URAC Responds to Coronavirus

Covid virus

UPDATED September 1, 2020

Watch URAC's President and CEO Dr. Shawn Griffin discuss URAC's response to the COVID pandemic. 

VIRTUAL VALIDATION IS EXTENDED TO OCTOBER 16, 2020.

Patient Care Comes First!!

We want to keep you informed as the spread of COVID-19 continues to spread nationwide. URAC will continue to make adjustments to our processes as guidance and recommendations are posted by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Please review this web page for COVID-19 updates. 

You can also access our clearinghouse of information regarding COVID-19 and telehealth here.


Rural Crosswalk: CMS Flexibilities to Fight COVID-19


URAC Accreditation and Certification Programs (Through OCTOBER 16, 2020)

URAC would like to take this opportunity to express our support for health organizations as they deal with the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We value the work you do and the sacrifices you all make in your daily lives. It is at extraordinary times like this that we wish to express our heartfelt appreciation for all providers battling this pandemic to ensure patients get the care they need.

Through October 16, 2020, URAC will:

  • Suspend all accreditation and certification onsite activities.
    • Transition scheduled validation reviews to virtual where possible.
    • Reschedule validation review that cannot be completed virtually.
  • Suspend all monitoring activities for the 2020 randomly selected organizations.
  • Evaluate requests for extension for application submission without penalty.
  • Evaluate the need to extend accreditation and certification expiration dates without penalty

For programs requiring an onsite observation during the Validation Review

  • Reschedule the onsite observation component of the accreditation validation review for all new Applicants who have completed their virtual validation review.  Note: This will not prevent an organization’s application from being presented to the Accreditation Committee.
  • Waive the onsite observation component of the accreditation validation review for reaccreditation Applicants who have completed their virtual validation review.

Health Care Organizations and Practices Whose Operations Are Affected

During the uncertain time of the COVID-19 pandemic, URAC understands that to prioritize patient care, Applicants and Accredited Organizations may experience instances of non-compliance with URAC program standards when implementing their business continuity/disaster response plans. URAC has developed a template to be used by Applicants and Accredited Organizations who have or will experience instances of non-compliance with URAC program standards. The template offers the information required to document any temporary instances of non-compliance with a program standard and the resolution. This resource is available in URAC’s AccreditNET platform under General Resources. This template may be submitted to URAC to document actions taken during the pandemic.

URAC will work with all organizations to ensure any state or federal accommodations/relaxations of health care regulations during COVID-19 pandemic are honored. We ask that organizations include any state or federal accommodations/relaxations on the URAC COVID-19 Temporary Noncompliance Documentation Template.

For all URAC programs that have the requirements listed below, here are some additional changes regarding specific program standards.

Credentialing

  • Allow organization to accept or transfer credentialing an application that is signed and dated up to 210 days (changed from 180 days).
  • Allow primary or secondary source verification information collected eight (8) months prior to submission or transfer to be accepted (changed from six (6) months).
  • Allow organizations that delegate credentialing to reschedule provider site visits at a later date.
  • Increase the period for organizations to complete participating provider recredentialing from 36 months by an additional 90 days.

Business Continuity Plan

For programs that contain earlier versions of Core (i.e., Core v3.0, Pharmacy Core v3.1, and Core v3.2), organizations may use an actual implementation of their BCP (Business Continuity Plan) in response to COVID‑19 as meeting the requirement for testing their BCP.

This affects the following standards:

  • CORE 14: Business Continuity, element c (Core v3.0 and Core v3.2)
  • PHARM Core 14: Business Continuity/Emergency Management, element d (Pharmacy Core v3.1)

Utilization Management

  • Waive the review of organizational UM files if performance was impacted by COVID-19

HR/Employment Screening

  • Relax requirements for employment background screening and drug testing/screening from “prior to hire” to completed within 60 days of the date of hire.
  • Note: Primary Source Verification prior to hire remains a requirement.

Telephone Performance Metrics

  • Waive the review of organizational telephone performance metrics if performance was impacted by COVID-19

We will continue to address any additional changes to program standards in response to COVID-19 and client needs and update here.