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Application Process

Provider Type

  • Physicians (does not apply to Cal MediConnect)
  • Participating Physician Groups (PPG) 
    (does not apply to HSP)
  • Hospitals
  • Ancillary

Counties Covered

  • Fresno
  • Kern  
  • Kings
  • Los Angeles
  • Madera
  • Riverside
  • Sacramento
  • San Bernardino
  • San Diego 
  • San Joaquin
  • Stanislaus
  • Tulare

Practitioners or organizational providers subject to credentialing or recredentialing and contracting directly with the plan must submit a completed plan-approved application. By submitting a completed application, the practitioner or provider:

  • Affirms the completeness and truthfulness of representations made in the application, including lack of present illegal drug use.
  • Indicates a willingness to provide additional information required for the credentialing process.
  • Authorizes the plan to obtain information regarding the applicant's qualifications, competence or other information relevant to the credentialing review.
  • Releases the plan and its independent contractors, agents and employees from any liability connected with the credentialing review.

The Credentialing Committee or physician designee reviews rosters of delegated and non-delegated practitioners and organizational providers meeting all plan criteria and approves their admittance or continued participation in the network.

A peer review process is used for practitioners with a history of adverse actions, member complaints, negative quality improvement (QI) activities, impaired health, substance abuse, health care fraud and abuse, criminal history, or similar conditions to determine whether a practitioner should be admitted or retained as a participant in the network.

Practitioners are notified within 60 calendar days of all decisions regarding approval, denial, limitation, suspension, or termination of credentialing status consistent with the health plan, state and federal regulatory requirements and accrediting entity standards. This notice includes information regarding the reason for denial determination. If the denial or termination is based on health status, quality of care or disciplinary action, the practitioner is afforded applicable appeal rights. Practitioners who have been administratively denied are eligible to reapply for network participation as soon as the administrative matter is resolved.

Failure to respond to recredentialing requests may result in the practitioner's administrative termination from the network. 

Practitioners, whose participation in the plan's network has been denied, reduced, suspended, or terminated for quality of care/medical disciplinary causes or reasons, are provided notice and an opportunity to appeal. This policy does not apply to practitioners who are administratively denied admittance to, or administratively terminated from, the network.

The notice of altered participation status will be provided in writing to the affected practitioner and include:

  • The action proposed against the practitioner by the Credentialing or Peer Review committee.
  • The reason for the action.
  • The plan policies or guidelines that led to the committee's adverse determination.
  • Detailed instructions on how to file an appeal (informal reconsideration or formal hearing).

A practitioner may choose to engage in an informal appela and provide additional information for the Credentialing Committee's consideration, or move directly to a formal fair hearing. Affected practitioners who are not successful in overturning the original committee decision during an informal reconsideration are automatically afforded a fair hearing, upon request in writing within 30 days from the date of notice of the denial.

A practitioner must request a reconsideration or fair hearing in writing. The plan's response to the request will include:

  • Dates, times and location of the reconsideration or hearing.
  • Rules that govern the applicable proceedings.
  • A list of practitioners and specialties of the committee or fair hearing panel.

The composition of the fair hearing panel must include a majority of individuals who are peers of the affected practitioner. A peer is an appropriately trained and licensed physician in a practice similar to that of the affected practitioner.

Affected practitioners whose original determinations are overturned are granted admittance or continued participation in the plan's network. The decision is forwarded to the affected practitioner in writing within 14 calendar days of the fair hearing panel's decision.

Affected practitioners whose original determinations have been upheld are given formal notice of this decision within 14 days of the fair hearing panel's ruling. The actions are reported to the applicable state licensing board and to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) within 14 days of the hearing panel's final decision.

