CAQH DATA-COLLECTION INITIATIVE ACHIEVING VISION, NOW SIMPLIFYING CREDENTIALING PROCESS FOR OVER 300,000 PROVIDERS

Service Has Eliminated More Than 1 Million Paper Applications to Date

WASHINGTON, DC - 3/13/06

CAQH announced today that more than 300,000 providers are now reducing paperwork and administrative costs through its Universal Credentialing DataSource® (UCD) service.

Based on figures from a September 2004 Medical Group Management Association cost analysis, UCD is eliminating nearly million per year or more than 1.3 million hours (the equivalent of 656 full-time employees) of provider and support staff time required to complete and send the application forms. CAQH estimates UCD has eliminated more than 1 million legacy credentialing applications to date.

Launched in 2002, UCD allows registered physicians and other health professionals in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to enter their credentialing information free of charge into a single, uniform online application that meets the credentialing needs of most health plans, hospitals and other healthcare organizations. The provider data-collection service streamlines the initial application and re-credentialing processes, reduces provider administrative burdens and costs, and offers health organizations real-time access to reliable provider information for quality assurance and support services, such as directories and claims processing.

“Topping the 300,000 mark is a testament to the effectiveness of our service and the value it extends to healthcare providers across the United States,” said Robin J. Thomashauer, CAQH executive director. “The Universal Credentialing DataSource enables providers to spend more time on their most important function – treating patients.”

More than 250 health plans currently participate in UCD; approximately 10,000 new providers register in the service each month.

All data submitted by providers through UCD is maintained by CAQH in a secure, state-of-the-art data center. Providers authorize health plans and other organizations access to the information. Periodic provider updates help ensure that the information is always current; provider changes are automatically sent to participating healthcare organizations.

UCD is supported by the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Physicians, America’s Health Insurance Plans, the Medical Group Management Association, the National Association of Medical Staff Services and other provider organizations, and recognized by a number of state legislators and insurance commissioners. The newest version of the UCD application meets all related URAC, National Committee for Quality Assurance and Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations standards.

CAQH (www.caqh.org) is a nonprofit alliance of the nation’s leading health plans and networks working to simplify healthcare administration. CAQH solutions help promote quality interactions between plans, providers and other stakeholders, reduce costs and frustrations associated with healthcare administration, facilitate administrative healthcare information exchange and encourage administrative and clinical data integration.

CONTACT:
Chris McNamara
(202) 778-3271