May 5, 2023
Senate Finance Committee hearing on improving mental health provider directories
On May 3, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing, "Barriers to Mental Health Care: Improving Provider Directory Accuracy to Reduce the Prevalence of Ghost Networks." During the hearing, lawmakers heard testimony from a panel of five witnesses representing patients, providers, and data management organizations.
Lawmakers and witnesses stressed the need to improve the accuracy of health plans' provider networks, particularly for behavioral health care providers, and spoke about the challenges to maintaining accurate directories, as well as possible solutions. Several Republican members, including Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID), spoke about identifying solutions that would not increase regulatory burdens, while Democrats and several witnesses spoke about the need for greater oversight of plan directories and enforcement mechanisms.
Throughout the hearing, several lawmakers and witnesses spoke critically of insurer practices and policies that lead to inaccurate provider directories, and one lawmaker, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), spoke about the need to hold another hearing that includes health plans to find the right solutions.
More information is available here.
Additional information is also available in the attached Tax Alert.
Hearing on improving mental health provider directories