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62% don't think their health plan has correct information, and only 28% plan to access it
Finding the right provider, or the right healthcare service, can be a frustrating experience, as most people are probably already aware of. The problem is it's hard to know what information is trustworthy and accurate, even from places where that information should be up to date.
Take health plans, for example: a report from Ribbon Health, a health data platform that provides healthcare enterprises with an API layer for accurate data on doctors, insurance plans, cost, and quality of care, called How Health Plans Can Use Data to Unlock Better Care, found that 62% of Americans don't trust their health plan when searching for care, and only 28% of respondents said that they are likely to use their plan's website to search for a provider.
A big part of that has to do with the fact, as noted in the study, that more than half of provider listings have at least one inaccurate piece of information, which can potentially lead to patients being matched with the wrong provider, making them more likely to opt out of the healthcare, thus putting them at risk for worse health and more costly care later on, while increasing future expenses for health plans.
Ribbon Health surveyed 1,000 consumers across the United States, and almost half of respondents said that the most important thing to them when searching for the right provider is that provider's level of experience treating their specific healthcare need. That was followed by 42% who said they looked for a convenient location, and 40% who said they needed to have information about the cost of care.
In all, 61% view provider information like demographics, quality ratings, and cost of care as "somewhat" or "very" important, and 38% of respondents said inaccurate information led them to have a negative healthcare experience.
For health plans, simply having correct information on their portal would go a long way toward rebuilding that trust with patients: 66% of those surveyed said they would trust their health plan more if the provider information they offered online was more accurate.
"For decades, people have accepted inconveniences like not knowing how much their healthcare bill will cost or a lack of basic information about the provider treating them. Care seekers are just like consumers in any other industry, and they deserve insight into metrics like cost, reviews, quality ratings and the many other important factors we consider when making a big purchase," Nate Maslak, CEO and co-founder of Ribbon Health, said in a statement.
"This type of information is standard in other industries, and it comes as no surprise that Americans are craving better information in order to make informed healthcare decisions. Improved, transparent data provides an opportunity to connect people with providers and health plans they can trust."
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