Physician practices spend nearly $3B annually updating provider directories, survey finds

A recent survey of physician practices revealed that they spend $2.76 billion annually updating and verifying information in health plan provider directories.

The survey of 1,240 U.S. physician practices was conducted by the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare, a national alliance of health plans, associations and other healthcare stakeholders.

The council said it found respondents spend at least one full staff day per week on maintaining directories, at a monthly cost of $998.84.

"Our nation's fragmented approach to maintaining provider directories is not only a burden on physician practices, it may be undermining the accuracy of the data," April Todd, a senior vice president with the council,  said in a news release. "Health plans rely on the information providers give them. If we minimize the requests that drive provider burden, we can improve the accuracy of the data."

The administrative burden related to maintaining directories is partially attributable to the number of health plan contracts a physician practice has (20.2, on average), according to the survey.

The council said it also found that physician practices can save money by using one channel to provide directory updates to their contracted health plans.

Read more about the survey here.

 

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