Barlow/McCarthy Blog

Making Credentialing a Pleasant Experience

May 23, 2017

By: Allison McCarthy, MBA | amccarthy@barlowmccarthy.com

As clients share concerns about their onboarding process, credentialing tops the frustration list – with anxiety over start date delays and bad impressions demonstrated to the new recruit.

Credentialing involves a myriad of procedures to grant provider privileges to practice at the hospital/facility and to participate in health plans.  Numerous steps must be completed in specific order, accompanied by the right documentation, for the provider to move from one stage to the next.

Credentialing is often in the hands of small team, within a medical staff or credentialing office, with piles of documents to process and deadlines to fulfill. And, these individuals are not typically perceived as the epicenter of gold-standard customer service. Add to this most providers’ lack of knowledge about how to be credentialed. It’s a snafu just waiting to happen.

So, I want to applaud those organizations that are striving to make credentialing a more pleasant experience.  Here are a few examples.

A client group practice created a flow chart of the credentialing process (see below) – and reviews it with candidates during their onsite interview. They talk through the steps and timeline required to go from licensure through payer participation – advising candidates on their part in this effort.

HCA MidWest outlines the credentialing process under the Careers section of their web site: http://mymidwestphysician.com/professionals/credentialing.dot – which also includes a link to the application portal to start the process. This electronic orientation saves them at least a few days by eliminating paper being mailed between the credentialing office and the provider. The provider application can also be monitored real-time to keep the process moving.

One of my favorites is a fun video created by the team at Novant. Rather than have the providers read through a cover letter set of instructions, both visual and auditory senses are used to orient them to the step-by-step credentialing process. Plus, the provider gets to “feel” what it will be like to work at Novant in this very first post-recruitment step. https://vimeo.com/novanthealth/review/185648744/e1f38e108b

Credentialing doesn’t have to be a negative experience. With some energy and creativity, there is much more than can be done to make it a positive encounter. Let’s begin to consider a new approach.

Client Credentialing Flow Chart:

Physician-timeline