HARRISBURG - The House Health Committee today approved legislation sponsored by Rep. Clint Owlett (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) that would improve the credentialing process in Pennsylvania for health care practitioners and address unwarranted delays by health insurers in credentialing applicants for inclusion in their networks.
“When talking with those in the health care field about what barriers they face when seeking employment, the amount of time in the credentialing process has been identified again and again,” said Owlett. “If we want to attract talented physicians to Pennsylvania and save our smaller rural hospitals money, then we need to make the transition of new physicians as smooth and as quick as possible. Right now some doctors are waiting up to six months to be credentialed.”
Hospitals, physician practices and community health centers across the state routinely face the situation where a newly hired health care professional who is fully licensed and qualified to provide care is not reimbursed by insurers for months while the insurers work their way through an unnecessarily long and cumbersome credentialing process. Not only does this cost these facilities money, but it also limits access to care by keeping fully licensed and qualified providers on the sidelines until they are credentialed by insurers.
Owlett’s bill, House Bill 533
, would require all health insurers in Pennsylvania to accept The Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare’s credentialing application or another nationally recognized credentialing application designated by the Insurance Department in order to streamline the process. Health insurers would then have 45 days to complete the credentialing process after receiving the credentialing application.
“This is all about improving the process in order to put skilled practitioners to work quicker,” said Owlett. “I am pleased members of the Health Committee recognize this as an area in the system that needs to be improved upon, and I look forward to a vote by the full House in the near future.”
Representative Clint Owlett
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tricia Lehman