Corporate directories – Livelink Directory http://livelinkdirectory.com/ Wed, 07 Sep 2022 21:44:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://livelinkdirectory.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-5-120x120.png Corporate directories – Livelink Directory http://livelinkdirectory.com/ 32 32 Qmed+ is a game changer for provider directories https://livelinkdirectory.com/qmed-is-a-game-changer-for-provider-directories/ Wed, 07 Sep 2022 13:14:13 +0000 https://livelinkdirectory.com/qmed-is-a-game-changer-for-provider-directories/ DM+DI changes the look of online provider directories with the launch of Qmed+. To do this, the team behind DM+DI and Qmed interviewed purchasing influencers at major medical device OEMs, midsize manufacturers, and start-ups to understand their sourcing processes and pain points. The result is Qmed+, a next-generation online supplier directory dedicated exclusively to the […]]]>

DM+DI changes the look of online provider directories with the launch of Qmed+. To do this, the team behind DM+DI and Qmed interviewed purchasing influencers at major medical device OEMs, midsize manufacturers, and start-ups to understand their sourcing processes and pain points.

The result is Qmed+, a next-generation online supplier directory dedicated exclusively to the medical device industry based on feedback directly from the medical device industry.

“The new platform builds on the legacy of the Qmed brand to address the medtech industry’s most important vendor discovery challenges while delivering value,” said Shana Leonard, vice-president. President Content and Strategy, Information Markets – Engineering. “The digital landscape is changing at a breakneck pace, but online supplier directories have remained static and unchanged for years. Qmed+ breaks the mold by focusing on facilitating meaningful connections, saving time, and giving medtech professionals a more personalized sourcing experience through high-value built-in features like chat, favorites, batch bidding, and online meeting capabilities.

When launching a new vendor search online, medical technology professionals often waste time scrolling through pages of irrelevant and unqualified Google search results. The Qmed+ online supplier directory eliminates the clutter of search engine results to immediately connect medical technology buyers with relevant potential partners. Qmed+ only offers approved suppliers with direct experience serving the medical device industry, ensuring that all potential partners understand the rigors and regulations associated with this complex industry.

New features and functionality include:

  • Build capacity to track potential partners
  • Easy-to-use communication tools that allow users to quickly connect with the right supplier and contacts using an in-platform instant messaging tool
  • Scheduling and online meeting features on the platform that move the conversation forward and get questions answered quickly
  • A Request for Proposal (RFP) submission tool that allows users to identify relevant vendors; enter criteria such as budgets, specifications, and desired turnaround time; a massive explosion at identified businesses; and track responses to speed up and streamline the bidding process
  • Category keywords, robust search functionality and selection filters that help users quickly find relevant vendors that match specific search criteria
  • Detailed vendor profiles that showcase highlights of key capabilities, products and services, as well as additional marketing content such as white papers, brochures, data sheets, company news and other educational resources for inform the selection of suppliers

Qmed+ has more than 1200 qualified suppliers for the medical device industry. Vendors featured on the site include Qosina, Accumold, Master Bond Inc., Teleflex Medical OEM, and 3DEO, among others. Visit qmed.com for more information.

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Insurance directories for urgent care are obsolete https://livelinkdirectory.com/insurance-directories-for-urgent-care-are-obsolete/ Mon, 15 Aug 2022 10:00:00 +0000 https://livelinkdirectory.com/insurance-directories-for-urgent-care-are-obsolete/ UnitedHealth Group, the parent company of insurer UnitedHealthcare, will reduce its participation in public health insurance exchanges to just a handful of states next year. Jim Mone PA When Kent Dolan moved from Virginia to Davidson last year, he decided to research nearby urgent care facilities in case of an emergency. Dolan went to an […]]]>

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UnitedHealth Group, the parent company of insurer UnitedHealthcare, will reduce its participation in public health insurance exchanges to just a handful of states next year.

