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Credentialing, OPPE, and FPPE for Advanced Nurse Practitioners (APN) and Physician Assistants (PA)

April 7, 2021

What Is the Difference Between OPPE and FPPE? 

The Joint Commission (TJC) is responsible for accrediting healthcare organizations and programs. The evaluations created by TJC provide benchmarks to evaluate the quality of care and assure patient safety. According to TJC, the Ongoing Professional Practice Evaluation (OPPE) and Focused Professional Practice Evaluation (FPPE) are required for a provider to receive privileges with healthcare organizations. Healthcare organizations are responsible for overseeing privileging and credentialing for all practitioners. To assist medical staff in understanding requirements, it is important to understand the difference between the two evaluations and the process each evaluation requires.

Ongoing Professional Practice Evaluation (OPPE) evaluates the professional performance of healthcare providers on an ongoing basis. Once a provider receives practicing privileges, he/she must be evaluated through Evalumetrics periodically (every month, every three months, or every six months).

According to TJC, OPPE is required for three reasons:

  1. To monitor professional competency
  2. To identify areas for possible improvement by individual practitioners
  3. To use objective data in decisions regarding continuance of practice privileges

The Focused Professional Practice Evaluation (FPPE) involves more specific and time-limited monitoring of a provider’s practice performance. An FPPE is required for new practices, new privilege requests, or when a complaint or OPPE performance non-conformance notification by a privileged provider occurs.

TJC does not specify the length of time for an FPPE. A monitoring session may last from three to 12 months. The duration and scope of FPPE monitoring may vary depending on the level of a practitioner’s documented training and experience. More experienced practitioners may be subject to shorter monitoring periods or fewer service events.

To expedite the FPPE process, practitioners should:

  1. Clearly define and document monitoring with specific criteria and a monitoring plan
  2. Set a fixed duration for the evaluation
  3. Determine measures or conditions for acceptable performance

APN and PA Medical Staff

Many states face significant staffing shortages. To compensate, mid-level practitioners such as Advanced Practice Nurses (APN) and Physician Assistants (PA) may change their scope of practice. As is the case for physicians, credentialing and privileging membership for APN and PA medical staff are dependent on laws that vary by state.

In all medical facilities, APNs and PAs must be credentialed and privileged to practice in the state. Healthcare institutions are responsible for the credentialing and monitoring of all employees whether they are contract or full-time employees. Since laws vary by state, it is critical to monitor changing regulations for mid-level providers.

What Is an Allied Health Professional and Do They Have to Be Credentialed? 

According to the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professionals (ASAHP), allied health professionals are those in the healthcare field who “deliver services involving the identification, evaluation and prevention of diseases and disorders; dietary and nutrition services; and rehabilitation and health systems management.” Allied health professionals fall into two broad categories: technicians (assistants) and therapists/technologists. These professionals represent 60% of the medical field. Some allied health professionals include (but are not limited to):

  • Athletic Trainers
  • Audiologists
  • Dental Hygienists
  • Dieticians
  • Health Administrators

Allied health professionals are also subject to state and federal regulations and must be credentialed to perform services. Some critical services that allied health professionals perform may include:

  • Writing orders for medications, tests, and procedures
  • Interpreting tests and treatments
  • Performing physicals and gathering medical histories
  • Wound debridement
  • Central line insertions
  • Assisting with interventional or surgical procedures

APN, PA, and Allied Health Professional Credentialing Software

The Health Resource and Services Association (HRSA) projects a 30% to 50% employment increase of allied health professionals over the next ten years. In order to stay compliant with this influx of employees, healthcare administration will need to automate systems and notifications. For compliance with FPPE and OPPE processes, all of your providers should meet government and regulatory standards.

Verisys is the leader in physician credential monitoring. Ensure that all your healthcare employees including APNs, PAs, and other allied health professionals are in full compliance and ready to provide quality patient care. Verisys is the industry leader in providing healthcare professionals screening and monitoring using automation, to fit your organization’s needs to credential all your healthcare employees.

Juliette Willard Written by Juliette Willard
Healthcare Communications Specialist
Connect with Juliette on LinkedIn