Why your Organization needs to Monitor its Provider Directory

On the surface, creating the best possible patient experience seems relatively simple. Traditionally, healthcare brands take efforts to reduce wait times, improve bedside manner, or improve the waiting room experience. These are obvious areas that impact the relationship between patient and healthcare providers. While improving these specific aspects is without a doubt a great way to improve the overall patient experience, one of the biggest issues facing healthcare brands is often one that continues to persist unanswered. After conducting an extensive survey of 108 different healthcare providers, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) determined that one of the biggest problem areas affecting healthcare providers is the monitoring practices of Provider Directories.

This is an area of conflict because it is one of the first touchpoints between a patient and a provider, and currently, it is a flawed system, resulting in a huge number of unsatisfied patients. As it turns out, a significant percentage of Provider Directories across the country are littered with incorrect information, that remain stale on these public Provider Directories for far too long. This creates a negative impact on the patient experience by wasting the time of both the patient and the provider, sending patients to the wrong place to be treated, as well as setting up patients to unknowingly receive service that they are no longer covered for. After conducting their research, CMS determined that a staggering 46% of surveyed Provider Directories are plagued with incorrect information. This number is significant because it means that nearly half of the organizations are providing false information to their patients, creating an atmosphere of inefficiency and deception that is antagonistic to the company culture of most healthcare agencies. This can be the root cause of a horrible patient experience, because patients will lose all of the trust they had in your brand, and will not only leave as a customer, but will most likely encourage their personal network to seek other options as well.

In order to help reduce the 46% of incorrect directories, it is important to know where and why this information is wrong. After random sampling, CMS found that 4.1% of the time the address was missing the correct suite number, while 8.4% had the wrong address completely. 6.3% of directories surveyed stated that the doctor was accepting new patients when they were not, and 10% listed an incorrect phone number. Amazingly, a shocking 66% of directories surveyed listed a physician as working there when they actually were not. These numbers show a clear problem in the way that patients and managed care organizations interact with each other. By peddling out this incorrect information, healthcare brands are not only wasting their own time along with their patient’s time, but they are also establishing a relationship destined for a short lifespan. In the wake of this modern healthcare atmosphere, your brand can become a patient experience industry leader by making intentional efforts to improve the monitoring practices of your Provider Directory.

As a result of these systemic issues, CMS is creating new standards for monitoring these Provider Directories, and establishing penalties for brands unwilling or unable to comply with these changes. Second To None is now offering a Provider Network Monitoring Solution, dedicated to helping brands remain compliant in the wake of this new industry climate. We are equipped with the proper resources, including an extensive directory of mystery shoppers, who are trained to complete these mystery shopping endeavors, on-site, online and over the phone. We will work with your brand to ensure that the directory you provide your patients is adeptly monitored and only providing the most up-to-date and correct information. This is an important moment for many healthcare brands looking to remain serviceable in the eyes of its customers, and those looking to avoid any penalties and fines from CMS.


Second To None empowers customer-centric brands to deliver consistent, intentional and authentic consumer experiences.

We adeptly design and manage mystery shopping, compliance, engagement and voice of customer solutions grounded in strategic relevance, program integrity and actionable insights. Our solutions are developed on the basis of solid research and statistical science. We achieve success through a relentless focus on quality and innovation, consultative relationships and a talented team of professional associates.

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