The DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority (HBX) announced the launch of the DC Health Link Universal Doctor Directory 1.0, and the introduction of a Spanish Language Beta version on DCHealthLink.com.
According to the District government agency in charge of the Affordable Care Act-mandated exchange, DC Health Link’s Universal Doctor Directory makes it possible for customers to easily search for doctors â€“ in English and Spanish â€“ by name, location, specialty, and determine which qualified health plans (QHPs) those doctors accept.
â€śOur customers need accurate information about doctors participating in different health plans,â€ť said Mila Kofman, J.D., Executive Director of the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority. â€śDoctor information is as critical as how much people pay for coverage. It is important information that people use to make a decision when shopping for a health plan or using their health coverage. We are pleased to offer a universal doctor directory tool to our customers.â€ť
DC Health Linkâ€™s Universal Doctor Directory is powered by Consumers’ CHECKBOOK and allows customers to search all individual and family DC Health Link plans to find the health plans in which their doctor participates. Additionally, the directory helps customers who are looking for a doctor. To search, a customer simply goes to DC Health Link’s Universal Doctor Directory, enters their zip code, a doctorâ€™s last name or specialty, and instantly they will see a list of doctors and the insurance plans they accept. Additional filters are available for customers to further narrow their searches.
The Universal Doctor Directory is a consumer-friendly tool that enables customers to search one directory with all doctors and health plan information. Before the Universal Doctor Directory, a consumer had to use directories on the health plansâ€™ websites to find a doctor. Importantly, the new doctor directory is one of several steps HBX has taken to improve information available on-line about participating doctors. HBX requested its Standing Advisory Board to review health insurance carrier directories. Using a â€śsecret shopperâ€ť approach, Board members identified several problems with health insurance carrier directories including incorrect and disconnected phone numbers, listings of doctors who were retired or no longer practicing in the area, and incorrect information about a doctorâ€™s practice area. Earlier this year, HBXâ€™s Executive Board adopted the recommendations from the Insurance Market Committee, which used these findings and advice from members of the Standing Advisory Board to add new consumer protection standards for QHP certification to improve the accuracy of plan provider directories.
The Universal Doctor Directory relies on health plan data as well as other data sources for information about doctors. During Beta testing earlier this year, health plans and consumers identified information to be corrected. Corrections were made to the Universal Directory for its release 1.0. Consumersâ€™ CHECKBOOK also provides monthly reports of inconsistent or incorrect information to the health plans and to HBX for follow up with health plans. This new approach will provide more accurate information to DC Health Link customers and will help improve some of the information in the carriersâ€™ own directories.