“It’s a wild goose chase!”
That was the text that popped up on my phone. My best friend was in the middle of hospital credentialing for a new anesthesiologist job.
And it was driving her nuts!!!
The on-boarding and credentialing process for an anesthesia position can be arduous. Digging up old diplomas, asking peers for references and paperwork to fill out – it feels like there is always something else to complete. Add on top of that, there is a deadline to check everything off the list so you can start on time.
It can be stressful.
Most anesthesiologists, CRNAs, and CAAs will switch jobs at least once if not more in their career. Although it’s something that doesn’t happen with great frequency (unless working anesthesia locum tenens), there are some things you can do to prepare to help make the process smoother when the time comes.
With that, here is a list of the top 5 things that will cause you the biggest headache and how to mitigate it.
1. Certificate of Insurance (COI)
Certificate of Insurance (COI) is a document verifying you had insurance coverage to practice anesthesia. It contains information such as the carrier name, type of insurance, policy number, limits of coverage, name of insured and effective periods.
Depending on your new group they might not only want your current COI, but the COI for X number of years in the past. That means if you switched groups during that time frame you need to supply the COI for each group.
How do you find your COI?
First contact your administrative assistant and they should be able to help you with your current COI. Another option is to sign in to your CAHQ Proview Account if you have one (most likely you do). There you will find current and past COIs if you have been updating the account. Lastly, you might need to reach out to your old employers and ask them for the information.
2. Case Log for 12 Months
Not all groups will ask for it, but more are starting to require them. Anesthesia groups are looking for documentation that you are experienced in your specialty and in specific procedures. They want supporting evidence you have the qualifications to be granted privileges.
Once again, contact your administrative assistant (at this point you should be buying them lunch) and they can place a request for them. If they don’t know how to retrieve your anesthesia case logs, contact your billing company. A last option is to contact your medical records office in the hospital.
3. Peer References
You would think this is not that big of a deal. However, in talking to anesthesia recruiters and hospital credentialing specialists this is one of the top delays for the onboarding process. The main issue is references don’t reply in a timely manner or at all.
First, make sure to ask for your reference’s permission to have the anesthesia company reach out to them. Information you will have to provide about your reference are name, email, phone number and address. Then follow up with the Anesthesiologist, CRNA or CAA letting them know to expect to be contacted soon from the anesthesia group.
Lastly, pick someone who not only is going to give a good reference for the anesthesia job, but also is reliable to follow through.
4. Immunization Record and TB Testing
Anesthesia providers need to show proof of Hepatitis B vaccination as well as MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella vaccination). Annual documentation of TB testing and flu vaccine (or waiver of flu vaccine) is also required. Moving forward, don’t be surprised if the Covid vaccine makes the list.
The fastest way to obtain these records is to contact Occupational Health (OH) at your facility. If working in a surgery center, which might not have OH, talk to the anesthesia medical director about the best way to obtain them or contact your primary care physician.
5. Gaps in Your CV
Expect emails from the credentialing specialist if you have any gaps in your anesthesia CV. What does that mean? From the time you started training to each job you held, there can not be any time periods between training-to-job or job-to-job without an explanation.
As an example: You finished training June 30 2020, but you didn’t start your job until August 1 2020. They will want to know what happened during July 2020. It could be as simple as you were waiting for a new state medical license or credentialing to be completed. But it’s information you will have to provide.
So do you fill in all these gaps on your CV or just wait until they ask for an explanation? It depends. If it’s like the above example, I would probably skip it. However, if you took time off between jobs to travel or take care of someone I would include it.
A thing to remember is there is the CV you want to show the group hiring you versus the CV needed for hospital credentialing. The first is the one you want to get your foot in the door for an interview. Providing information that you were waiting for a license after training is not relevant. However, the CV for credentialing – they’ll want it.
Last thing you have to do!
This is the easiest thing to do to make future onboarding and credentialing easy.
Create a folder on your computer.
As you go through the hospital credentialing process fill the folder with all the documents and information requested. That way the next time you find yourself starting a new anesthesia job, with one click of a button most of your work will already have been done.