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The Oregon Common Credentialing Program was intended by legislators to simplify credentialing processes, reduce burden on practitioners, and eliminate duplication. While there is broad consensus that the concept of centralizing credentialing information has merit, we have encountered significant challenges that make it difficult to implement a cost-effective program that would benefit all Oregon practitioners.
In the coming weeks, our team will thoughtfully document current work and preserve knowledge on all aspects of the program. Additionally, OHA will:
OHA continues to receive varying levels of support from stakeholders, many of whom have expressed significant concerns about the complexities and effort needed to change business practices to work with a centralized system. To mitigate these concerns OHA intended to slow down the rollout of this program, by extending the Early Adoption/pilot phase as long as necessary to ensure the program would be successful, before requiring widespread participation. However, this plan resulted in a budget shortfall, and OHA had to weigh varying levels of stakeholder support coupled with a $12 million financial request to the Legislature for OCCP against other Agency priorities. Given these priorities, we have made the difficult decision to suspend the program.
The Oregon Common Credentialing Program was intended to simplify credentialing processes, reduce burden on practitioners, and eliminate duplication. What was originally envisioned as a straightforward project ended up being very complex, due to the need to support business practices in a complex environment, while meeting accrediting entity standards related to credentialing.
OHA worked closely with stakeholders since passage of the legislation. The program has many facets of development including policy, rulemaking and implementing the supporting technology. Much of the programmatic policy is developed and rules were recently filed.
OHA has been working on implementation of a commercially available product offered by Medversant Technologies. OHA’s vendors completed configuration activities to meet OHA requirements and performance standards and completed system testing--which is designed to test the fully built system and ensure it works well before having users test the system. Suspending the program now means OHA will not begin the User Acceptance Testing phase or the Early Adoption/pilot phase. Both phases would include actual users putting the system through its paces and require significant cost and staff resources to complete.
OHA’s contract for OCCP’s system implementation is a deliverables-based contract that allows for stopping work and ending the contract at OHA’s discretion. OHA does not own the technology and is not obligated to pay for services or software licenses that we will not use.
The OCCP was established by the Legislature without an allocation of startup funding. OHA has been covering program costs until the system is live. Once live, fees would then be charged to credentialing organizations and practitioners to reimburse the State for expenditures to date and fund the ongoing operations. OHA anticipated about $10 million to implement the program and about $6.5 million/year for ongoing operations, although a protracted Early Adoption/pilot phase could result in additional costs. This budget represents a mix of contractor and staff costs.
OHA has spent approximately $7 million dollars on the program to date. About $1.5 million has been absorbed by OHA for initial planning and staff costs using agency and grant funds. Without fee revenue this biennium, OHA projected a $12 million shortfall if the OCCP continued. Ending the program now means we will avoid a $12 million funding request and instead request $5.5 million in obligated/spent costs.
Under state law for OCCP, all credentialed practitioners and credentialing organizations would be required to use the OCCP. OHA estimates that there are about 55,000 credentialed practitioners and more than 300 credentialing organizations in Oregon, including hospitals, Ambulatory Surgical Centers, Coordinated Care Organizations, dental plans, health plans, Independent Practice Associations, and other organizations that are required to credential practitioners.
The Oregon Provider Directory expected a data feed from Common Credentialing as a reputable source for a number of data elements. One of the key issues with maintaining provider directories today is the data can quickly become outdated and inaccurate. A benefit of OCCP is having data that are primary source verified and kept up to date as mandated by the 120-day practitioner attestation.
Without OCCP data, the Provider Directory project will turn to alternate methods to collect and validate data, such as third-party data cleansing services and bolstering Provider Directory data stewardship through its contractor. Because the Provider Directory budget included funding to OCCP for this data, that budget will now be directed to data cleansing and data stewardship services. For more information on the Oregon Provider Directory, please see our website: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/OHIT/Pages/PD-Overview.aspx
For more information on the history of the program, its rules and laws, and other information please see our website.
If you have further questions or comments, please contact the Office of Health Information Technology and Analytics Infrastructure at HITOC.INFO@odhsoha.oregon.gov.
On July 25, 2018, OHA announced the suspension of the Oregon Common Credentialing Program (OCCP). Below, you will find an archive of the FAQs that were available on the the OCCP website as of July 24, 2018.
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