How Long Does CAQH Credentialing Take?

Amanda Marten, MSN, FNP-C

Credentialing is one step in a provider’s onboarding process that can be quite time-consuming. Managed credentialing services or CAQH credentialing is one way to cut the time it takes to complete the process. However, how long does CAQH credentialing take?

I’ll review CAQH credentialing and how long it typically takes to complete the process from start to finish and discuss ways to streamline the credentialing process.

What is CAQH Credentialing?

CAQH –  the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare – helps simplify and streamline the credentialing process for healthcare organizations. The CAQH Provider Data Portal, formerly known as the CAQH Proview, houses providers’ professional, verified information in one central location – a big time saver. The portal shares provider information with multiple healthcare organizations, insurance networks, and payers looking for CAQH credentialing.

Many healthcare organizations require  a CAQH profile as it’s a simpler, quicker way to share the provider’s required information for credentialing and enrollment. However, it’s not always a requirement. Some healthcare organizations manage CAQH provider profiles in house, while others have providers manage it themselves.

Steps to Achieve  CAQH Credentialing

The time it takes to complete CAQH credentialing depends on whether you’re completing an initial profile, updating specific data, or re-attesting the information. Here is more detail on each CAQH credentialing step:

Initial Profile Completion

The first step is creating a profile and entering the required information such as personal details, education, work history, and licenses. Additional information like employers, practice locations, and disciplinary actions is also required. 

This step takes the longest and can take upwards of two hours to complete. CAQH approval takes anywhere from 90 to 120 days. The good news is that you’ll only have to create a profile once, as the information stays within the secure warehouse for as long as the account is active. If you cancel the account or request deactivation, CAQH retains the information for the amount of time required by law.

General CAQH Profile Update

Providers should update their CAQH profile whenever there are significant updates to the information. This includes licenses and certifications, changes to practice locations, and healthcare organization affiliation. Depending on the extent of information updates, this step may take 15 minutes to about an hour to complete.

CAQH Credentialing – Re-Attestation

Every 120 days, CAQH requires that providers review their profile information and then re-attest its accuracy. Even if there are no updates, providers must log in and complete CAQH credentialing re-attestation. This includes filling out and manually signing state-specific forms and information. The re-attestation process is often the quickest and takes anywhere from five to 20 minutes. Minus any information updates, CAQH typically approves re-attested information within a few days.

Ways to Streamline the CAQH Credentialing Process

Although CAQH credentialing can be time-consuming – especially for the initial application – there are a few ways to make the process more efficient. Here’s a list of ways to streamline the CAQH credentialing process:

  • Consider credentialing software: Credentialing software used by healthcare organizations already houses the required information for CAQH credentialing. So why not link it to fill out your CAQH Provider Profile and save yourself from reentering data?
  • Prepare information and documents: Review CAQH’s list of required information and documents before sitting down to complete your application. This will save you time by keeping you organized.
  • Scan documents: CAQH requires healthcare providers to upload documents including, but not limited to,  licenses, certifications, and proof of liability insurance. Save time by scanning and saving these documents to your computer before starting. In addition, make sure your computer or phone can print and scan documents. Some CAQH documents require you to print, manually sign, scan, and then upload.
  • Set aside time: Designate time that’s free from distractions. Depending on your schedule, you may need to schedule two 1-hour sessions to complete your initial application.
  • Schedule reminders: The CAQH system sends reminders about upcoming 120-day re-attestation. However, it doesn’t notify you of information updates, like license or certification renewals or expirations. These reminders can come from your credentialing software


Complete credentialing 3 weeks faster

Credentialing software, like MedTrainer, is designed to streamline the entire credentialing process. From reducing redundant data entry to process workflows and automated reminders, software can help both healthcare organizations and providers save time. See MedTrainer Credentialing in action.