Staff members at TTUHSC El Paso are helping raise awareness of the important behind-the-scenes work of medical services professionals during National Medical Staff Services Awareness Week, Nov. 4-10.
Medical services professionals, also known as MSPs, are the staff in hospitals, doctors’ offices, university systems, government agencies, and other health care organizations who ensure that health care practitioners are properly educated, licensed and trained in their specialty.
At Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, this responsibility falls to the Credentialing/Privileging and Provider Enrollment Department, led by Director Cinthia Estrada, B.B.A., CPCS.
“This kind of work requires a lot of specialized training—we are the ones who do the background work to verify that our health care practitioners did graduate from the schools they attended, that they do have all the licenses and credentials required to provide patient care,” Estrada said.
The National Association of Medical Staff Services (NAMSS) offers support, advocacy and a certification program as part of its mission of ensuring patient safety. Certifications offered by the organization include the Certified Provider Credentialing Specialist (CPCS), Certified Professional Medical Services Management (CPMSM), which require several years’ experience in the profession and the passing of an exam.
At the state level, medical services professionals network through the Texas Society for Medical Services Specialists. In El Paso, TSMSS is represented by the Sun City Chapter. Estrada currently serves as the chapter’s interim president, and Credentialing/Privileging and Provider Enrollment staffer JoAnn Cruz serves as vice president.
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Medical Service Professionals’ Responsibilities Include:
- Credentialing and re-credentialing of all physicians and allied health practitioners
- Maintaining numerous physician information data banks, including education training, experience, and licensure
- Maintaining an accredited continuing medical education (CME) program and providing CME for physicians to maintain their clinical competency
- Reviewing and implementing various federal rulings and accrediting body standards pertaining to the functions of the medical and/or provider staff
- Establishing systems to facilitate meetings and communication between physicians, both within and outside their specialties, as well as with a hospital’s administration
- Developing, establishing, and enforcing of medical staff bylaws, rules and regulations, and policies that govern the activities of the medical staff