.Such errors will significantly decline in California, leaders of a key health care industry trade group said Tuesday, if providers and health plans adopt a one-stop digital shop that the organization developed in collaboration with insurers, providers, suppliers and other key stakeholders.

The Integrated Healthcare Association announced the debut of its Symphony Provider Directory, which will allow health care practitioners to access a dashboard where they can update all their information and submit it to all insurers at one time. Insurers, on the other hand, will be able to easily import those updates for all their system providers.
“This is much more than a complex IT project,” said Dr. Jeffrey Rideout, the association’s president and chief executive. “This is an industry-wide commitment to improve the health care system in California. IHA’s role is to drive alignment and establish an effective and sustainable platform that supports the complex needs of health plans, providers and ultimately health care consumers.”
The online system was developed with a $50 million payment from Blue Shield of California, funds that the insurer said it would provide as part of an agreement it negotiated with the California Department of Managed Health Care to be able to acquire Care1st Health Plan.
To be sure, this is a startup company and may not be fully implemented at the time of this article


New portal aims to make it easier to find a doctor |   The Integrated Healthcare Association announced Tuesday the debut of a one-stop digital portal where health-care practitioners and insurers can update information for online consumer directories. Leaders say it will cut down on the time and costs of meeting state mandates for accuracy.

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