Industry Initiative Sets Sights on Streamlining Directories, Claims Processing

WASHINGTON, DC - 3/31/09

CAQH announced today that more than 700,000 physicians and allied healthcare professionals are now reducing duplicative paperwork and administrative costs by using its nationwide, online Universal Provider Datasource® (UPD) service to submit and maintain information required for credentialing and other provider data-driven processes.

Prior to the introduction of the centralized service in 2002, provider credentialing was a time-consuming, paper-based process. Physicians and allied healthcare professionals were required to complete and mail a paper application to each health plan they wanted to work with – resulting in approximately 10-15 applications per year. Additionally, they supplied information to hospitals for similar purposes.

“The sheer number of providers, health plans and growing number of states using UPD demonstrates that the service has succeeded in simplifying a costly industry process,” said Robin Thomashauer, CAQH executive director. “The more than 500 UPD-participating health plans and hospitals are now looking beyond credentialing and using UPD data to reduce administrative costs related to directories, claims processing, network management and more.”

By achieving this participation milestone, CAQH estimates that UPD is saving providers approximately $85 million annually or 2.9 million man-hours – the amount of time required to fill out and send credentialing applications. UPD has eliminated more than 2.2 million paper forms since the service started.

The service also has produced administrative savings for health plans and hospitals, which are able to more efficiently collect essential information from the largest, most robust source of self-reported provider data in the country.

Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont and the District of Columbia have adopted the CAQH form as their mandated or designated provider credentialing form. Additional states are considering similar actions.

The CAQH announcement comes at a time when making the healthcare system more efficient has become a key focal point for Congress and the new administration.

“UPD is a prime example of how the healthcare industry can come together to create a national solution to cut waste and simplify the administration of healthcare,” says William F. Jessee, M.D., FACMPE, president and CEO of the Medical Group Management Association. “Through this initiative, CAQH has positively transformed the way provider data collection is conducted in our industry.”

For a list of organizations participating in UPD, and to learn more about how UPD assists providers and healthcare organizations in saving time and cutting costs, visit

About CAQH
CAQH, a nonprofit alliance of health plans and trade associations, is a catalyst for healthcare industry collaboration on initiatives that simplify and streamline healthcare administration, resulting in a better care experience for patients and caregivers. 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. Visit for more information.

About MGMA
MGMA is the premier membership association for professional administrators and leaders of medical group practices. Since 1926, MGMA has delivered networking, professional education and resources, and political advocacy for medical practice management. Today, MGMA’s 21,500 members lead 13,500 organizations nationwide in which some 270,000 physicians provide as much as 40 percent of the health care services delivered in the United States.

MGMA’s mission is to continually improve the performance of medical group practice professionals and the organizations they represent. MGMA promotes the group practice model as the optimal framework for health care delivery, assisting group practices in providing efficient, safe, patient-focused and affordable care. MGMA is headquartered in Englewood, CO, and maintains a government affairs office in Washington, D.C. Please visit

Chris McNamara
(202) 778-3271

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