CareDash shuts down

handwritten recipes // photo by Samantha Hurley, used under licenseCareDash, the “ghost network” where therapist profiles drawn from the NPI database were being used to redirect consumers to online therapy platforms, has shuttered its website. It will dissolve its business, according to the American Psychological Association.

The site drew scrutiny and at least one FTC complaint last summer, as therapists learned that their information was being used to generate therapist profiles without the therapists’ knowledge or consent. CareDash had drawn therapist information from the NPI registry, a federal system therapists must apply to in order to bill for services. Worse, these profiles often contained outdated or inaccurate information. They would ultimately steer consumers away from the therapist in the profile, on to online platforms like BetterHelp instead.

BetterHelp discontinued its relationship with CareDash at the time. But the site remained active, drawing revenue from other sponsors. It made some changes to make clearer that its therapist profiles were drawn from the NPI registry.

But professional associations and others continued to press for the site to fully shut down. As of February 1, it is no longer operating. APA reports that its owner, NuFit Media Inc., has discontinued its business.

While this is certainly a victory for APA Services Inc. and others involved in acting against CareDash, similar ghost networks remain. APASI’s CEO reports that they are working with US Senators to address the problem on a larger scale.