Google recently announced two ways the company is making search results more useful when people look for healthcare. According to a blog post, the search engine:
- Can now show searchers which health insurance networks the doctor or healthcare provider might accept.
- Allows providers and doctors to edit their Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) listings to define the languages spoken at their offices.
These changes are important. According to the latest Reputation Consumer Healthcare Survey, insurance coverage is the most important factor for people looking for care. This information isn’t always easy to find, thanks to the disconnect across various data sources, such as physician directories. And defining languages spoken is more important in an increasingly diverse society.
What Google Announced
Google’s blog post said:
- Google Search now shows people which insurance networks the doctor or healthcare provider might accept. On mobile, the search engine filters providers by the insurance plans accepted. Doing so helps people determine if a provider accepts their insurance. That includes Medicare, private insurance and employer-funded insurance, and government-affiliated health programs.
- Google has the option for healthcare professionals to let prospective patients know what languages are spoken at their office. The search engine currently has over a dozen languages represented, including Spanish and American Sign Language.
It was also noted that, “To help people get connected to the care they need, we’re conducting checks to ensure details of local doctors are up to date, and giving all healthcare providers the ability to update their information by claiming and updating their Business Profile.”
Showing which health insurance networks the doctor or healthcare provider might accept is especially relevant to the needs of consumers. When Reputation asked U.S. adults which information is important to their choice of a physician, 82% mentioned “insurance accepted,” making this easily the most important factor over other factors such as location.
Making it possible for healthcare professionals to let prospective patients know what languages are spoken at their office reflects a changing U.S. population. According to an analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies, a record 65.5 million U.S. residents over the age of five speak a language other than English at home, with significant increases among speakers of Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, and Hindi. Addressing the needs of a multilingual society helps healthcare providers remain relevant.
Related: Mastering the Marketing Technology Stack for Healthcare
What Healthcare Systems and Physicians Should Do
These developments underline the importance of healthcare systems and providers managing their Business Profiles with accurate and complete information.
Reputation and YouGov found that 68% of the population went online to find information about a healthcare provider in 2020. It’s no surprise that Google dominates search. As people increasingly rely on digital channels, healthcare facilities and physicians need to ensure that their location data is accurate.
They should also make sure that listings contain essential information about relevant topics. That’s because Google Business Profiles are the number one factor influencing visibility when people search for a business.
But doing so is not always easy, as recently discussed how healthcare providers can manage insurance data on Google My Business. For instance, a healthcare provider might need to review thousands of insurance plans before updating their Business profiles with accurate information.Then, each profile must be managed carefully as coverage of plans changes. We recommend that healthcare providers and physicians automate this process.
- Guarantees consumers will see accurate, up-to-date insurance information for each location and provider.
- Save thousands of hours using an application program interface instead of making manual updates in each profile on Google.
Reputation is the first Google Business Profile partner to make it easier for providers and locations to publish this everywhere their information appears across Google. Contact us to learn how we can help you get the most out of your Business Profile.
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