CAQH-HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION PACT ENABLES VERMONT HOSPITALS TO FURTHER SIMPLIFY PROVIDER CREDENTIALING

VAHHS Approach Serves as Model for Other States

WASHINGTON, DC - 7/1/08

CAQH, a nonprofit alliance of health plans and trade associations, and the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (VAHHS) announced today a first-in-the-nation agreement that offers member hospitals a lower price to participate in the Universal Credentialing Datasource® (UCD) online service.

Vermont hospitals began using the CAQH standard provider application – the centerpiece of the UCD service – in January 2007 after the state adopted it as the sole form for collecting provider credentialing information. All Vermont hospitals are now achieving even further efficiencies by collecting the same information electronically, most as a result of the agreement.

“Our association strives to find cost-effective solutions for our members,” said Jill Olson, VAHHS vice president of policy and operations. “We worked closely with CAQH to develop this agreement and we’re very pleased with the result.”

CAQH launched the UCD service in 2002 to enable providers and other health professionals in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to submit required information for credentialing and other purposes. Free to providers, the online service meets the data-collection needs of most hospitals, health plans, and other healthcare organizations. UCD simplifies the initial provider credentialing application and re-credentialing processes. All data submitted by providers through the UCD service is maintained by CAQH in a state-of-the-art data center.

“UCD is the most efficient and secure way for hospitals to collect provider information,” said Sorin Davis, CAQH Director of Marketing and Business Development. “The VAHHS agreement can serve as a model for hospital associations across the United States.”

The Vermont hospitals join more than 400 health plans, hospitals and managed care organizations in using the CAQH online service nationwide. Over 600,000 providers, including 3,100 in the state, submit their data through UCD.

CAQH estimates that UCD has eliminated more than 2.3 million legacy credentialing applications to date, reducing provider administrative costs by over $90 million per year.

About VAHHS
VAHHS is a member-owned organization whose vision is a financially sustainable, high quality, health care system accessible and affordable for all Vermonters. Its activities include advocacy, policy development, education and research. The association works in partnership with dozens of Vermont health care organizations on a wide variety of issues and provides educational and research services for members and non-members alike.
For more information about VAHHS, visit www.vahhs.org.

About CAQH
CAQH serves as a catalyst for healthcare industry collaboration on initiatives that simplify and streamline 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. To learn more about UCD and CAQH, visit www.caqh.org.

CONTACTS:
CAQH
Chris McNamara
(202) 778-3271

VAHHS
Megan Castonguay
(802) 223-3461 x107

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