October 2016 – Doctor Locator Tools

Available on all member sites within the Healthcare Monitor coverage group, doctor locator tools allow plan members to find in-network doctors quickly and easily. Though all firms offer these tools, it remains unclear how frequently they are used, especially considering the general poor execution of their search functionality. These tools, however, have the potential to become members’ default health research resources, given their unparalleled ability to determine (and filter search results for) whether a given doctor is available in a user’s network. With that in mind, this report assesses the doctor locator tools available from coverage group plans and offers suggestions for improvements.

Health plans offer a number of similar tools, but overall the member user experience varies by plan. Many firms offer useful functions, like maps, reviews and contact information, but they do not always execute these features well enough to make the tools desirable. Overall, all coverage group firms could enhance their locator tools to create a better user experience and to position themselves as members’ primary health care provider research method.