With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, millions of additional lives were injected into the U.S. Healthcare System. This number was much larger than the number of practicing physicians, particularly primary care, could effectively manage, and as a means of alleviating such a heavy patient load, the use of the non-physician practitioner (NPP) became common practice in the provision of patient care.
In our last session, we discussed one of several challenges the infusion of the non-physician into mainstream healthcare brought to the table for the MSP: establishing effective verification elements, identifying the most current web sources to conduct primary source verification, and anchoring competency principles for this group. It is through the use of the six (6) areas of competency and these primary source elements that MSPs are able to effectively master how to verify credentials and collect information and data that aids the Medical Staff Leader in determining the clinical competence of the non-physician. These six core competencies as developed by the ACGME and suggested by The Joint Commission are:
- Patient Care
- Medical/Clinical Knowledge
- Practice-based Learning & Improvement
- Professionalism & Ethics
- Interpersonal & Communication Skills
- System-based Practice
MSPs have been diligent in collaborating with quality and risk professionals and clinicians to identify scopes of practice and the essential competencies of each specialty. To do so has proven to be an effective and efficient measure of non-physician performance in both FPPE (Focused Professional Practice Evaluation) and OPPE (Ongoing Professional Practice Evaluations). It is by the incorporation of this scope and competency into the overarching credentialing and privileging functions, the reinforcement of these during the on-boarding process, and documenting these into the Medical Staff organization and governance that makes the MSP a major player into bringing the non-physician into the healthcare team fold and allowing for the effective measurement of non-physician quality.
The key to continued success rides upon the MSP and the work of the Medical Staff Services Department’s ability to understand the standards and policies driving the quality process, as well as maintaining a firm understanding of the scope of practice for each non-physician specialty type to determine appropriate performance measures. Standardization of performance reporting across like NPP (non-physician practitioner) specialties allows the industry to compare apples to apples and provides an accurate snapshot and assessment of NPP performance, allowing for both optimal patient care and organization reimbursement.