Congresswoman Kim Schrier, D-Wash., and Congressman Phil Roe, R-Tenn., have introduced the Improving Provider Directories Act (HR 4575). The bill will increase the accuracy of the information listed on health plan provider directories to protect patients from surprise out-of-network bills.
“When a patient is looking for a new doctor, they will often go to the online directory of their insurance provider to make sure the doctor is in-network. So imagine the surprise of the thousands of people a year when they get an ‘out of network’ bill for a doctor they were led to believe was in their insurance network,” Schrier said. “Our bill will require these directories to be kept up-to-date and accurate. Giving families the information they need at their fingertips to make informed decisions will save people across the country money and headaches.”
The Improving Provider Directories Act requires health plans to prominently display a way for the public to report errors, and update inaccuracies within 30 days of being notified of an error.
“Inaccurate provider directories can result in costly medical bills for patients who are acting responsibly and trying to stay in their network. As a physician for over 31 years, more than once during my time in practice was I incorrectly listed in a provider director, only leading to more patient confusion. Ensuring these directories are accurate is a commonsense reform that will allow patients to be better consumers of health care. That is why I am proud to introduce the Improving Provider Directories Act with Dr. Schrier, which will require health plans to keep updated provider directories so patients are well informed before getting treated. This bipartisan legislation goes hand-in-hand with the bipartisan effort to end surprise bills,” Roe said.