hospital credentialing process

Everything You Need to Know About Hospital Provider Credentialing Process


It makes no difference weather you work for a hospital group or for any private practice. An essential part of hospital credentialing is guaranteeing the patient’s health and safety. To understand the credentialing going accurately legit and status. You must analyze the provider’s qualifications, training, experience, licensure, and practice background. Start learning about the hospital credentialing process for physicians.

Understanding Hospital Credentialing Process

In 1951, the Joint Commission formalized quality standards for the hospital credentialing process for physicians. Since it was created, the commission has required hospitals to form credentialing boards that oversee physician competence.

Each medical clinic or hospital can follow this method for gathering information from various sources and verifying it.

However, the requirement for documents is almost the same each time. In the credentialing process, there is no difference between a new doctor or someone who has moved from another group or hospital. 

The staff initiates requesting and verifying the documentation using primary sources. Once it is completed credentialing team will initiate the process of application submission to insurance.

This Documentation Includes

State license.

Board qualification.

certification status.

Driver’s license.

Social Security card.

Surgical logs.

Documents of hospital privileges.

3 letters of recommendation.

Updated curriculum vitae.

ACLS/BLS certification.

DEA certificate.

Mammo #s and MQSA (if applicable).

Current CME (CME activity for the past three years).

Residency diploma.

Military discharge record -Form DD-214 (if applicable).

Current immunization records and most recent TB test results (if available).

Copy of NBME, FLEX, USMLE, or SPEX scores.

Copy of BLS, ACLS, ATLS, PALS, APLS, and NRP certificate(s).

For foreign graduates, ECFMG certificate number.

Immunization records.

School diploma.

Professional reference(s).

Residency diploma. 

Hospitals might maintain high standards and reduce risks by authenticating the credentials and capability of healthcare providers.

After completing the application review, the hospital governing board will consider the application for approval. Sometimes applicants may be requested to undergo an additional, comprehensive evaluation before receiving their final decision.

Why is Credentialing Important?

Before discussing the steps, let’s answer why credentialing is essential in healthcare. Credentialing contributes to quality assurance in healthcare. By evaluating the qualifications and track records of healthcare providers, hospitals can maintain high standards of care. This process helps identify practitioners who have demonstrated excellence in their field, promoting a culture of quality and enhancing patient outcomes.

Although hospital credentialing is crucial for regulatory compliance, healthcare organizations must adhere to various regulatory requirements and accreditation standards.

 By verifying the credentials of medical staff members, hospitals ensure compliance with these rules & regulations, protecting both patients and the organization itself from legal and financial consequences. Read for more information.

Most hospitals and healthcare practices must ensure their providers have the proper credentials to process insurance claims. Ensuring patients receive quality care from providers who have fulfilled state licensure and certification requirements.

Application Submission

Each healthcare organization has its application. The hospital credentialing process begins with healthcare physicians submitting an application to the hospital or healthcare organization.

The application typically includes all essential information, personal and educational background, training history, work experience, licensure details, certifications, and references. In some exceptional cases, applications range from 10 to 100+ pages.

Primary Source Verification

 Once the application is received, hospitals credentialing department initiates primary verification. This entails personally confirming its ligit source that the information provided in the application is accuracy. 

Verification of primary sources may involve looking into credentials such as diplomas, training courses, licences, certificates, work experience, and malpractice records.

Credentials Committee Review

The third and important phase in hospital credentialing process for physicians is committee review the application, composed of healthcare professionals and administrators, reviews the application and necessary documents. 

They assess the applicant’s malpractice carriers, work history, education, and peer references based on predefined criteria and standards. The committee may also conduct interviews


Peer Review In addition to the credentials committee review, hospitals often conduct this reviews as part of the hospital credentialing process. Peers, such as other physicians or healthcare providers within the hospital, evaluate the applicant’s clinical skills, professionalism, and ability to work.

Decision - Making and Approval

Based on the findings from the credentials committee and peer review, a decision is made regarding the applicant’s eligibility for medical staff membership and privileges. If approved, the hospital grants specific privileges based on the healthcare professional’s qualifications and expertise.

Generally, heads of department and hospital boards meet to finalize the application and documents and make decision for physician’s appointment. 

In another scenario some facilities require approval from medical staff services office’s only. Depends on the meetings, how long this process will take time.

Monitoring and Reappointment

Credentialing is not a one-time process, it requires ongoing monitoring to ensure that it meet the specific standards. Hospitals have credentialing processes that typically take place every two years or as per regulatory requirements. This includes reviewing the practitioner’s performance, continuing education, licensure status, and any changes in their practice.

hospital credentialing process

Phases For Hospital Provider Credentialing

The three primary stages of healthcare provider credentialing:

1. Information Gathering

A healthcare facility  may  asks the provider for information about education, practice background, licenses, etc. Provider response through email or software  about asked information.

The healthcare facility or insurance plans works with a third party named as credentials verification organization.

2. Check The Information

The facility or insurance company will conduct an examination to confirm the provider’s information, they will speak with licencing bodies, medical institutions, and other organizations directly.

In other condition, with the help of credentialing software to check information that licensing agencies make available online.

Many healthcare organizations use work management platforms to help them generate and maintain record provider information, which get automatic updates when any credentialing application get expired or re-checked if required.


It includes monitoring about medical incidents, practice claims, or other information that could raise questions about provider credential or re-credential.

3. Award The Provider With Credentials

When an organization verifies credentials and found no issues, the healthcare facility mark credentials status enable for provider. When insurance company completes process, then it can decide to approve the provider. 

That is, the insurance company only pay for those providers only for treating patients, who already insuranced with them.

Read More: Physician’s Billing Services: Some Advantages And Disadvantages  2023


The hospital credentialing process is a mechanism that safeguards patient safety and ensures quality care to the healthcare practice and providers. Through conscientious verification & evaluation, then hospitals can ensure that healthcare provider meet the required standards of competence. 

Through the implementation of a thorough hospital credentialing process, healthcare institutions foster an environment that instills trust and confidence in patients regarding the proficiency and qualifications of their healthcare providers.

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