Senators want more accurate Medicare Advantage, Medicaid provider directories

The Senate Finance Committee wants Medicare Advantage plans to create more accurate provider directories. 

The committee published a discussion draft Dec. 1 with policies aimed at improving parity between physical and mental health services in Medicare and Medicaid. 

Included in the draft are provisions that would codify existing requirements for Medicare Advantage plans to maintain updated provider directories. The rule would require plans to update network status changes within two days. 

The committee also proposes codifying requirements for Medicaid managed care organizations to maintain accurate directories. 

Other proposals in the draft include requiring the Government Accountability Office to study the differences in cost-sharing and utilization of behavioral health services between Medicare Advantage and traditional Medicare. 

"These policies represent the first step towards addressing the mental health parity and ghost network challenges that I intend to build on in the coming months — especially the challenges I hear about consistently from families at home who aren't able to find available mental health professionals covered in their insurance networks," Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, a senator from Oregon, said in a news release. 

Read the full discussion drafthere.

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