PA

When Kent Dolan moved from Virginia to Davidson last year, he decided to research nearby urgent care facilities in case of an emergency.

Dolan went to an online directory to find out which facilities took UnitedHealthcare coverage, which he had purchased. He selected a listed location – 705 Griffith St., Davidson – and drove there to check it out.


This story is a subscriber exclusive

When he arrived, there was no urgent care site. An Atrium Health primary care clinic stood in its place. Staff told him that urgent care had closed the previous year, Dolan said.

“If someone were to rush there for urgent care, it could be a really bad surprise,” Dolan said.

What Dolan discovered was not an isolated incident. UnitedHealthcare’s directory this week listed 23 urgent care facilities within a 20-mile radius of Davidson, a northern suburb of Charlotte. But 12 of the addresses listed were incorrect this week, The Charlotte Observer found.

According to the directory, as of August 8, six separate clinics were located at the same address: 705 Griffith Street. This includes “Ballantyne Urgent Care”, “Carolinas Healthcare Urgent Care”, “Carolinas Healthcare Urgent Care East”, “CHC Urgent Care” Care Huntersville”, “CHUC Prosperity Crossing” and “CHUC Salisbury”.

The same phone number was listed with each. He connects to an urgent care clinic, but at a completely different address in Mooresville.

There were more errors. The other locations listed as urgent care facilities as of this week were actually an adult day care center, a pediatrics office, an internal medicine office, a hair removal bar, a hospital with an emergency room, and a YMCA with medical staff on site. The Observer verified using this via Google Maps, Atrium and Novant Health locators, and phone calls to Atrium Health businesses and customer service.

“They have those listings in Davidson, but those places aren’t actually there,” Dolan said.

When Dolan discovered a primary care office while looking for an urgent care clinic in 2021, he called UHC Customer Service. But it soon became apparent that the representative he spoke with was looking at the same information he had seen in the directory, he said. The rep couldn’t direct Dolan to someone who had more information, he said.

The Observer contacted UnitedHealthcare to ask about the discrepancies, but UHC did not respond to a request for an explanation.

The Observer recently reported that experts say accurate provider directories are essential for people in need of good medical care. Inaccurate directories can lead to care delays and unexpected charges. Dolan expressed concerns about both issues.

“It’s a big deal who’s networking,” Dolan said. “As a retiree like me, surprise billing is a scary thing.”

Nadia Bey is a Charlotte Observer intern who reports for McClatchy’s investigations team in North Carolina. She grew up in the Charlotte area and will be graduating from Duke University in May 2023.

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Directories of health insurance providers often contain errors. what to do, a health consumer guide https://livelinkdirectory.com/directories-of-health-insurance-providers-often-contain-errors-what-to-do-a-health-consumer-guide/ Fri, 29 Jul 2022 19:00:00 +0000 https://livelinkdirectory.com/directories-of-health-insurance-providers-often-contain-errors-what-to-do-a-health-consumer-guide/ If you have medical insurance, chances are you’ll be exasperated at some point trying to find a doctor or mental health practitioner available within your health plan’s network. You find several providers in your plan directory and call them. All. But the number is wrong. Or the doctor has moved or retired or is not […]]]>

If you have medical insurance, chances are you’ll be exasperated at some point trying to find a doctor or mental health practitioner available within your health plan’s network.

You find several providers in your plan directory and call them. All. But the number is wrong. Or the doctor has moved or retired or is not accepting new patients. Or the next available appointment is in three months. Or the provider is not actually in your network.

Despite state and federal regulations requiring more accurate health plan directories, they can still contain errors and are often out of date.

Faulty directories don’t just hamper our ability to get care. They also report that health insurers are failing to meet requirements to provide timely care, even as they tell regulators.

Worse, patients who rely on faulty directory information may face inflated bills from doctors or hospitals that turn out to be outside their network.

