Caution on use of ISOS web based search tool for provider lists.
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The Certified Provider and newly developed Approved Provider lists are now posted on the International SOS (ISOS) web page and under their operational control. http://tinyurl.com/cdccgry The web page appears to offer a search tool however it has not worked properly since its inception on 2 Nov 12 and it has been brought to their attention, including actual examples, on multiple occasions. According to the TRICARE Operations Manual, Chpt 18, Sect 12, Para 5.2.4, http://db.tt/DeZBrbts, where it states in part; “The TOP contractor shall provide beneficiaries with easy access to both the approved provider listing and the certified provider listing via a user-friendly searchable World Wide Web (WWW) site and any other means established at the contractor’s discretion no later than 60 calendar days prior to the start of health care delivery in each demonstration area.”
While there appears to be a search tool at this location it is not operational and routinely provides wrong information; most often not listing all the providers that meet the search criteria or claims there are no providers who meet the criteria when there are in fact one or more that do. The non-functionality of the search tool extends to both the Approved Provider and Certified Provider Lists. The lack of the TRICARE Management Activity (TMA) mandated search tool that is functional creates serious issues for beneficiaries who are attempting to locate a provider and in particular for the extremely limited numbers of Approved Providers. In many instances the tool has and continues to report no physicians in various specialties when in fact there are one, two or even five or more. A workable tool was mandated not later than 60 calendar days prior to the start of the demo, however that has been ignored and we were told the lack of a functional search tool would not delay the start of the demo.
We have offered suggestions on how to fix the problems but been ignored and finally, with the start of the demo fast approaching we strongly suggested that the contractor caution users that the search tool is defective and to use alternate means of finding a provider but they ignored that suggestion as well, stating beneficiaries that find a problem with the search tool should contact them. Of course not knowing the tool is defective makes it difficult for the average beneficiary to know there is a problem.
Some examples of search results and the found errors can be seen at, http://db.tt/kq8vLwOr.
Until the contractor corrects the significant errors in both databases and improves the functionality of the search tool we recommend the following;
Download the appropriate Excel files as the files are updated, normally the 1st and 15th of the months although the contractor is generally negligent in meeting these mandates as well. Using the built in Excel sort and filter function look at lists of providers in broader groups such as by a city and then scowl down the providers to find the specialty you may be looking for. If you need help with the Excel filter function see, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkR7pfEDAGU
Alternatively call Global 24 customer service or email them requesting they provide you with the information needed. Assuming they do not try to use the non-operational search tool they should be able to also provide the information you need. http://tinyurl.com/cmfk6tl
When we find that TMA and ISOS have taken the appropriate steps to correct the flaws in the data and improved the search tool we will apprise beneficiaries that it appears safe to use the tool.
Feel free to contact USMRoP with questions or suggestions at email@example.com.