Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  What does the credentialing process consist of, what is "primary source" verification and why is it necessary?
.  The credentialing process consists of activities designed to collect relevant information that will serve as the basis for decisions made regarding appointments and re-appointments to hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, clinics, urgent care facilities, etc. When an applicant is being evaluated, most facilities are required to verify the information in the application that relates to the individual's licensure, training, experience, and competence from primary sources. The application is then evaluated by comparing the information provided on the application with the information provided by the primary source. Additional information may be required to supplement the information obtained to fully evaluate each applicant.

"Primary source" is the original source of a specific credential that can verify the accuracy of a qualification reported by an applicant. Examples include medical school, graduate medical education program, and state medical board.

The credentialing process and primary source verification are required by federal, state and other regulatory agencies to ensure patient safety.

Q: What credentialing guidelines are used?
NCQA and JCAHO form the core of the verification standards. However, we accommodate the unique requirements of clients including the use of client specific applications.

Q: What is your average turn around time?
A: Currently files completed under NCQA guidelines are completed within an average of 20 calendar days. Initial appointment files completed under JCAHO standards are completed within 60 calendar days. Re-appointment files are completed to due dates specified by the client and 98% are completed on time.

Q: Why do initial appointment files take 60 days?
The more complete the application, the easier it is to identify what primary source verifications are needed. There are several factors that affect the time required to process a credentialing application, such as Foreign verses American Medical Graduate; appropriate peer references; professional liability history; number of years out of training; training or practice outside the United States; practice as a locum tenens physician; employment history; etc.  Please note, the time frame indicated above is a generalization. The application could take much less time and unfortunately, in extreme cases it could take much longer based upon the professional history.

The Joint Commission requires primary source verification of all activities since medical school. GACCP is dependent upon responses to queries regarding training, experience, affiliation, professional reference, licensure and any malpractice information, etc. so it is imperative the application be filled out in detail with regard to dates (month and year), addresses, and contact information.

Q: Do you offer a separate application for initial appointment and re-appointment?
Applications for both initial appointment and re-appointment are available, as well as separate applications for allied health practitioners. Clients may use GACCP applications or their own.

Q: Can you accommodate clients outside of Arizona?
Absolutely! GACCP currently serves several clients outside of Arizona, and, with electronic and web applications files can be transmitted anywhere in a secure and cost effective manner.

Q: Is on-line access available?
Clients have the ability to check the status of files and print reports via the Client Login, and practitioners can view their own credentialing file via Practitioner Lookup. Clients download credential files from GACCP's secure web server avoiding delivery and storage costs. Blank applications are available on the applications page. Data is available in real time so up to the minute information is at your fingertips.

Q: How can a Provider help expedite the credentialing process?
In order for GACCP to expedite the credentialing process the following must be adhered to:

  • Fill out the application as completely as possible. If the information submitted is incorrect or incomplete, GACCP staff must spend valuable time searching for correct addresses and/or phone/fax numbers, which could cause unnecessary delays. Please remember, the responsibility for providing accurate credentialing information lies with you, the applicant.
  • Make certain that the professional references provided have current (within the last 24 months) personal knowledge of clinical competence, ethical character, health status and ability to work cooperatively with others.
  • Provide a complete and accurate listing of current and previous affiliations and training programs.
  • It is important to provide a complete history of professional liability coverage (if applicable). Any gaps in your coverage history must be explained.
  • It is also necessary to provide explanations for any gaps in time. Any time gap duration of less than three months must be explained in writing. For time gaps of three months or greater, a contact must be provided for verification.
  • Return the complete application in a timely manner and allow sufficient time for processing. Credentialing and the licensure process can work in unison. A photo and all required documents must be provided.