In 2016, California implemented a law to regulate the accuracy of provider directories. The state was trying to fix longstanding problems, exemplified by an embarrassing debacle in 2014, when Covered California, the insurance market the state formed after the Affordable Care Act passed, was forced to withdraw his error-ridden repertoire in his first year.

Also in 2016, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services demanded more accurate directories for Medicare Advantage health plans and policies sold in the federal ACA market. The federal No Surprises Act, which took effect this year, extends similar rules to employer and individual health plans.

The No Surprises Act states that patients who rely on information in their provider directories and end up unknowingly seeing physicians outside of their networks cannot be required to pay more than they would have paid for a network provider.

Unfortunately, inaccurate directories continue to plague the health care system.

A study published in June in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law analyzed data from the California Department of Managed Health Care on the accuracy of directories and timely access to care. It found that, at best, consumers were able to get timely appointments for urgent cases with only 54% of doctors listed in a directory. Worst case: 28%. For general care appointments, the best case was 64% and the worst case was 35%.

A key takeaway, the authors write, is that “even progressive, pro-consumer laws and regulations have effectively failed to offer substantial consumer protection.”

Few know this better than Dan O’Neill. The San Francisco health care official called the primary care physicians listed in his health plan’s directory, through a major national carrier, and was unable to get an appointment. No one he spoke to could tell him if UCSF Health, one of the city’s major health systems, was part of his network.

“I spent almost a week trying to sort this out and eventually had to give up and pay the $75 copayment to go to emergency care because it was the only option,” says O’Neill. “I now live a seven or eight minute walk from the main buildings at UCSF and to this day have no idea if they are part of my network or not, which is crazy because I do it professionally.”

Consumer health advocates say insurers don’t take the accuracy of directories seriously.

“We have health plans with millions enrolled and hundreds of millions on reserve,” says Beth Capell, lobbyist for Health Access California. “These people have the resources to do it if they thought it was a priority.”

Industry analysts and academic researchers say it’s more complicated than that.

Health plans contract with hundreds of thousands of providers and have to track them down to send updates. Are they still with the same practice? At the same address? Accepting new patients?

For doctors and other practitioners, answering such surveys — sometimes from dozens of health plans — is hardly at the top of their to-do list. Insurers typically offer multiple health plans, each with a different constellation of providers, who may not always know which ones they are in.

The law gives insurers some leverage to get providers to respond, and an industry has sprung up around collecting updates from providers through a centralized portal and selling the information to health plans. Yet health plans and providers often have outdated data systems that don’t communicate with each other.

Significantly improving health plan directories will require “more connectivity and interoperability,” says Simon Haeder of Texas A&M University’s School of Public Health, co-author of the Accuracy Study. directories and quick access.

Until that happens, you have to fend for yourself. Use your health plan’s provider directory as a first stop or to check if a doctor recommended by a friend is in your network.

Remember the laws that say you can’t be charged out-of-network rates if the doctor you’re seeing was listed in your health plan directory? You will have to prove that it was. So take a screenshot of the directory showing the provider name and save it.

Call the doctor’s office to check. To take notes. Get the name of the person you spoke to. If there is a discrepancy or you find an inaccurate entry, report it to your health insurance plan.

KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism on health issues.

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Ketamine Centered Therapist Directories: Therapist Directory https://livelinkdirectory.com/ketamine-centered-therapist-directories-therapist-directory/ Thu, 28 Jul 2022 14:23:15 +0000 https://livelinkdirectory.com/ketamine-centered-therapist-directories-therapist-directory/ Ketamine Wellness Centers (KWC), the largest provider of legal ketamine therapy services in the United States, has launched an innovative new directory of therapists designed to help its patients find and connect with healthcare professionals mental health professionals with the expertise to help them process the results of ketamine therapies and incorporate the benefits into […]]]>
Ketamine Wellness Centers (KWC), the largest provider of legal ketamine therapy services in the United States, has launched an innovative new directory of therapists designed to help its patients find and connect with healthcare professionals mental health professionals with the expertise to help them process the results of ketamine therapies and incorporate the benefits into their daily lives in a sustainable way.

