Building a Provider Search Experience Members Can Trust
It may sound like a no-brainer, but conflicting information about healthcare providers across platforms (think health plan website, Google, health system websites, online scheduling platforms, etc) causes confusion and frustration for health plan members.
- 39% have found conflicting information about providers online and 53% reported that this experience left them feeling angry or frustrated.
- 24% lose some level of trust with their health plan
Beyond rectifying inaccurate or conflicting information, members want MORE help and information from their health plan when searching for a provider that meets their needs.
Building an accurate and up-to-date provider directory is a challenge most plans face, and many are developing processes to address this challenge today. However, building a comprehensive provider directory that helps connect members with providers is about more than just an accurate phone number or address. It’s about providing answers to members’ biggest questions and delivering additional insights to help them discover whether a provider is a good match for them.
Our recent survey of 1,000 health plan members uncovered several challenges faced by members in their provider search experience. These insights can help health plans prioritize what information to collect from their provider networks. The top five things that cause difficulty for members are:
- Whether a provider is accepting new patients (69% place this in the top three biggest challenges they face when searching for a new provider)
- Near term appointment availability
- Enough information to decide if a provider is right for me
- Online appointment scheduling
- Contact information accuracy
What other information can benefit members as they search for the right provider?
More than six out of ten health plan members say that their health plan having enough information to decide if a provider is right for them is one of the top three challenges they face when looking for a new provider. This information, paired with insights from a previous survey, provides yet more guidance to plans on what information their members are looking for. Specifically, members said that when selecting a PCP they’d like to see the following pieces of information on a provider profile:
- 79% said that listing years in practice would be helpful
- 77% said that listing specialization in condition or age would be helpful
- 74% said listing a provider’s treatment philosophy would be helpful
- 64% said listing a provider’s languages spoken would be helpful
- 46% said sharing a provider’s picture would be helpful
This level of detail allows members to more effectively compare the providers available to them and to ultimately make a care decision that most closely aligns with their needs. When delivered appropriately, provider directories offer health plans an opportunity to establish trust with their members and empower them with the information they need to find the right provider which can improve member satisfaction, retention, and outcomes.
If you would like to chat about enhancing your provider directory to give your members what they need to find care, please reach out to us.