Practitioners who have been denied or terminated for quality of care concerns must wait a minimum of five years from the date the adverse decision is final in order to reapply for network participation. At the time of the reapplication, the practitioner must:

  • Meet all applicable plan requirements and standards for network participation.
  • Submit, at the request of the committee or Credentialing Department, additional information that may be required to confirm the earlier adverse action no longer exists.
  • Fulfill, according to applicable current credentialing policies and procedures, all administrative credentialing requirements of the plan's credentialing program.

The plan may delegate to individual practitioners, participating physician groups (PPGs) or other entities responsibility for credentialing and recredentialing activities. Credentialing procedures used by these entities may vary from plan procedures, but must be consistent with the health plan, state and federal regulatory requirements and accrediting entity standards.

Prior to entering into a delegation agreement, and throughout the duration of any delegation agreement, the oversight of delegated activities must meet or exceed plan standards. The plan oversees delegated responsibilities on an ongoing basis through an annual audit and semiannual, or more frequent, review of delegated PPG-specific data.

The plan can revoke the delegation of any or all credentialing activities if the delegated PPG or entity is deemed noncompliant with established credentialing standards. The plan retains the right, based on quality issues, to terminate or restrict the practice of individual practitioners, providers and sites, regardless of the credentialing delegation status of the PPG.

Each delegated practitioner or provider losing delegated credentialing status must complete the plan's initial credentialing process within six months.

The following document applies only to Physicians and Participating Physician Groups (PPG). 

In an effort to comply with applicable federal and state laws and regulations, all participating providers in the plan's network must comply with the following standards when hiring a non-participating provider to provide services to plan members. Participating providers must be able to demonstrate that each non-participating provider has supporting documentation that includes:

  • Current, unencumbered state medical license.
  • Valid, unencumbered Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) certificate, as applicable or Chemical Dependency Services (CDS) certificate, as applicable.
  • Evidence of adequate education and training for the services the practitioner is contracting to provide.
  • Malpractice insurance coverage that meet these standards: Individual providers one million/three million and for organizational providers three million/ten million.
  • Absent of any sanctions that would not allow them to see a Medicare member.

Additionally, the practitioner must be absent from:

  • The Medicare Opt Out report if treating Medicare members.
  • The Office of the Inspector General's (OIG) sanctions list of individuals and entities (LEIE) if treating Medicaid and Medicare members.
  • The System for Award Management's Exclusions Extract Data Package (EEDP) if treating Medicare members.
  • The Federal Employee Health Benefits Program Debarment Report if treating federal members.

The plan's participating providers are responsible for ongoing monitoring of sanctions and validating licensing. All participating providers are required to comply with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations as well as the policies and procedures as outlined in the Provider Participation Agreement (PPA).

The plan investigates adverse activities indicated in a practitioner or provider's initial credentialing or recredentialing application materials or identified between credentialing cycles. The plan may also be made aware of such activities through primary source verification utilized during the credentialing process or by state and federal regulatory agencies. Health Net may require a practitioner or provider to supply additional information regarding any such adverse activities. Examples of such activities include, but are not limited to:

  • State or local disciplinary action by a regulatory agency or licensing board.
  • Current or past chemical dependency or substance abuse.
  • Health care fraud or abuse.
  • Member complaints.
  • Substantiated quality of care concerns activities.
  • Impaired health.
  • Criminal history.
  • Office of Inspector General (OIG) Medicare/Medicaid sanctions.
  • Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) debarment.
  • System Award Management (SAM), inclusive of Excluded Parties List System (EPLS), EEDP.
  • The Medi-Cal Suspended and Ineligible Provider listing.
  • Substantiated media events.
  • Trended data.

At the plan's request, a practitioner or provider must assist the plan in investigating any professional liability claims, lawsuits, arbitrations, settlements, or judgments that have occurred within the prescribed time frames.

An organizational provider (OP) is an institutional provider of health care that is licensed by the state or otherwise authorized to operate as a health care facility. Examples of OPs include, but are not limited to, hospitals, home health agencies, skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), and ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs).

