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Release: Aug. 23, 2002

UI Clinical Staff Office re-certified to check physicians' credentials

Have you heard horror stories about impostors who pose as health care practitioners? Such reports raise a serious question: How can you be sure that the person who is treating you and your loved ones is a qualified, medical professional?

The University of Iowa Clinical Staff Office (UI CSO) provides a valuable service – and some peace of mind – by checking the credentials of medical professionals and confirming they are qualified to seek and/or maintain privileges or participate with managed care plans. The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) recently surveyed UI CSO. As a result, UI CSO is now re-certified by NCQA to perform 11 out of 11 verification services.

This designation means that the UI CSO is compliant with NCQA standards that verify a medical professional's credentials and determine if that person has successfully fulfilled the licensure, certification, education and training requirements for his or her position.

"For example, the CSO staff verify a practitioner's license to practice, hospital privileges, malpractice insurance coverage and board certification status," said Peggy Wilkinson, administrator of the UI CSO. "Staff also determine if a practitioner has ever received licensure or Medicare/Medicaid sanctions, has any malpractice claim history or felony convictions, and has proper registration with required governmental agencies for writing prescriptions. Our staff also conducts ongoing monitoring for any Medicare, Medicaid or license sanctions that should arise."

NCQA is an independent, nonprofit organization that certifies credentials verification organizations and accredits managed care organizations.

"The process that is required to become a NCQA-compliant Credentialing Verification Organization, or CVO, is very rigorous," said Cynthia Geyer, clinical affairs coordinator, who provides legal and policy advice to UI CSO. "It is a true honor to receive NCQA certification for the credentialing elements, and a tribute to the skill and dedication of the hard-working staff in the University of Iowa Clinical Staff Office."

Geyer also credits Michael G. Kienzle, M.D., chief technology officer for UI Hospitals and Clinics and associate dean for clinical affairs in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, for the excellent support and guidance he provided in the development of the office.

UI CSO provides credentialing verification services for the UI's academic medical center, acute care area hospitals, managed care organizations (MCOs) and physician hospital organizations (PHOs).

"The staff thoroughly verifies the health care professional's credentials and is in a position to assist the practitioner and any facilities, groups or health care plans he/she is part of, providing evidence of verified credentials to avoid needless duplicative efforts," Wilkinson said. "We are pleased to be able to offer our credentialing verification services to other health care organizations, and to be working closely with licensing and regulatory agencies to ensure that people are being treated by qualified professionals."

UI CSO underwent an on-site re-survey in April 2002, resulting in this NCQA re-certification, which is current and in good standing until June 17, 2004. For more information about the UI CSO credentialing verification services, call (319)-335-4311.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at