Skip to Content

CMS Audit Finds Medicare Advantage Provider Directories Woefully Deficient

22087927_M_Lawyer_Paper signing_Court_Meeting_Law_office.jpg

Medicare Advantage provider directories are still packed with errors.

That is the finding released last month based on federal audits of those directories. This audit was begun under the Obama administration and encompasses about one-third of Medicare Advantage plans every year.

As reported by, the audit revealed that almost half of provider directory locations included at least one mistake.

Errors included:

  • The wrong location

  • The wrong phone number

  • That the provider was accepting new patients when they were not

For the third straight year, significant errors were found that may result in fines or other penalties for those insurers. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) may begin imposing monetary penalties. The Modern Healthcare report described CMS actions comprising 18 noncompliance notices; 15 warning letters; 7 warning letters with a request for a business plan. There have been no fines assessed as yet and the plans have 30 days to correct the identified compliance issues.

Based on the CMS investigation, there is a general lack of internal audit and directory testing in many Medicare Advantage organizations. CMS expects managed care plans to review their provider directories and correct inaccurate and missing information.

Survey Methodology

Auditors called providers’ offices directly to verify this information:

  • Does the provider see patients at this location?

  • Does the provider accept the Medicare Advantage plan at this location?

  • Does the provider accept/not accept new Medicare Advantage patients?

  • What is the type of healthcare provider (i.e., PCP, oncologist)?

  • Are the practice name and provider’s name, address and telephone number correct?

How Provider Directory Errors Can Affect Consumer Choices

As an example of one type of error, a person may choose a Medicare Advantage plan because a long-time doctor is listed as being in the plan network. However, that information is incorrect and the individual must now choose a new doctor that may be in an inconvenient location.

Other errors include some providers who did not work at any of the directory locations, or who did not accept the health plan there. CMS auditors even found that, because the directory information had been out of date for a long time, some listed doctors had retired or even died.

You can read the full CMS Online Provider Directory Review Report here.

Our full-service provider enrollment systems and processes can expertly handle all your payer enrollment needs, including accurate provider directory data.

Let Us Manage All Your Payer Enrollment Services

If you require medical credentialing and payer enrollment needs for your practice or medical facility, please contact 1st Assistant. Our experienced and dedicated specialists will provide all credentialing and enrollment services quickly and will monitor your account for ongoing updates and re-attestations. Heidi Henderson, our company owner and President, is eager to meet you and discuss your payer enrollment needs. Please call us at 512.201.2668 or contact us via the website.

Complimentary Consultation Available

Categories: Credentialing Requirement, Knowledge Center, State Specific Info


Free Consultation

Schedule your free consultation

Our credentialing experts are here to help you assess exactly which solutions you need to put you on the right track. 1ˢᵗ Credentialing includes payor enrollment for all insurance networks. Don’t wait another minute, contact our team today!

Call us at (512) 201-2668 or email us at

Back to top