Organizational providers that require assessments by the plan or its delegated entities include:

  • Hospitals
  • Home health, hospice and home infusion providers
  • SNFs
  • Free-standing and ASCs, including abortion clinics
  • Dialysis/end-stage renal disease (ESRD) care providers
  • Hospices
  • Laboratories
  • Office-based surgery suites
  • Comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facilities
  • Physical therapy and speech pathology providers
  • Portable X-ray suppliers
  • Radiology/imaging centers
  • Behavioral health facilities (inpatient, residential and ambulatory)
  • Sleep study centers
  • Urgent care centers
  • Federally qualified health centers and rural health clinics
  • Community-Based Adult Services (CBAS) centers
  • Other providers as deemed necessary

Providers contracting directly with the plan must submit a completed, signed plan-approved hospital or ancillary facility credentialing application and any supporting documentation to the plan for processing. The documentation, at a minimum, includes:

  • Evidence of a site survey that has been conducted by an accepted agency, if the provider is required to have such an on-site survey prior to being issued a state license. Accepted agency surveys include those performed by the state Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Department of Public Health (DPH) or Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
  • Evidence of a current, unencumbered state facility license. If not licensed by the state, the facility must possess a current city license, fictitious name permit, certificate of need, or business registration.
  • Copy of a current accreditation certificate appropriate for the facility. If not accredited, then a copy of the most recent DHHS/DPH site survey as described above is required. A favorable site review consists of compliance with quality of care standards established by CMS or the applicable state health department. The plan obtains a copy of each surgery center's site survey report and ensures each provider has received a favorable rating. This may include a completed corrective action plan (CAP) and DHHS CAP acceptance letter.
  • Professional and general liability insurance coverage that meets plan requirements.
  • Overview of the facility's quality assurance/quality improvement program upon request.

Organizational providers are recredentialed at least every 36 months to ensure each entity has continued to maintain prescribed eligibility requirements.

Right of Review Request for Current Network Status

A practitioner has the right to review information obtained by the plan for the purpose of evaluating that practitioner's credentialing or recredentialing application. This includes non-privileged information obtained from any outside source (for example, malpractice insurance carriers, state licensing boards or the National Practitioner Data Bank), but does not extend to review of information, references or recommendations protected by law from disclosure.

A practitioner may request to review such information at any time by sending a written request via letter or fax to the credentialing manager or supervisor. The credentialing manager or supervisor notifies the practitioner within 72 hours of the date and time when such information is available for review at the Credentialing Department. Upon written request, the Credentialing Department provides details of the practitioner's current status in the initial credentialing or recredentialing process.

Notification of Discrepancy

Practitioners are notified in writing, via letter or fax, when information obtained by primary sources varies substantially from information provided on the practitioner's application. Examples include reports of a practitioner's malpractice claim history, actions taken against a practitioner's license or certificate, suspension or termination of hospital privileges, or board-certification expiration when one or more of these examples have not been self-reported by the practitioner on their application. Practitioners are notified of the discrepancy at the time of primary source verification. Sources are not revealed if information obtained is not intended for verification of credentialing elements or is protected from disclosure by law.

Correction of Erroneous Information

A practitioner who believes that erroneous information has been supplied to the plan by primary sources may correct such information by submitting written notification to the Credentialing Department. Practitioners must submit a written notice via letter or fax, along with a detailed explanation, to the Credentialing Department manager or supervisor. Notification to the plan must occur within 48 hours of the plan's notification to the practitioner of a discrepancy or within 24 hours of a practitioner's review of their credentials file. Upon receipt of notification from the practitioner, the plan re-verifies the primary source information in dispute. If the primary source information has changed, a correction is made immediately to the practitioner's credentials file. The practitioner is notified in writing, via letter or fax, that the correction has been made. If, upon re-review, primary source information remains inconsistent with the practitioner's notification, the Credentialing Department notifies the practitioner via letter or fax.

