As a board member, you probably understand the commitment your healthcare facility has to the local community to ensure highest quality care is delivered at your hospital. But do you know the impact of this commitment at every meeting when you grant privileges or give credentials? Physician credentialing is the crucial task you have to undertake to ensure your patients receive safe and quality health care.
Simply put, the main aim of credentialing is to ensure only professional doctors are allowed to be among the medical staff, and that they deliver procedures within their competence and experience. The credentialing process involves establishing realistic requirements and evaluating physician’s qualifications for obtaining a certain status. The first step of credentialing includes considering and agreeing on professional experience, training, and other requirements that physicians have to meet in order to get credentials. The second step includes obtaining and verifying information about the skills and qualifications of every physician. In other words, credentialing process is needed to prove that each physician:
• provides honest and complete information
• has all licenses
• has malpractice insurance
• meets the standards established in a particular hospital
In the past, credentialing required applicants to present only several papers, such as their certificate or diploma. Nowadays, however, it’s much more complicated and requires verification of primary sources – schools, licensing agencies, residency programs, etc. – to guarantee that physicians’ training, education, licensure and other papers are legitimate. Primary source verification is important in both meeting standards of accreditors and avoiding possible legal problems.
One of the key aspects of the credentialing process is granting privileges to an applicant. Granting privileges is a three-step process, which are:
• determination of treatment and diagnostic procedures that a hospital is staffed and equipped to perform
• setting the minimum experience and training needed for a physician to carry out the procedures
• evaluation of whether or not a physician meets the requirements and allowance of performing requested procedures and treatments
Delineation of privileges refers to a process that determines what treatments and procedures can be performed at the hospital. As new technologies are implemented, privileging physicians become more difficult and challenging for hospitals. Delineation of privileges should be flexible, so that hospitals can add new conditions to treat and new procedures, but it also should be consistent, fair, and firm.
To start the credentialing process, the board should specify criteria that will be used to make decisions at each step. The board should also make sure that the process is fair, consistent, functions properly, and thorough.
Then the board should decide which physicians will be allowed to enter the medical staff or remain there, and which conditions they may treat. In the past, boards’ role in the credentialing process was insignificant, but today they are directly involved in the process.
Verifying information provided by a physician protects patients and reveals any details that could stay hidden otherwise.
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.
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