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Credentialing Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to our most common questions regarding credentialing have been listed below. Contact the Medical Staff Office (336-476-2525)if your question is not listed.

FAQs - Credentialing

Q.  Who may apply to the Medical Staff?
A.  Medical doctors (MD, DO and DPM) may apply to the Medical Staff.  All others (such as anesthetists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, surgical assistants, EEG Tech, etc.) are appointed to the Allied Health Staff.

Q.  How long will it take to process my application:
A.  Most applications are processed within 6 to 8 weeks. The more complete the application, the easier it is to identify what primary source verifications are needed. However, the length of time necessary to obtain hospital privileges can be very difficult to determine. 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. Your privileging process could take much less time and, unfortunately, in extreme cases it could take much longer based upon your professional history.

Q. Why does the credentialing process take so long?
A: The bylaws and JCAHO require primary source verification of all your activities since medical school. We are dependent upon responses to our queries regarding training, experience, affiliation, professional reference, licensure and any malpractice information, etc. It is imperative your application be filled out in detail with regard to dates (month and year), addresses, and contact information.

Q.  Should I return my application/pre-application materials even though I don't have all the certificates/information requested (i.e., North Carolina License, DEA Certificate, insurance certificate, etc.)?
A.  Yes. You can submit your application materials without the requested documentation. However, you should provide an explanation for the omission (i.e., North Carolina licensure application in process, DEA registration in process, etc.). Although the Medical Staff Services Department can begin processing your application, your application will not be considered complete until all required documentation and information has been received.

Q.  What does the credentialing process consist of, what is "primary source" verification and why is it necessary?
A.  The credentialing process consists of activities designed to collect relevant information that will serve as the basis for decisions made regarding appointments and reappointments to hospitals.? When an applicant is being evaluated, hospitals are required to verify the information in the application that relates to the individual's licensure, training, experience, and competence from primary sources. Your application is then evaluated by comparing the information provided on your 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.   How can I help to expedite the credentialing process?
A.  Be an active participant in the process as well as:

  • Most importantly, fill out your application as completely as possible. If you supply incorrect or incomplete information, hospital credentialing staff must spend valuable time searching for correct addresses and/or phone/fax numbers, which could cause unnecessary delays with hospital credentialing. 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 your current clinical competence, ethical character, health status and ability to work cooperatively with others. One of your three references must be in your specialty.
  • Provide a complete and accurate listing of current and previous affiliations and training programs.
  • It is important to provide a complete history of your professional liability coverage for the past 10 years (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, by you, in writing. For time gaps of three months or greater, a contact must be provided for verification.
  • Return your complete application in a timely manner and allow sufficient time for processing.  Do not wait until you have obtained a license.  Hospital credentialing and the licensure process can work in unison. The credentialing process does not begin until your completed application has been received by the Medical Staff Services Department.  A photo and all required documents must be provided.

Q.  What are the requirements for Medical Staff Membership and Privileges at Thomasville Medical Center?
A.  To qualify for medical staff membership and clinical privileges, physicians must meet the criteria as outlined in the hospitals' bylaws and appointment/reappointment/clinical privilege policy. Please visit the following links to review the Bylaws in their entirety:

Q.  I am in my final year of training; can I apply for hospital privileges before I have completed my training program?
A. Yes, you can apply to the Medical Staff prior to completion of your training program. However, verification of successful completion of your program is necessary to complete your credentials file. Therefore, if the credentialing process is complete before you have completed your program, your file will be "pended" until the Medical Staff Services Department is able to obtain the necessary verification.

Q. Can I request privileges in more than one department?
A. Yes. Both privilege delineation forms need to be filled out and submitted for consideration.

Q. What if I change my mind and wish to withdraw my application?
A. If you should choose to withdraw your application after submitting it to the Medical Staff Office, written notice must be given by the applicant. Failure to do so may result in an adverse action being taken against you.

Q.  How and when does the Credentials Committee meet?
A.  The Credentials Committee meets on the first Tuesday of every month.  A credentials file must be deemed complete before it can be submitted to the Department Chair for review for recommendation to the Credentials Committee.  A personal interview may be requested if deemed necessary.

Q.  Where can I apply for my NC medical license?
A. See the www.ncmedboard.org website.

Q.  Where can I apply for my DEA certificate?
A.  See the DEA's online application system.