The Ketamine Wellness Integrative Therapist Directory is available as a free source at Ketamine Wellness Centers, practitioners and mental health therapists can register for free on the network. Meanwhile, patients can use the resource to find mental health professionals in their area who can help them explore the usefulness of ketamine therapies.

Kevin Nicholson, CEO of Ketamine Wellness Centers, said in a press release that this directory of therapists aims to help patients benefit from cognitive therapy following ketamine treatments. “By compiling a comprehensive roster of qualified, like-minded mental health professionals and organizations, KWC continues to focus on a holistic approach to healing patients with a variety of mental health conditions,” Nicholson said.

Image Credit: Ketamine Wellness Centers

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Even well-meaning laws cannot protect us from inaccurate supplier directories https://livelinkdirectory.com/even-well-meaning-laws-cannot-protect-us-from-inaccurate-supplier-directories/ Mon, 25 Jul 2022 09:00:00 +0000 https://livelinkdirectory.com/even-well-meaning-laws-cannot-protect-us-from-inaccurate-supplier-directories/ By Bernard J. Wolfson If you have medical insurance, chances are you’ve been completely exasperated at some point trying to find a doctor or mental health practitioner available within your health plan’s network. This happens as follows: you find several providers in your plan’s directory and call them. All. Alas, the number is wrong; or […]]]>
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Oregon Health and Science University – InsuranceNewsNet https://livelinkdirectory.com/oregon-health-and-science-university-insurancenewsnet/ Tue, 19 Jul 2022 22:27:07 +0000 https://livelinkdirectory.com/oregon-health-and-science-university-insurancenewsnet/ July 19, 2022 (NewsRx) — By a News Reporter – Staff News Editor at Daily Insurance News — Amid an increase in the demand for mental health care, a new report from researchers at Oregon Health and Science University finds that nearly six out of 10 network providers listed in Oregon’s Medicaid provider directories are […]]]>

July 19, 2022 (NewsRx) — By a News Reporter – Staff News Editor at Daily Insurance News — Amid an increase in the demand for mental health care, a new report from researchers at Oregon Health and Science University finds that nearly six out of 10 network providers listed in Oregon’s Medicaid provider directories are not actually available to see patients.

These “ghost” networks undermine access to care for the most needy patients, according to the study published in the July issue of the journal Health Affairs.

“If this represents the state of provider directories more broadly, it’s a huge concern for patients,” the lead author said. Jane M. ZhuMD, Assistant Professor of Medicine (General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics) at OHSU School of Medicine. “If the majority of providers aren’t actually accessible, it leads to delays and disruptions to the care and treatment people need.”

Zhu said the discovery, the first of its kind, highlights an overworked system that too often fails to provide treatment for people with mental disorders.

“Medicaid is a major payer for mental health care in the WEwith enrollees disproportionately likely to have severe and persistent mental disorders, as well as complex social and medical needs that exacerbate barriers to care,” the authors write.

The discoveries in Oregon may be relevant across the country.

The study cited previous research noting that about half of Medicaid recipients with severe mental illness reported unmet medical needs. The phantom directories described in today’s review compound this problem.

“At least on paper, an assurance plan can point to vendor directories and say, ‘See, we have all these vendors that are part of our network under contract,'” Zhu said. “But if these directories don’t reflect the providers who are actually seeing patients, then what good are they? »

The inability to keep provider directories current and up-to-date may be the result of an administrative burden on medical clinics and insurers, Zhu said. Providers often change locations, retire, or stop taking Medicaid-covered patients. All of this can be difficult to follow.

Additionally, inaccurate provider networks have regulatory implications.

“Many states rely on provider directories to monitor how well a health plan’s provider network facilitates access to care,” Zhu said.

