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Credentialing: Is your medical colleague who he claims to be?

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About one in nine US doctors has a credentialing problem, ranging from an inactive or suspended license to loss of privileges or a state board sanction, according to a recent study from Medversant Technologies.

About one in nine US doctors has a credentialing problem, ranging from an inactive or suspended license to loss of privileges or a state board sanction, according to a recent study from Medversant Technologies, a provider of Web-based healthcare practitioner management applications. The study examined the credentials of nearly 9,600 physicians, nurses, and ancillary personnel practicing in 24 health plans, hospitals, and surgery centers that use Medversant to monitor the backgrounds of providers. The study included 7,318 MDs and DOs, a distressing 5.7 percent of whom were found to be practicing with an expired license.

So how do you protect yourself if you're in charge of checking credentials for your group members, or you want to be sure your referral sources are on the up and up? You can hire a company like Medversant, or MD Nationwide, which charges $19.95 per physician report. The AMA also provides credentialing information through its Physician Profile Service. Or, you can check with your hospital's credentialing department, your state licensing board, or both.

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