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Full Practice Authority for NPs Continues to Grow

Full Practice Authority for NPs Continues to Grow

With two more states recently joining the list of locations that allow Full Practice Authority, many nurse practitioners are exploring the option of operating independently. As the need for qualified healthcare professionals continues to grow and the ability for NPs to practice independently continues to increase, quickly gaining credentials and navigating compliance challenges becomes more and more important.

Recently, Massachusetts and Delaware became the latest states to enact Full Practice Authority (FPA) for nurse practitioners (NPs), bringing the total number of states to 24. With this new inclusion, nearly half of U.S. states now allow nurse practitioners to operate on their own. Essentially, this means that registered nurses can practice independently from physicians, allowing for more autonomy in their careers and the care they provide.

So why this is significant? This means that registered nurses can practice independently from physicians, allowing for more autonomy in their careers and the care they provide. Nurses are no longer “tied” to physicians, so to speak.

These new laws cannot come at a better time. We know that the amount of practicing medical doctors has dwindled in recent years, due to the pandemic and many providers leaving the field. This has led to a short supply of physicians in the U.S., which has only 2.6 practicing physicians per 1,000 people, compared to 4.3 in Sweden and 3.2 in France. This decrease is driving unprecedented demand for nurse practitioners (NPs), with an expected increase of 52% through 2029.

Traditionally, state practice and licensure laws required NPs to have a career-long collaborating or supervising physician to provide patient care. However, with more and more states allowing Full Practice Authority, now nearly half of U.S. states now allow nurse practitioners to operate on their own. But in order for NPs to move forward with independent practice, credentialing is essential. How can nurse practitioners looking to establish their own practices quickly gain credentials and painlessly navigate the challenges of compliance?

Operating independently means nurses need to establish credentials as a standalone provider to be eligible for in-network status to receive physician-level reimbursements. These tasks, and complying with the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare’s (CAQH) requirements, can be taxing and time-consuming, even for the most seasoned professional. Creating a new CAQH application is highly manual, and the required quarterly updates for re-attestation can be onerous. Extensive credentials including education, residency, internships, and peer references are also required, which require time to gather information and resources. It’s not an exaggeration to say that many hours must be spent uploading copies of licensing information, board certifications, DEA registration, and insurance certificates.

NPs looking to leave their current situation may need help navigating credentialing challenges. Partnering with a third-party provider to help manage credentialing lightens the load and allows nurses to focus on patient care. TriZetto Provider Solutions (TPS) offers an end-to-end credentialing service that ensures continuous payer follow-up and insight into enrollment status.

Discover the most painless way to gain credentials. Visit our TPS partner page to get started.


ABOUT EZCLAIM:
As a medical billing expert, EZClaim can help the medical practice improve its revenues since it is a medical billing and scheduling software company. EZClaim provides a best-in-class product, with correspondingly exceptional service and support. Combined, EZClaim helps improve medical billing revenues. To learn more, visit EZClaim’s website, email them, or call them today at 877.650.0904.

 

Managing Complexities of Behavioral Health Credentialing

Managing Complexities of Behavioral Health Credentialing

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the need for mental health resources as illness, job losses, and isolation continues to create unprecedented stress levels. According to recent surveys conducted by the Larry A. Green Center, more than half of clinicians reported declining health among patients due to closed facilities and delayed care, and more than one-third noted that patients with chronic conditions were in noticeably worse health as a result. Even more striking, over 85 percent reported a decline in inpatient mental health with 31 percent seeing a rise in addiction.

With mental health access at the forefront of our minds, there is no doubt a demand for qualified professionals that can handle these complex patient needs. While the sense of urgency for these services exists, especially as more and more healthcare consumers are resuming in-person appointments, unfortunately, there are processes in place that can create unnecessary roadblocks for practitioners.

Complying with the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare’s (CAQH) behavioral health credentialing requirements are especially challenging. Unlike traditional medicine, treatments and therapies for conditions such as addiction are not as well understood by payers. This makes it more difficult to gain or maintain the credentials necessary to submit claims for therapy services.

Ninety percent of the time counselors and therapists apply for network status are denied! That’s a striking statistic, even for seasoned professionals, and everyone can agree that appealing denials and requesting payers review credentials in greater depth are a time consuming and expensive burden. On average, the time required for behavioral health credentialing of professionals is up to five times greater than for medical professionals because of nuances specific to the industry. The turnaround for completed enrollments is slower too, on average 180 days versus 120 days. In addition, some payers will only allow certain therapies for providers without advanced degrees. Because denials for behavioral health are common, therapists must understand which therapies a network will accept and focus on therapy-specific credentialing. In the current environment, practitioners should also ensure that Telehealth or virtual appointments will be covered for the safety of all.

 

So how can mental health providers stay ahead of enrollments and avoid credentialing-related denials? Outside assistance from experts like those at TriZetto Provider Solutions offers an end-to-end credentialing service that ensures continuous payer follow up and insight into enrollment status. Our credentialing professionals are devoted to helping providers gain and maintain their credentials. We understand the nuances associated with behavioral health credentialing and have direct relationships with all major payers. TPS allows you to do what you do best – manage patient care – by alleviating the burden of credentialing and making sure you never miss quarterly re-attestation deadlines.

If your mental health services are being denied, we are here to help. Learn how solutions from TriZetto Provider Solutions can help your practice simplify credentialing.

 

TriZetto Provider Solutions is a partner of EZClaim and can assist you with all your coding needs. For more details about EZClaim’s medical billing software, visit their website, e-mail their support team, or call them at 877.650.0904.

[ Contribution: The TriZetto Provider Solutions editorial team ]