In a related study published in the American Journal of Managed Care, Zhu and co-authors found a range of network adequacy standards among state Medicaid programs and little enforcement of these standards across states. While 28 states had separate time-and-distance standards defined for mental and behavioral health care, only one-third of Medicaid programs – 14 states – published separate access standards for the treatment of alcohol-related disorders. substance use.

Besides administrative shortcomings in accurately monitoring access to providers, Zhu said the fact is that the country’s mental health care delivery system is severely constrained.

“We just need more mental health professionals to meet the demand,” she said.

President Joe Biden highlighted what he defines as a national mental health crisis during his State of the Union address in March.

In addition to Zhu, the co-authors of the study published in Health Affairs include Christina J. Charlesworth and K. John McConnell from OHSU and Daniel Polsky of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

The study published in the journal Health Affairs was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Healthprice 1K08MH123624.

(Our reports provide factual information on research and discoveries from around the world.)

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‘Ghost’ providers poison mental health repositories, impacting access https://livelinkdirectory.com/ghost-providers-poison-mental-health-repositories-impacting-access/ Wed, 13 Jul 2022 11:14:00 +0000 https://livelinkdirectory.com/ghost-providers-poison-mental-health-repositories-impacting-access/ As Americans seek to reduce health care costs, patients have often been encouraged to use online tools find providers in their network from whom they can obtain care at a lower cost. But one new study suggests that the entire system of health care directories may be faulty. According to Oregon Health and Science Universityresearch […]]]>

As Americans seek to reduce health care costs, patients have often been encouraged to use online tools find providers in their network from whom they can obtain care at a lower cost. But one new study suggests that the entire system of health care directories may be faulty. According to Oregon Health and Science Universityresearch shows that up to 58% of all providers listed in Oregon’s Medicaid system in 2018 were “phantom providers” who are unavailable to see patients.

The numbers were particularly stark for mental health specialists; while about 54% of all primary care providers were “ghosts,” more than two-thirds of mental health prescribers fell into this same category.

According to Jane M. Zhu, lead author of the new study, “Phantom Networks: Discrepancies Between Reported and Realized Mental Health Care Access in Oregon Medicaid,” the findings are concerning, especially if they also reflect other provider systems. . “If the majority of providers aren’t actually accessible, it leads to delays and disruptions to the care and treatment that people need,” she said.

The findings come at a time when mental health care is particularly hard to come by. Some 37% of the US population lacks adequate access to mental health professionals, according to a 2021 study by the nonprofit organization USA Facts, with some states, including Wyoming, Utah and Mississippi, experiencing particularly high shortages of qualified mental health care providers. This study estimated that more than 6,000 additional mental health professionals would be needed to eliminate care shortages.

“We just need more mental health professionals to keep up with the demand,” Zhu said.

The study authors suggest that discrepancies in Oregon’s Medicaid directory may be due to administrative tracking issues. Whatever the cause, inaccuracies are not just a problem for patients. As the study notes, “significant discrepancies between providers listed in directories and those that registrants can access suggest that provider network monitoring and enforcement may fail if based on directory information. “. In other words, health insurance companies may mistakenly believe that their enrollees have access to more doctors than they do – and law enforcement agencies may also believe that more options are offered to patients than is correct.

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OHSU study finds ‘ghost’ mental health care providers in Medicaid directories https://livelinkdirectory.com/ohsu-study-finds-ghost-mental-health-care-providers-in-medicaid-directories/ Fri, 08 Jul 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://livelinkdirectory.com/ohsu-study-finds-ghost-mental-health-care-providers-in-medicaid-directories/ According to a new study by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University, directories of mental health care providers for low-income Oregonians grossly overestimate the availability of care. The study, authored by Dr. Jane M. Zhu of OHSU, found that 6 out of 10 “in-network” mental health providers in Oregon’s Medicaid directories do not actually […]]]>

According to a new study by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University, directories of mental health care providers for low-income Oregonians grossly overestimate the availability of care.

