Initial Credentialing and Privileging: What to Expect


Once an application has been submitted, your Credentialing Coordinator becomes your primary contact with Medical Staff Services.

Your Credentialing Coordinator is the one who looks at your file, contacts references, and verifies everything from your Medical Degree to your current practice, including all affiliations and malpractice histories.

Assuming everything goes well, and no issues are raised, your file will be reviewed at the first Credentials Committee meeting (either in person or electronic) following receipt of all of the required documents, references, and verifications. Credentials Committee will make a recommendation to Medical Executive Committee.

Again assuming everything goes well, Medical Executive Committee will review your file and application at the next meeting following the Credentials Committee meeting, and make a recommendation to the Governing Body.

After Medical Executive Committee makes a recommendation, the Governing Body makes a final determination regarding your application for membership on the medical staff and / or privileges.

Once the decision is made, and all of your documentation has been received, a letter will be sent to you from the Medical Staff Services Department regarding the decision.

If there are concerns raised during the process, your Coordinator is having difficulty getting a response from someone, or one of the committees asks for more information, Medical Staff Services will ask you for help. We may ask for:

  • Documents, copies of documents, or other information not included with the application we initially receive.
  • You, the applicant, to contact the reference, or facility, that we are having difficulty getting a response from.
  • Case logs, training records, or a letter of competence from a recent supervisor or program director for certain privileges requiring special credentialing.
  • Better contact information than what was originally provided to us on your application.
  • Signatures on additional documents due to policy changes during the processing of your application.

What is the timeline for credentialing?

The answer to this question varies, depending on the work history, training and education, and participation of the practitioner applying.

In general, the process for a simple application with quick responses from all references and verifications can take 8 to 10 weeks from receipt of the application to presentation at the Credentials Committee. Credentials Committee meets the first Wednesday of each month.

Medical Staff Services has to get verification or documentation directly from the institution or person with whom the applicant was affiliated (called primary source); foreign education, training or work experience, military experience, or verifications and references that need to be requested more than once prolong the process.

Not having complete and correct contact information on the application also lengthens the credentialing process.

After all credentialing for medical staff membership and privileges is completed by Medical Staff Services, approval is a four-step process:

  1. Section
  2. Credentials Committee
  3. Medical Executive Committee
  4. Board of Commissioners 

The committee cycle occurs each month, and it adds 4-5 weeks to the timeline.


What can the applicant/department do to move the process forward?

The best thing the applicant can do is to provide a completed application with accurate contact information including fax numbers, addresses, names, and e-mail addresses.

The applicant should also practice a policy of full disclosure; if negative or possibly negative information is found and not disclosed, the process slows down quite a bit while Medical Staff Services does some investigating. Not providing complete information can completely halt the process, and ultimately may result in a recommendation for denial of appointment.

When the practitioner receives correspondence, whether via e-mail or hard copy, listing what is still needed, returning those items to Medical Staff Services promptly will help assure fewer delays in the credentialing process; originals are not needed and it is fastest to respond via fax or e-mail. Promptly call the assigned Credentialing Coordinator with questions about the items on the list.

Finally, if you call your references and prior post-graduate training or affiliates to request that they respond to our letters, faxes, or e-mails, this often speeds up the response time from those facilities. Delayed responses are the number one cause of delays in credentialing.

For the fastest processing, Medical Staff Services recommends:

  • Complete the entire credentialing application, truthfully. Be sure to include all other names under which you have been identified.
  • Send the application, along with any of the documents you have as soon as possible; at least 13 weeks ahead of time. (However, do not wait until your WA state license or DEA are issued)
  • Look at your e-mail daily; coordinators communicate primarily through e-mail to reduce processing times.
  • Submit a complete packet for your license application to the Washington State licensing board and DEA paperwork, if applicable; sending these in piecemeal often causes significant delays when documents are lost, don't arrive, or are incomplete.
  • Contact your references and prior affiliations / places of employment. Let them know that EvergreenHealth’s Medical Staff Services will be getting in touch, and ask them to respond as quickly as possible.
  • If you are asked for documentation for specific privileges you have requested, return the information as soon as possible (this may include training logs, case logs, letters of competence, certifications, or other documentation appropriate to the requested privilege). Your assigned coordinator can assist you in determining what is needed.
  • Contact the assigned coordinator directly with questions - he or she will have the most updated, complete idea of what is still outstanding and where your application is in the process.

What do the committees look at?

  • verifications from training, affiliations and employment since obtaining a medical degree
  • peer references
  • negative or neutral comments made on verifications and references
  • verifications from state licensing, sanctioning entities, National Practitioner Data Bank reports
  • board certification (through the Board's online website, when possible)
  • foreign medical school (through ECFMG, or primary source verification when necessary)
  • malpractice coverage and claims histories
  • AMA Profile (when applicable)
  • DEA verification
  • competency data for requested privileges

Is there a fee to apply?

We charge an application fee of $700 for Medical Staff and Allied Health applicants, which includes $350 for the first two years dues. Payment is due at the time of application; we accept checks and credit cards.

Make checks payable to: EvergreenHealth and mail to:

EvergreenHealth
Medical Staff Services MS 50
12040 NE 128th St
Kirkland, WA 98034

For credit card payment, please complete the credit card authorization form and submit it at time of application by email to evgmedstaff@evergreenhealth.com.

There is no payment required with application submission for providers employed by EvergreenHealth.