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URAC Announces New Certification Program for International Credentialing Support Vendors
Date:12/19/2007

First URAC program targeted to health care outsourcing organizations

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today URAC announced a new certification program designed to ensure the quality of international vendors that provide credentialing services for U.S. health care companies. URAC's international Credentialing Support Certification is the organization's first quality designation designed specifically for the growing international market.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20030501/URACLOGO )

Credentialing is the process health plans, health care networks and other health care provider organizations use to authenticate the education, training and board certification of physicians before they are added to any physician network. Because the process is labor-intensive and timely, a growing number of U.S. companies are outsourcing credentialing needs to international operations that contract for the services.

"URAC's recent focus on the international market is stimulated by the globalization of health care as it affects U.S. companies and consumers," said Alan P. Spielman, URAC's president and CEO. "URAC's Credentialing Support Certification responds to the realities of today's business environment"

To receive the international Credentialing Support Certification, vendors must earn URAC's Core Accreditation as well as a Certificate of Compliance for select credentialing standards in the following categories:
-- Credentialing application;

-- Credentialing confidentiality;

-- Review of credentialing information;

-- Credentialing communication mechanisms;

-- Primary source verification;

-- Consumer safety credentialing investigation;

-- Credentialing timeframe; and

-- Participating providers credentials monitoring.

Vendors based in other countries must also maintain compliance with HIPAA Privacy and Security and transaction rules, and provide certain legal and financial assurances.

"URAC international Credentialing Support Certification demonstrates to U.S. health care management companies and industry stakeholders a commitment to quality," Spielman said. "U.S. companies who choose to outsource credentialing services to companies that have earned this certification can be confident that they share the same commitment to providing quality products and services. This will bring greater clarity and differentiate URAC-certified international companies as organizations able to perform these essential key functions."

A domestic version of the new certification program will also be available for U.S.-based credentialing support vendors.

For more information about URAC's International or U.S.-based Credentialing Support Certification, go to http://www.urac.org or call (202) 216-9010.

About URAC

URAC, an independent, nonprofit organization, is well-known as a leader in promoting health care quality through its accreditation and certification programs. URAC offers a wide range of quality benchmarking programs and services that keep pace with the rapid changes in the health care system, and provide a symbol of excellence for organizations to validate their commitment to quality and accountability. Through its broad-based governance structure and an inclusive standards development process, URAC ensures that all stakeholders are represented in establishing meaningful quality measures for the entire health care industry. For more information, visit http://www.urac.org.


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