The practitioner may then provide proof of correction by the primary source body to the Credentialing Department via letter or fax within 10 business days. The Credentialing Department re-verifies primary source information if such documentation is provided. If after 10 business days the primary source information remains in dispute, the practitioner is subject to administrative denial or termination.

The Credentialing Department obtains and reviews information on a credentialing or re-credentialing application and verifies the information in accordance with the primary source verification practices. The plan requires participating physician groups (PPGs) to which credentialing has been delegated to obtain primary source information (outlined below)* in accordance with the standards of participation, state and federal regulatory requirements, and accrediting entity standards.

*Primary Source Verification

  • Medical physicians (MD)
  • Nurse Practitioners (NP)
  • Oral surgeons (DDS/DMD)
  • Chiropractors (DC)
  • Osteopaths (DO)
  • Podiatrists (DPM)
  • Mid-level practitioners (non-physicians)
  • Acupuncturist

The plan's credentialing program establishes criteria for evaluating continuing participating practitioners. This evaluation, which includes applicable primary source verifications, is conducted in accordance with the health plan, state and federal regulatory requirements and accrediting entity standards. Practitioners are subject to recredentialing within 36 months. Only licensed, qualified practitioners meeting and maintaining the standards for participation requirements are retained in the network.

Practitioners due for recredentialing must complete all items on an approved plan application and supply supporting documentation, if required. Documentation includes, but is not limited to:

  • Current state medical license.
  • Attestation to the ability to provide care to members without restriction.
  • Valid, unencumbered Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) certificate or Chemical Dependency Services (CDS) certificate, if applicable. A practitioner who maintains professional practices in more than one state must obtain a DEA certificate for each state.
  • Evidence of active admitting privileges in good standing, with no reduction, limitation or restriction on privileges, with at least one participating hospital or surgery center, or a documented coverage arrangement with a credentialed or participating practitioner of a like specialty.
  • Malpractice insurance coverage that meets these standards: Individual providers one million/three million and for organizational providers three million/ten million.
  • Trended assessment of practitioner's member complaints, quality of care, and performance indicators.

All practitioners participating in the plan's network must comply with the following standards for participation in order to receive or maintain credentialing.

Applicants seeking credentialing and practitioners due for recredentialing must complete all items on an approved credentialing application and supply supporting documentation, if required. The verification time limit for a plan approved application is 180 days. Applications are available at the Council of Affordable Quality Healthcare (CAQH) website at www.caqh.org for the Universal Credentialing DataSource link. Supporting documentation includes:

  • Current, unencumbered state medical license.
  • Valid, unencumbered Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) certificate, as applicable or Chemical Dependency Services (CDS) certificate, as applicable. The DEA and/or CDS registration must be issued in the state(s) in which the practitioner is contracting to provide care to the members.
  • Continuous work history for the previous five years with a written explanation of any gaps of a prescribed time frame (initial credentialing only).
  • Evidence of adequate education and training for the services the practitioner is contracting to provide.
  • Evidence of active admitting privileges in good standing, with no reduction, limitation or restriction on privileges, with at least one participating hospital or surgery center, contracted hospitalist group or a documented coverage arrangement with a credentialed, participating practitioner of a like specialty.
  • Malpractice insurance coverage that meets these standards: Individual providers one million/three million and for organizational providers three million/ten million.
  • The practitioner will answer all confidential questions and provide explanations in writing for any questions answered adversely.

Additionally, the practitioner must be absent from:

  • The Medicare Opt-Out Report if treating members under the Medicare lines of business.
  • The Medicare/Medicaid Cumulative Sanction Report if treating members under the Medicare lines of business.
  • The Federal Employee Health Benefits Program Debarment Report if treating federal members.
  • The Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) EEDP through the System for Award Management (SAM) Report.
  • The Medi-Cal Suspended and Ineligible Provider listing.

The plan notifies members as required by state law if a practitioner's contract participation status is terminated. The plan oversees reassignment of these members to another participating provider where appropriate.

Last Updated: 08/05/2021