Physician practices spend an estimated $2.76 billion a year updating provider directory information for health plans, according to a survey released yesterday by CAQH. The average physician practice must submit information for 20 health plan contracts in varying formats and on different schedules for each plan, the survey found. CAQH estimates that using a single channel to update directory information could save at least $1.1 billion annually. "Our nation's fragmented approach to maintaining provider directories is not only a burden on physician practices, it may be undermining the accuracy of the data," said April Todd, a senior vice president for CAQH, an alliance that works to streamline health care business processes. "Health plans rely on the information providers give them. If we minimize the requests that drive provider burden, we can improve the accuracy of the data."

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