One of America's largest medical organizations, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), today announced its endorsement of Universal Credentialing DataSource. The service from the not-for-profit Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare (CAQH) streamlines the credentialing data submission process for physicians. AAFP is encouraging family physicians and their staff to adopt this innovative online service to ease the administrative burden.

The endorsement by AAFP, which represents more than 93,700 family physicians, family practice residents and medical students nationwide, acknowledges the value of Universal Credentialing DataSource in simplifying the credentialing process. Already, more than 85,000 physicians nationwide participate in the free service, which was developed by the nation's leading health plans. Medical office staff who manage credentialing for physicians report a significant reduction in time and paperwork using Universal Credentialing DataSource, as compared to traditional data submission procedures.

"For family physicians, filling out multiple credentialing forms can be a tremendous burden," said Michael O. Fleming, M.D., F.A.A.F.P., president of AAFP. "Universal Credentialing DataSource will help physicians and their staff save time, reduce paperwork and improve the way they work with health plans. We're pleased to lend our endorsement to this exciting advance in healthcare administration."

With Universal Credentialing DataSource, information is entered one time, online or by fax, to meet the credentialing and recredentialing requirements of all participating healthcare organizations. Simple updates help ensure that practice information is always accurate, and changes are automatically sent to health plans authorized by each physician.

Data collected through Universal Credentialing DataSource is maintained by CAQH in a secure, state-of-the-art data center, and is only made available to healthcare organizations that have been authorized by each physician. Each healthcare organization reviews and verifies credentialing data, and decides independently whether or not a physician meets its standards for participation.

"We are delighted by AAFP's endorsement of Universal Credentialing DataSource," said Robin J. Thomashauer, executive director of CAQH. "Achieving meaningful change requires the leadership of organizations like the Academy. It is a validation of what we set out to accomplish: developing a service by which health plans, working collaboratively, can reduce the administrative burdens faced by providers."

Universal Credentialing DataSource is available in 43 states and the District of Columbia. It will be available in nationwide by the end of 2004. To learn more about the service, visit

About CAQH
The Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare (CAQH) is a not-for-profit alliance of health plans and networks that promotes collaborative initiatives to help make healthcare more affordable, share knowledge to improve the quality of care, and make administration easier for physicians and their patients. CAQH member organizations provide and administer health care coverage for more than 100 million Americans.

Jason Adler

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