Last week, HB 2322 passed unanimously in the House of Representatives 56-0 and now the Arizona Senate takes up the measure designed to speed up the physician credentialing and loading process to 100 days.
To ensure House passage of the measure, The Arizona Medical Association (ArMA) lobbyist Steve Barclay negotiated with local health insurers to modify timelines and reduce penalties for non-compliance. In return the bill retained core language including that if passed it becomes effective December 31, 2018, and includes firm time limits for credentialing and loading as well as disclosure and notification standards. The bill’s sponsor is Rep. Heather Carter.
ArMA’s VP of Policy and Political Affairs Pele Fischer explained the process,
We moved very quickly (in less than a day) to get this compromise prepared as a substitute floor amendment, which was adopted in Committee of the Whole (COW) without a hitch. We are grateful to all the stakeholders in this legislation who stayed fully engaged and were willing to work productively with us to address these needed physician credentialing reforms.
Physician credentialing delays are common in Arizona – some wait eight months or more and 40 percent take 90 days or longer to complete. “These delays are not only costly to physicians, hospitals and the state – they are also prohibative to efficient, effective patient care,” argues Arizona Healthcare and Hospital Association.
Upon the bills passage in the House ArMA Executive VP Libby McDannell said,
Arizonans’ access to care is compromised when it takes an excessive amount of time to credential physicians. This legislation ensures doctors are putting patients, not paperwork, first.
AzHHA President and CEO Greg Vigdor also commented,
The legislation passed today is the product of a months-long collaborative effort between AzHHA, the Arizona Medical Association, the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association, the Health System Alliance of Arizona and the majority of Arizona’s health insurers. I look forward to our continued partnership as this important bill makes its way through the legislature and one step closer to the Governor’s desk.
The Hertel Report member and physician practice advocate Cindy Leonard was instrumental in creating a grassroots campaign over the past 2 years to get the attention of local government officials to this lingering problem.
Read more from AzHHA on the legislative effort