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The No Surprises Act (NSA) and Directory Validation process

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) has enhanced our current semi-annual provider demographic survey in accordance with the No Surprises Act (NSA) mandate. Providers are asked to continue to review their provider directory information and validate or submit changes as they occur using the Directory Validation process in Availity Essential. By ensuring information is accurate and  updated, you help patients in their search for healthcare.

This process is completed through the North Dakota Payer Spaces using the “Directory Validation” tile under applications, in Availity Essentials.

NSA mandate compliance

Providers should continue updating BCBSND of changes as they occur and respond to our semi-annual survey. To review your provider directory data, confirm its accuracy or request changes, please use our Availity Essentials provider portal. 

Instructions for completing the Directory Validation process

If you have not done so already, please register for Availity Essentials. For the best experience, set Google Chrome as your default browser. If an error occurs, clear the cache in your browser security settings.

Where to begin:

1. Log in to the Availity Essentials Provider portal.

2. Click “Payer Spaces,” “Blue Cross BlueShield of North Dakota (BCBSND),” “Applications,” and “Directory Validation.”

3. Select an organization and provider, then click “Submit”.

4. This screen shows providers you are authorized to validate. Click on the provider you wish to validate and the Directory Validation tool will launch in a new tab.

a. If the provider you selected is a medical practice, there will be more data for you to review. However, the steps below are applicable to all providers.

b. Availity Essentials times out after thirty minutes of inactivity. To prevent this, select the Availity Essentials tab and click in the margin once every thirty minutes. This will allow you to continue using the Directory Validation tool for as long as you need.

c. If the provider selected is a location that does not bill for rendering/performing practitioner services on a 1500 claim form, such as a hospital, lab, vendor, or supplier, validate any section that mentions “practitioner” even if it is blank. We hope to have this section removed by April.

How to review your provider directory data:

5. Review the information in each section. If the information displayed is accurate, click “Yes.” If you see data that needs updating, hold off on clicking “No” for now and continue to the next section.

a. If a line item has three dots to the left, you can click on them to view more details. Then to navigate back to the Directory Validation tool main page, click the “Back” button at the top of your screen.

b. Now it’s time to take a closer look at sections you thought had inaccurate information. After reviewing carefully, select “No” for each of these sections – note that updates to “Accepting Patients” will apply to all networks.

Submitting a Directory Maintenance form

6. If you selected “No” for any sections listed in the Directory Validation tool, you will be prompted to fill out a Directory Maintenance form.

a. Next, email the form to providerforms@bcbsnd.com and allow at least two business days for the update to be processed. Then log back in and follow these instructions once more as you may only validate your provider directory data if you can select “Yes” for every section.

Validating your information to complete the Directory Validation process:

7. If you select “Yes” for every section, click the “Validate” button at the top of your screen. You will be prompted to attest the accuracy of your provider directory data. After you respond to the prompt, a notification will appear briefly at the bottom of your screen to confirm successful validation.


  • Need help with Availity Essentials registration or login? Call their Client Services at 1-800-282-4548.
  • If you have questions about the Directory Validation process, contact Provider Credentialing at:
  • For additional support, contact your Provider Relations Partner at prov.partners@bcbsnd.com.

Highmark Health Solutions is an independent company providing Enterprise Health Solution platform services to Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota