TPQVO Simplifies Credentialing for Physician Offices, Hospitals across U.S.
John Haley, CPCS, TPQVO credentialing manager, converts a digital faxed verification letter to TPQVO’s credentialing image database. It’s one of the many verification processes TPQVO performs as part of their “due diligence” on behalf of their cl
There is one issue upon which anyone who runs a physician’s office or staffs a hospital can agree – credentialing is involved and difficult work. And it has been for years.
That’s why almost 24 years ago, a group of physicians in Chattanooga went to area hospital administrators with a couple of demands: settle on one application for medical staff credentialing and use a county medical society-sponsored credentials verification service to do the checking on these applications. From those demands, the company now known as Tennessee Physician Quality Verification Organization (TPQVO) was born.
“We focus on the credentialing process so physicians can focus on patient care,” said Sally Wencel, CEO for TPQVO. “We do all the checks for our clients. We maintain and verify information and handle application processing for clients. We also perform the re-verification of information and the re-credentialing process for our clients.”
TPQVO is owned by the Knoxville Academy of Medicine, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society, and the Tennessee Medical Association. The company provides application processing and credentials verification services to a broad range of healthcare organizations, including hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, office-based surgical practices, networks, nursing homes, and medical practices across the country. They provide application processing and credentials verification for medical staffs defined as medical doctors, podiatrists, dentists, clinical psychologists, and allied health practitioners.
“Even though we started as Chattanooga and Hamilton County’s verification service and later merged with Knoxville Academy of Medicine’s Central Verification Services, we now have clients from California to New York,” Wencel said. “Our clients are served by our expert staff, and we really get to know our clients well.”
Additionally, TPQVO is certified by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), meaning that they have gone through a rigorous review process to ensure consistent high quality. TPQVO obtained their first certification during the first year of their operation and has undergone recertification every two years since.
"NCQA is all about quality and our continued designation attests to our commitment to our clients that quality is our mission in the credentialing arena. Achieving and maintaining this certification since 1999 gives value and comfort to our clients and potential clients – they know our service product meets the industry gold standard," added Rae Bond, Chattanooga-Hamilton Medical Society Executive Director and TPQVO Board member.
“TPQVO is very focused on helping physicians,” Wencel said. “We have physicians on our Board of Directors. We want to be sure we continue to provide the highest benefit to our physician clients.”
To ensure that they provide the highest quality to clients, TPQVO surveys its clients each year on twelve dimensions of product and service quality, including timeliness, accuracy, communication, and complaint handling. Most clients report they are satisfied or very satisfied with all quality dimensions and 100% of clients stated that they would recommend the service to others.
Wencel realizes that even though healthcare providers are their clients, the services they offer ultimately help patients. “Ultimately, we protect patients,” she said. “We weed out frauds. We make sure that people who treat patients are who they say they are, and that providers who have had problems and skipped from institution to institution are found out.”
“We’ve all seen bad cases in the news about imposter physicians,” Wencel continued. “The purpose of the Tennessee Physician Quality Verification Organization is to verify information and make sure frauds don’t get through.”