Credentialing is a system that establishes contacts between health plans and providers. However, it’s riddled with redundancy, and many organizations collect identical information. An average physician spends at least 3 hours every year to submit 18 credentialing forms, and staff spends over 20 hours reviewing them. If you’re not going to work in cash-only medical practice, you will have to go through a credentialing process. However, you can handle your part more efficiently. Follow the steps below not to get mired in this process.
Start well in advance
The credential process is not among quick ones. When a new physician is joining the team, you should plan everything months in advance. The same applies if you’re a newly recruit associate. The problem can appear when many organizations start asking for the same documents needed for the credentialing process. With that in mind, don’t be surprised that it takes weeks to process all paperwork, so if you overlook any request for information, it may cause financial problems, since you can’t bill for your services. So, it’s important to tie the start date of a new physician to the successful signing of all key documents. Even if you don’t want to bother yourself with this and outsource credentialing to somebody else, this person should be able to travel to the physician’s home to get a copy of another document, or escorting a physician to the bank and have all documents notarized, if that’s required.
A sustainable process is a key to success
It’s understandable that the initial submission of all documents leaves people exhausted, but you still have to make sure everything goes smoothly and you know where all your documents are. Re-credentialing is always somewhere around the corner. There are two main options for handling the workflow, and they depend on the amount of money, time and staff you have (or don’t have). You can create a spreadsheet of hospitals, payers and third parties and record there all submissions and deadlines. You can assign an employee to keep all forms signed and updated. Another option is to lease (or purchase) a credentialing software or outsource the entire process to one of the vendors that specialize in this field. Whatever you choose, you should always monitor the process.
Learn about the most important success factors
There are special credential databases, such as CAQH Universal Provider Data source, that won’t let you leave any field in the form blank. Remember that with a small detail missing in the form may be rejected. One decision can take several months, so take time to complete every element, and attach all necessary documentation. And don’t even try to estimate start and end dates or other data from memory.
Decide what steps you can take in the interim
Some people believe that it’s fine to bill under other identification while waiting for the decision of the credentialing process. In fact, this can lead you to serious legal problems if an adverse event happens – the name of the rendering physician won’t be the same as the name listens on the medical claims. Besides, some health plans strictly prohibit this protocol of billing under another physician. One of the most common ideas physicians have is to use a -Q6 modifier and bill a physician as a locum tenens. But the best thing you can do here is to learn what is required for credentialing and follow all instructions precisely.
A helpful indicator of a properly running credential process is the record of denials and adjustments that are taken during the billing process. Keep track of the claims denied and the accounts written off, because of incomplete credentialing.
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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