The study, authored by Dr. Jane M. Zhu of OHSU, found that 6 out of 10 “in-network” mental health providers in Oregon’s Medicaid directories do not actually see Medicaid patients.

“If the majority of providers are not truly accessible, it leads to delays and disruptions to the care and treatment people need,” Zhu said in a statement.

Oregon consistently ranks among the worst states in the nation for access to mental health services. In 2020, for example, Mental Health America ranked Oregon 46th in the nation.

The study, published in the July issue of the medical journal Health Affairs, compares provider listings in Oregon Medicaid directories to field data collected from Medicaid members age 65 and younger. (Oregon provides medical care to low-income residents through the Oregon Health Plan, the state’s Medicaid program.)

The study authors explain that there are multiple reasons providers may no longer see Medicaid patients, including relocation, retirement, or simply denial.

“But crucially, mental health care providers are extremely scarce – there are too many needs and not enough people to provide care, so they may just not have the capacity to take on more patients, Medicaid or not,” Zhu said.

The discrepancy between the number of practitioners listed and those actually taking patients has implications not only for patient access to care, but also for the enforcement and monitoring of provider networks. Provider network directories are often used to monitor access to care, the authors say, so if a directory listing says one thing but the reality for a patient is different, that also creates regulatory holes.

Zhu noted that low-income patients are particularly vulnerable, which makes the accuracy of directories all the more important.

“People enrolled in Medicaid are disproportionately likely to have severe and persistent mental disorders,” she says.

Zhu says the system must change. “Long term, we need to invest in our mental health systems and build their capacity to meet the demand for services,” she says. “The short-term solutions are to ensure that consumers have access to accurate information and that health plans are transparent about who is available and accessible in their networks.”

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Mental health patient directories are full of ‘ghost’ providers, researchers say https://livelinkdirectory.com/mental-health-patient-directories-are-full-of-ghost-providers-researchers-say/ Tue, 05 Jul 2022 20:16:48 +0000 https://livelinkdirectory.com/mental-health-patient-directories-are-full-of-ghost-providers-researchers-say/ The availability of in-network mental health service providers listed in Oregon Medicaid directories is not accurate, according to a recent study by Oregon Health & Science University. (Getty Pictures) Amid a surge in demand for mental health care, a new report from researchers at Oregon Health & Science University finds that nearly six of the […]]]>

The availability of in-network mental health service providers listed in Oregon Medicaid directories is not accurate, according to a recent study by Oregon Health & Science University. (Getty Pictures)

Amid a surge in demand for mental health care, a new report from researchers at Oregon Health & Science University finds that nearly six of the 10 network providers listed in Oregon Medicaid provider directories do not are not actually available to see patients.

These ‘ghost’ networks compromise access to care for patients who need it most, according to the study published today in the July issue of the journal Health Affairs.

Jane Zhu, MD stands against a gray background.

Jane Zhu, MD (OHSU)

“If this represents the state of provider directories more broadly, it’s a huge concern for patients,” the lead author said. Jane M. Zhu, MD, assistant professor of medicine (general internal medicine and geriatrics) at the OHSU School of Medicine. “If the majority of providers aren’t actually accessible, it leads to delays and disruptions to the care and treatment people need.”

Zhu said the discovery, the first of its kind, highlights an overloaded system that too often fails to provide treatment for people with mental disorders.

“Medicaid is a major payer for mental health care in the United States, with enrollees disproportionately likely to have severe and persistent mental disorders, as well as complex social and medical needs that exacerbate barriers to care,” the authors write. authors.

Oregon’s findings may be relevant nationwide.

The study cited previous research noting that about half of Medicaid recipients with severe mental illness reported unmet medical needs. The phantom directories described in today’s review compound this problem.

