Credentialing Process In Purchasing A Practice

When purchasing a dental practice, it is important to get the credentialing process started as soon as possible. In the broadest sense, credentialing is the verification process that a network runs on a dentist to validate qualifications prior to participation in that network, and practice purchasers need to go through this verification process if they want to continue operating the practice in the same manner as it was run before closing. And to get paid, of course (assuming it’s not just a fee for service practice). The networks with which a purchasing practitioner seeks credentialing generally depends on pre-closing seller participation. The buyer can of course vary network participation, but to avoid delays in reimbursement and participation, the seller’s networks are a good place to start.

The process generally includes data gathering and verification, with providers submitting applications and other information for network participation. The network will go through its internal process to review and verify that information. Depending on which networks are involved, the credentialing process can take a long time. It’s highly preferred to complete credentialing before closing, for numerous reasons, so delays in credentialing can result in pushing closing back. It is vital, therefore, to start as soon as possible.

It’s easy to overlook the need to go through the credentialing process, or to assume that it will be quick and painless. Both are mistakes. Take care of it ASAP! Perhaps consider reaching out to a third party transition consultant who can help streamline credentialing and make sure you’re ready to bill from day one of practice ownership. Whether you seek outside help or not, however, make sure you tackle this issue early in the transaction. Bear in mind that credentialing and contracting with a network are not the same, but credentialing typically starts first.