It’s quite common that a new physician joins your healthcare facility either from another practice or out of residency. It’s the time when you have to deal with many managed-care organizations or MCOs, so your new physician needs to be credentialed.
This process requires a lot of time and effort. First, you have to collect all documents from the provider – from valid state license to hospital privileges to confirmation of malpractice insurance. Then you have to wait at least 30 days (but it usually takes longer) for the MCOs to check and verify documentation before the new physician can be added to the panels. During this time, the physician is not allowed to treat your care patients. At least, the physician will not be reimbursed for treating, which dramatically limits the ability of the physician to create revenue for your facility. At this point, many start asking why this process takes so long. Is there any way to reduce delays? Below you can find some tips to help you and your facility.
Why is this process so long?
There are many reasons for delays, but the main ones are MCO’s desire to match the NCQA (National Committee for Quality Assurance) standards and inefficient planning on the part of practices and physicians.
One of the NCQA standards that are called the Initial Primary Source Verification stipulates that the MCO should verify several documents, like records of professional liability settlements, prior to assigning credentials. When the MCO really wants to meet this standard, they make withhold credentials from a new physician until the very last detail is verified.
Poor planning is also a popular reason for delays. Quite often, new physicians don’t start credentialing process until they arrive at practice, even though they’ve started filling the applications months earlier. And there can be a huge delay since collecting references can take months and then weeks until they arrive. Until all information arrives at the MCO, an application cannot be considered complete – and while it’s not complete, the credentialing process is stalled.
For that reason, many healthcare facilities require submitting application at least 90 days before the physician’s start date. The processing time can take less than 90 days, but it’s a benchmark since it allows extra time when some documents can’t be verified in timely manner or discrepancies is required.
You should just keep in mind that credentialing process will take as long as needed to collect all information, receive board recommendation and verify all sources. It’s hard to estimate the minimum or maximum frame for the credentialing or privileging process, which both may take longer than three months. Medical staff bylaws, which define privileging and credentialing processes, specify that applications must be acted upon a certain period of time. Some credentialing applications may be finished faster than others, and it always takes longer if the primary source can’t be verified, if a physician omitted information or made mistakes on the application, or if there are red flags that require careful investigation.
Premier Credentialing Solutions, LLC has the best credentialing and licensing solutions for you and your business; We proudly offer Provider Enrollment & Physician Credentialing, Medicare – Provider Enrollment & Revalidation, Medical Licensure Services, and Full-Service Credentialing For Billers / Billing Companies. Call (800) 455-4773 for a free, no-obligation consultation.
© Premier Credentialing Solutions, LLC. An Illinois-Registered LLC. 2016. All Rights Reserved.