NU Online News Service, Aug. 1, 11:11 a.m. – URAC, Washington, a health care accreditation group, has released a draft of its new Credentials Verification Organization Standards.

Members of the public can comment on the draft until Sept. 13.

If adopted, the new standards will affect the accreditation process for organizations that check the qualifications of doctors and other professionals who participate in managed-care provider networks.

URAC says the new version of the program uses more specific language to describe the standards and will require evaluators to give applicants more feedback about their applications.

URAC is also combining standards that apply mainly to credentials verification organizations with URAC “core standards” that apply to all sorts of health care organizations.

The core standards require all companies seeking accreditation to put programs in place to protect consumers; maintain confidentiality of health information; oversee the activities of subcontractors; measure and improve quality; and ensure that staff members have the appropriate qualifications.

More information about the draft standards and the public comment process are available on the URAC Web site, at http://www.urac.org