Credentialing legislation on table in seven states

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

LEBANON, Tenn. - Although nationwide mandatory accreditation is finally becoming a reality, Darren Jernigan believes the push for state-held standards of care deserves no less attention.
The key difference, he said, is that the state bills focus on individual certification while the Medicare Prescription Drug Act requires company accredidation. The state bills also apply to all providers, including those who do not count Medicare among their payers.
Since the Medicare bill bassed, three states that are considering pushing through a certification-based bill have added accreditation clauses to the drafts of thos bills.
"[In Maryland, California and Florida] that accreditation piece is in there, and they are shooting for it," said Jernigan.
Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota and Verginia, along with Flrida, California and Maryland, are likely to introduce bills to their state legislatures at the start of the 2004 sessions in January. Tennessee passed a similar bill last year, which took effect January 1.
If all goes well in these seven states, Jernigan said there is a "good shot" at getting something passed in U.S. Congress in the next year.
"This is a good time to be doing this in light of Wheeler Dearler," he said. "This type of legislation shows that the dealers are trying to police themselves and that not everyone is out to make a quick buck."