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CMS’ TeleMed Rule Eases Physician Credentialing

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, May 6, 2011

Moore said the current system of individual credentialing has meant that rural hospitals must duplicate the credentialing checks already performed by the larger hospitals. The process begins by checking with the national practitioner data bank at the Department of Health and Human Services. If everything checks out, the final credentialing approval is granted by the hospital governing board. The process can take 30 to 45 days because many rural hospital boards often meet only once a month. It also must be repeated annually for each physician to update information about malpractice insurance.

Under the new rule the entire process will be the responsibility of the larger hospital. Additional costs will be negligible because the distant hospital is already credentialing all of its physicians.

The new rule, published on Thursday in the Federal Register, will take effect July 2.

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Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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