WASHINGTON, April 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The CAQH® Universal Provider Datasource® (UPD®) has registered its 900,000th provider firmly establishing it as the go-to resource for complete and reliable self-reported data from physicians and other healthcare professionals. Three out of five licensed and practicing physicians in the country have signed up with the service. About 7,000 additional providers are registering each month. CAQH estimates that UPD reduces provider administrative costs by $105 million a year.
"At a time when the electronic exchange of health information has created new and expanded requirements for verifying provider data, UPD is a key resource for accurate data to populate provider directories for regional, state, and federal health information exchanges," said CAQH Executive Director Robin Thomashauer.
As adoption of electronic health records and health information exchanges intensifies, it is important to eliminate administrative redundancy and simplify data sharing. Broader use of UPD supports those goals, particularly in relation to development of provider directories, a focal point of an HIT Policy Committee workgroup within the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. Last fall Sorin Davis, managing director of UPD, provided testimony to the Committee's Information Exchange Workgroup, Provider Directory Task Force. Based on CAQH experience, Davis emphasized that technical requirements for provider directories should:
- Integrate data from sources that directly engage providers in the collection process.
- Enable direct communication with providers regarding data maintenance.
- Offer providers access that is free, simple and secure.
- Assure that data sources function with full transparency and permit provider access and control of their information.
"While the role of provider directories in facilitating health information exchange is still under discussion, the CAQH experience offers policy-makers valuable insight on the importance of addressing physicians' core concerns: trust, reliability, privacy, and the use of information regarding their identity and professional profile," said Steven Waldren, MD, director of the Center for Health Information Technology at the American Academy of Family Physicians.
UPD eliminates the need for providers to fill out multiple forms with various healthcare organizations whenever information is needed for credentialing and other purposes, saving time and administrative costs for both the provider and the authorized database user.
UPD boasts 93.9% accuracy, according to a recent independent study. The data source is created through direct input from providers, who are automatically reminded to update and re-attest to their information every 120 days. An add-on feature, SanctionsTrack™, delivers timely information from 480 different state licensing boards, Medicare and Medicaid sources, and other relevant sources on physicians and other healthcare professionals whose licenses were revoked or had restrictions put on their practice.
Used by more than 600 authorized healthcare delivery organizations to check information on individual providers, UPD is a single, uniform electronic utility that streamlines and improves the ability of physicians and other healthcare professionals in all 50 states to easily and securely submit, and control access to - at no charge - their online information for credentialing, claims administration, quality assurance and other purposes. UPD is endorsed by leading national provider and health plan associations, meets data collection requirements of healthcare quality accreditation agencies and has been adopted as a standard form for provider credentialing in 12 states and the District of Columbia. Additional details are available at http://caqh.org/ucd.php.
CAQH, a nonprofit alliance of health plans and associations, is a catalyst for simplifying and streamlining healthcare administration. CAQH solutions, including UPD and CORE, reduce costs and frustrations associated with healthcare administration, facilitate healthcare information exchange, and encourage administrative and clinical data integration. Visit http://www.caqh.org for more information.