HB2322, which was unanimously passed by the Arizona Legislature and signed by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, will ensure insurance companies complete the process to credential and load physicians into their networks so they are able to treat patients in a more timely fashion.

The bill, supported by the Health System Alliance of Arizona, the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association, Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association and the Arizona Medical Association, was sponsored by Rep. Heather Carter. 

This important legislation increases the efficiency of the process by which health plans verify the education and qualifications of providers who seek contracts in their plans and then load those providers’ contract information into their billing systems by requiring that both processes be completed in 100 days or less.

Currently, physicians undergoing this process face delays that can take in excess of nine months. These delays lead to reimbursement shortfalls for physicians, gaps in access to care for patients awaiting referrals to specialists and places hospitals at a competitive disadvantage when trying to recruit physicians from other states where the credentialing and loading process works more efficiently. 

“Arizonans’ access to care is compromised when it takes an excessive amount of time to credential physicians,” said Arizona Medical Association Executive Vice President Libby McDannell. “This legislation ensures doctors are putting patients, not paperwork, first.”

“The Health System Alliance of Arizona would like to thank Gov. Ducey for signing this bill and Representative Carter for her leadership in the passage of this critical piece legislation,” said Health System Alliance of Arizona Executive Director Jennifer Carusetta. “This new law will result in better and more efficient care for patients throughout Arizona and will improve our ability as hospital systems to recruit the best and brightest minds in healthcare to this great state.”

“On behalf of the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA) and our members, I applaud state legislators who unanimously passed this important measure in both the Arizona Senate and House,” said AzHHA President and CEO Greg Vigdor. “A special ‘thank you’ is due to the sponsor of the bill, Rep. Heather Carter, whose leadership was vital in getting this legislation through the legislative process.” 

“We are grateful to the legislators, stakeholders and fellow healthcare community leaders who came together to address this issue and come up with a workable, necessary solution,” said Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association Executive Director Pete Wertheim. “This bill will provide insurers ample, reasonable time to credential physicians and allow them to get to work doing what they do best: caring for patients.”

HB2322 will take effect on January 1, 2019.