Credentialing Checklist for Mental Health Clinicians

 Written by Kelsey Someliana-Lauer, Therapy Practice Solutions Virtual Assistant

You’ve weighed your options on whether you’d like to be a private pay only practice or accept insurance (and if you haven’t done this yet, check out our blog post here). You’ve decided you’d like to accept insurance on top of accepting private pay clients. Great! … Now what?

Many mental health clinicians who operate a private practice may feel lost when it comes to credentialing. Chances are, you weren’t taught how to become credentialed with insurance panels in graduate school! There are tons of options you can use to learn how to credential - you can call and ask the insurance company the steps, hire a credentialing business or Virtual Assistant to do it for you, watch a webinar, and so on.

No matter your choice for becoming credentialed, one thing will remain the same - all avenues will need the same basic preparation work done, whether you’re credentialing yourself or requesting help from a company or Virtual Assistant. Check out three tips from the pros at Therapy Practice Solutions to lay the foundation for your credentialing process!

Research Who You Want, and Who Wants You

The first step - pick which insurance panels you’d like to become in-network with! You can research which insurance panels have the most members in your state (it’s likely the big five: United Healthcare, Aetna, BlueCross BlueShield, Cigna, or Kaiser). While insurance companies don’t publicly post their reimbursement rates and many even ask members to not share their rates, you may be able to get an idea by emailing the insurance panel’s contracting department and asking for an estimate based on your license.

That brings up another point - even if you decide you’d like to become paneled with an insurance company, they may not accept your credentials, such as your license type. This is information many insurance companies have posted on their website. Before going through all the trouble of filling out an application or hiring someone to do so, ensure you can actually be paneled with the insurance company.

Update Your CAQH Information

CAQH is a website that almost all insurance companies utilize to complete your credentialing process. Your CAQH profile stores your license information, employment history, liability insurance, and more. It’s vital that this directory is updated with the following at minimum:

  • Your current workplace (where you’re trying to become credentialed at!)

  • Your last 5-10 years of employment history

  • Your most current license in the state you’re trying to become credentialed in

  • Your updated liability insurance

You should ensure your CAQH is up to date and accurate for insurance companies to be able to credential you without any delays.

Gather Your Records

Insurance panels, or at least your CAQH, will ask for several records. You’ll need either a picture of your license or a license verification printout and a copy of your current liability insurance, at minimum. You’ll also need your W9 for almost all insurance applications. If you don’t have copies of these records on hand, you’ll need to get them before you start your credentialing process!

We hope this blog post provided you some tips for getting started on your insurance credentialing journey as a mental health clinician! One of the easiest ways to get credentialed is to hire a professional to do it for you. At Therapy Practice Solutions, we can get you credentialed - and then take care of your emails, phone calls, social media, progress notes, and website design! You’ll have a hard time finding another credentialing company that does all of that, trust us! If you’re interested in meeting your new teammate, reach out today. We look forward to hearing from you!


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