Releases second wave of Member Experience Monitor research

May 20, 2024; East Brunswick, NJ: New findings from an Atlas Systems study confirm that the provider directories maintained by health plans have important connections to members’ loyalty to and satisfaction with their plans. First conducted in 2023, the Member Experience Monitor research provides a window into the user experience of these important decision-making resources.

Federal legislation requires that health insurance companies update their provider directories every three months – but plans usually lack the resources to sustain this pace. The burden is no easier for providers, who often have to fill out forms in different formats for the many plans they work with. The result is that provider directories have been inaccurate and largely out of date for years, with little overall improvement.

In the end, inaccurate directories have the strongest effects on plan members, who turn to the listings in times of health need or insurance plan transition – and often assume they are up to date. Atlas’s latest study, conducted in March 2024, shows that 67% of Americans who have had health insurance have used a provider directory at least once – up from 62% last year. Of these users, 58% say they have found errors in a provider network at least once, versus 55% last year.

Atlas also found that 80% of those who discovered errors said the experience had made them less likely to trust the health plan involved. In addition, when asked how important directory accuracy was to their overall satisfaction with their insurance company, 74% gave it a rating of 8, 9, or 10 – the highest scores – while only 8% offered a rating of 5 or less.

In addition, the new research shows frequent use of non-directory resources to search for doctors; 71% of respondents, for example, said they had used Google to find providers. And 40% of these people said that non-directory sources are more accurate than health plan directories, with another 38% reporting that they are equally trustworthy.

“Health plans have a heavy lift to keep provider directories up to date,” said John Lamb, VP of Provider Operations for PRIME®, an Atlas Systems solution. “It is a task that they simply cannot handle on their own. Our new research confirms how important directories are as sources of connection to plan members – and that finding errors in network listings can have a major effect on insurance plan satisfaction and loyalty. Payers need to be sure they address this crucial issue not just to avoid fines, but also to make the most of this important opportunity to connect with and serve their members.”

About PRIME®

Atlas PRIME® solves the provider data dilemma with a rigorous, proven approach to provider data validation and management. We take the directory burden off of health plans, achieving best-in-class provider data accuracy with 95% client-audited quality assurance and up to 90% validation success. While other services rely on data aggregation – using sources of unknown reliability – PRIME delivers data validation from the source, reaching out directly via convenient channels to contracted health systems, provider groups, and individual practitioners.

About Atlas Systems

With offices in the US and India, Atlas Systems is a trusted partner helping companies on their digital transformation journeys – expanding their capabilities and delivering added value. Leveraging innovative technologies, such as AI and Cloud, Atlas works closely with clients to provide technology solutions that seamlessly enhance in-house teams and systems.

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