The Minnesota Way: Working together to improve health care
Credentialing helps ensure people who provide health care services are qualified to do so. Although critically important, the process is repetitive and often a hassle. For years, Minnesota has tried to keep the process as simple as possible. All health plans and hospitals used the Minnesota Uniform Credentialing Application for many years. The MCC takes the paper version and makes it electronic.
The MCC was created to addresses the concerns of providers. A survey of doctors revealed two clear messages:
1. the credentialing process was one of their top three administrative hassles
2. they wanted a centralized, secure, web-based solution for credentialing
Electronic credentialing joins other efforts to streamline the health care system including electronic billing, electronic health records and electronic prescribing.
The survey of doctors and desire by organizations to streamline inefficient processes lead to the creation of the MCC. The MCC provides a secure, centralized, web-based technology that allows a provider to collect, send and store credentialing data and supporting documents. These documents include licenses, attestations and privilege forms. The information is owned by the provider and moves with him/her.
The MCC launched in 2008 but work on the project started years before. People from throughout the health care credentialing community wanted to simplify the process. Employees from health plans, hospitals, clinics other providers and government were involved in the planning. The owners of the MCC are the Minnesota Council of Health Plans (MCHP), the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) and the Minnesota Medical Association (MMA), with endorsement from the MN Medical Group Management Association (MMGMA). The MCC board of directors is comprised of members from the founding organizations.
The MCC continues to grow. As of March 2012, more than 7,500 providers, 10 payers, 400-plus clinic groups and 20-plus hospitals are using the MCC. In all, more than 20,000 credentialing applications have been processed.