• Hospital Code Amendments to Ease Credentialing Obligations and Emergency Department Response Time
  • February 17, 2011
  • Law Firm: Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman Dicker LLP - New York Office
  • Among its final actions, the State Hospital Review and Planning Council ("SHRPC") adopted two amendments to Part 405, Hospital Minimum Standards, which became effective December 22, 2010.

    The first amendment reduces the timeframe for a hospital to collect credentialing information from other hospitals with or at which a physician, dentist or podiatrist has or had privileges, was associated or was employed. Previously, as part of the credentialing and recredentialing process, hospitals were required to request information from other hospitals concerning: (i) pending professional misconduct or malpractice proceedings; (ii) judgments, settlements and findings related to malpractice or professional misconduct; and (iii) reports to the Office of Professional Medical Conduct concerning impairment, misconduct, voluntary resignation or withdrawal of privileges to avoid disciplinary measures of criminal convictions for the preceding ten (10) years. The recent amendment reduces this timeframe to the preceding five (5) year period. The ten (10) year look-back was redundant to the extent that hospitals are required to query the National Practitioner Data Bank ("NPDB") where certain adverse actions may be identified. A five (5) year look-back period was retained to gather more recent information concerning pending disciplinary or malpractice actions which are not otherwise available from the NPDB. This change is expected to reduce the workload in hospital credentialing departments.

    The second amendment addresses the required response time to a hospital emergency department. Specifically, for hospitals with less than 15,000 emergency department visits annually, the supervising or attending physician need not be present in the emergency department as long as a nurse practitioner or registered physician assistant is on duty. Prior to the amendment the supervising or attending physician needed to be available within twenty (20) minutes when the nurse practitioner or registered physician was on duty in the absence of a licensed physician. In accordance with the new amendment, the supervising or attending physician shall be available within thirty (30) minutes. The thirty (30) minute timeframe is consistent with the federal requirements governing critical access hospitals.