“At least on paper, an assurance plan can point to vendor directories and say, ‘See, we have all these vendors that are part of our network under contract,'” Zhu said. “But if these directories don’t reflect the providers who are actually seeing patients, then what good are they? »

The inability to keep provider directories current and up-to-date may be the result of an administrative burden on medical clinics and insurers, Zhu said. Providers often change locations, retire, or stop taking Medicaid-covered patients. All of this can be difficult to follow.

Additionally, inaccurate provider networks have regulatory implications.

“Many states rely on provider directories to monitor how well a health plan’s provider network facilitates access to care,” Zhu said.

In a related study published last month in the American Journal of Managed Care, Zhu and co-authors found a range of network adequacy standards among state Medicaid programs and little enforcement of these standards across states. While 28 states had separate time-and-distance standards defined for mental and behavioral health care, only a third of Medicaid programs — 14 states — published separate access standards for the treatment of mental and behavioral disorders. substance use.

Besides administrative shortcomings in accurately monitoring access to providers, Zhu said the fact is that the country’s mental health care delivery system is severely constrained.

“We just need more mental health professionals to meet the demand,” she said.

President Joe Biden highlighted what he defines as a national mental health crisis during his State of the Union address in March.

In addition to Zhu, the co-authors of the study published today in Health Affairs to understand Christina J. Charlesworth and K. John McConnell from OHSU and Daniel Polsky from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

The study published in the journal Health Affairs was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health, award 1K08MH123624.

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There is a place for advisor directories but they need to change https://livelinkdirectory.com/there-is-a-place-for-advisor-directories-but-they-need-to-change/ Tue, 28 Jun 2022 13:30:18 +0000 https://livelinkdirectory.com/there-is-a-place-for-advisor-directories-but-they-need-to-change/ It’s hard to say for sure whether or not an advisor should register with various directories of direct-to-consumer advisors, such as Unbiased and VouchedFor. Any website that helps the consumer access good, independent financial advice deserves a round of applause. In the age of online scams, it is good to know that there are platforms […]]]>

It’s hard to say for sure whether or not an advisor should register with various directories of direct-to-consumer advisors, such as Unbiased and VouchedFor.

Any website that helps the consumer access good, independent financial advice deserves a round of applause.

In the age of online scams, it is good to know that there are platforms that will endeavor to connect a consumer with a need with a professional who has the required knowledge in this area.

Each consulting firm has a slightly different business model, and so whether they should market themselves on these platforms will depend on whether it’s a team of consultants who need a steady supply of leads – most Established consultants don’t, but there may be companies that need to explore different marketing opportunities in order to keep teams busy.

Directories can also be a very useful tool for new advisers who may not yet have built up a large enough bank of clients.

As we know, the larger and more mature a client bank is, the more independent the advisor becomes.

We have used Unbiased in the past and initially had a very positive experience.

We joined in early 2016 and 12 months later had seen significant ROI, generating revenue well over 10x our capital expenditure.

This continued through 2017, although at a slightly reduced rate. Starting in 2018, we started to see a deterioration in the quality of incoming inquiries.

We persevered but there didn’t seem to be any material improvement in enquiries, which, coupled with rising costs and overly complex process, led us to cancel our subscription six months ago. .

Unbiased increased the cost of inquiries and tokens to £45 in 2019 and introduced a new subscription service in 2020, which gave advisors four options, suitable for businesses at different stages of their development.

But I think where Unbiased went wrong was a general dumbing down of inquiries.

More often than not, the information we received through the website was of such poor quality that it made the Academic Manager purchase.

For what is for all intents and purposes a tech website, they should have been able to prevent unnecessary and unrealistic requests from getting through, saving everyone time and effort.

Unbiased offered future credit for such surveys, but it was never enough to keep us engaged with the platform.

I think there is a place for directories like these, but I would like to see them changed significantly to ensure that inquiries are of sufficient quality to warrant keeping an eye out for inquiry notifications information and financial expenses.

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