Provider Directories: Litigation, Regulatory, and Operational Challenges
Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), millions of consumers have signed up for health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Additionally, employer groups both large and small are increasingly asking health insurers to create health insurance products specific to their employees. As a result, health plans are creating new, contracted network offerings at an unprecedented rate. These range from higher-cost PPO products with broad provider networks to products with narrow or tiered networks that boast lower premiums but provide limited choices of providers.
As the volume and variety of health insurance products increase to accommodate an expanding market, so do concerns about whether the contracted provider networks adequately serve their target patient population. Further, some consumers have complained that the provider network information provided to them by health plans is misleading and inaccurate. As a result, federal and state regulations have added more specificity around what constitutes an adequate provider network and have defined the information that a health plan is required to provide to consumers.