The University of Iowa Clinical Staff Office (CSO) is comprised of 8 full-time staff members who work as a team to ensure that all of UI Health Care’s privileged practitioners are appropriately credentialed to provide the care needed by our patients. Those CSO staff members, along with a dedicated data base manager, collectively possess 120 years of health care credentialing experience and hold expertise that is valued and frequently called upon by other units across UI Health Care, by the National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA), and by other principals of in- and out-of-state credentialing verification organizations.
The Department’s Primary Function
Among other items, CSO staff members collect and update critical information on each practitioner related to:
• background checks
• board certification
• prior privileges
• work experience
• the presence or absence of issues cited in the National Practitioner Data Bank
• health status
All activities are performed in accordance with scope of practice standards set by each provider’s clinical department and in compliance with UI Health Care Bylaws. The CSO supports the review process performed by the University Hospital Advisory Committee, its Credentials Subcommittee, and various sub-panels, works to process information required by payors to facilitate billing, plays a key role in every provider-focused audit at UI Health Care and steps in as needed to support a variety of significant and ad hoc endeavors to support UI Health Care’s missions. All information is held in confidence and stored in the CSO’s data base governed by strict security policies. Additionally, clients external to UI Health Care are served by the CSO.
In the most recent full academic year, the CSO processed for UI Health Care:
• 258 initial provider applications to practice at UIHC
• 120 applications to modify privileges
• 762 reaffirmations of privileges (an every-two-year review)
Current Goals and Focus
A major goal at the 1996 inception of the CSO was to standardize the credentials verification process for providers and to eliminate duplicative efforts across clinical departments in the privileging process. Beginning with the creation of the Iowa Statewide Universal Provider Application (now adopted across Iowa), the work of the CSO has grown in scope and complexity over the past 20 years, expanding to meet the needs of UI Hospitals and Clinics and the CCOM across various regulatory and patient-care fronts. Continuing is the core and still critical activity of verifying the credentials of each provider with the primary source (e.g., the educational, training, employing or licensing entity), based on criteria established by the NCQA, the Joint Commission , and many other entities whose guidelines and standards must be met. As the only NCQA-certified credentialing verification organization in the State of Iowa, the CSO has successfully maintained perfect accreditation on all elements audited by the NCQA. The ultimate aim of the CSO’s work is the careful review, timely positioning and ongoing retention of high quality practitioners who perform state-of-the art patient care for Iowans and beyond.
*alphabetical by last name