PRESS RELEASE

NAMSS RELEASES REVISED IDEAL CREDENTIALING STANDARDS FOR INITIAL PRACTITIONER APPLICANTS

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (January 9, 2024) – The National Association Medical Staff Services (NAMSS) is pleased to release a revision of its Ideal Credentialing Standards (ICS) to ensure best practices for practitioner credentialing align with evolving healthcare landscapes and service-delivery models. The 2024 ICS provides healthcare organizations additional clarity and guidance on primary-source verification processes, as well as credentialing for telehealth and locum tenens practitioners.

The 2024 ICS revision includes 13 essential data elements to help organizations standardize and streamline best-practice processes for initial-practitioner credentialing. The 2024 ICS includes language approved by the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes Foundation for inquiring about practitioner health status. The revision also provides guidance for initial-practitioner credentialing as it relates to the traditional medical staff, as well as telehealth and locum tenens practitioners.

“Since its launch in 2014, the ICS has helped organizations achieve the gold standard for practitioner credentialing protocols,” said Lisa Goodwin, MBA, CPCS, CPMSM, NAMSS President. “The 2024 ICS places greater considerations for a practitioner’s health status with updated language to help organizations navigate health-status questions.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Impact Wellbeing™ campaign, workplace policies are critical to promoting wellbeing and preventing burnout. The revised ICS seeks to promote these policies and safeguard the wellbeing of practitioners.

“The AMA deeply appreciates and commends NAMSS for its national leadership and commitment to supporting physicians’ health and wellness through removing stigmatizing questions about past treatment of mental health and substance use disorders from the

NAMSS credentialing standards,” said AMA President Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, M.D., MPH. “The next step is for all hospitals and health systems to review their own credentialing questions and policies to ensure they are consistent with NAMSS national best practices. The AMA and Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation stand ready to work with every hospital and health system in the nation to update their credentialing applications to ensure they support physicians’ and all health care professionals’ health and wellbeing.”
NAMSS recognizes the influence that standards can have on organizational culture and personnel and seeks to ensure that its guidance for initial credentialing collects the minimal amount of health data necessary to determine competency.

“Despite burnout and stress, healthcare workers are not seeking mental health care for fear of losing their jobs due to broad and invasive credentialing application questions,” said Corey Feist, JD, MBA, co-founder and CEO of the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation. “We applaud NAMSS for taking a critical step to remove this barrier and protect the wellbeing of our healthcare workforce.”

The ICS was first released in 2014 and revised in 2019. The 2024 ICS revision spanned 12-months to accommodate subject-matter expertise and perspectives on credentialing, organizational culture, and practitioner wellbeing.

“We are excited to see NAMSS take this important step to address a substantial barrier to the wellbeing of credentialed healthcare workers through the revised ICS,” said Dr. John Howard, MD, Director of NIOSH. “Making systems-wide improvements is the best way to promote professional wellbeing, and steps like these lay the foundation for a thriving healthcare workforce.”

NAMSS, the AMA, and the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation look forward to working with healthcare organizations to help implement credentialing best practices that protect the health and wellbeing of the medical staff.

About The National Association Medical Staff Services
NAMSS is committed to enhancing the professional development of and recognition for professionals in the medical staff and credentialing services field. Over more than four decades, the medical services profession has evolved into a true career that spans a wide range of employment settings and requires a specific knowledge base and professional competencies. The NAMSS membership includes more than 6,000 medical staff and credentialing services professionals (MSPs) from medical group practices, hospitals, managed care organizations, and CVOs.

About the American Medical Association
The AMA is the physician’s powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care. The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care. For more information, visit ama-assn.org.

About the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes Foundation
The Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded by the family of Dr. Lorna Breen. The mission of the Foundation is to reduce burnout of health care professionals and safeguard their wellbeing and job satisfaction. Their vision is that obtaining mental health support services is universally viewed as a strength and job requisite for health care professionals.

About the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health
Established under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, NIOSH is the federal research institute focused on the study of worker safety and health, and empowering employers and workers to create safe and healthy workplaces. For more information about NIOSH, visit www.cdc.gov/niosh/.