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Return To Sender…

Tis’ the season for Christmas cards! We take family photos, pick out a festive layout, print them out and prep for mailing. Seems pretty painless, right? Think again. If you are like me you have addresses stored in a spreadsheet that haven’t been updated in years. It makes sense to update it when you receive new mail from a friend or relative, but let’s be honest I throw away the envelope before processing the return address. So here I sit with my outdated spreadsheet writing out cards to friends and family in hopes they still live at the address I have. Most of the time they are, but I know that at least 2 that are wrong and my gut tells me there are more. Not only have I wasted time and a perfectly good stamp but most importantly my loved one will never receive my holiday greeting.

Do you struggle with outdated contact information on the job? CMS is cracking down on accuracy of provider directories and issuing warning letters about potential fines. Examinations of providers’ data found that roughly 45% of provider directory locations listed in online directories were inaccurate. Some of these inaccuracies included:

  • Provider not at the location listed
  • Invalid phone number
  • Provider not accepting new patients when the directory indicated they were

Why is this such an important problem? Provider directories are a vital tool used by Medicare Advantage enrollees to select and contact their physicians and other contracted providers who deliver their medical care. MAO members rely on provider directories to locate an in-network provider and the accuracy of this information is critical. Directories with outdated or inaccurate data can create a barrier to receiving care and raise questions regarding the adequacy and validity of the MAO’s network as a whole. Frustration with inaccurate data can also lead to an increase in member complaints and poor member service. Maintaining a clean provider directory is more important than ever and can turn costly for organizations who don’t make it a priority. Yes, database clean up can be monotonous and time consuming but in the long run it will provide improved member service and reduced complaints.

So as you’re project planning for 2018 be sure to update that Christmas list and avoid “Return to Sender”! Happy Holidays!