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How To Register for CAQH

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Author: Matthew Geller O.D.

Registering for CAQH makes life a lot easier to become a provider on insurance plans as an optometrist. Both medical and vision plans use CAQH in their credentialing process.

The hard part is getting onto CAQH. It can take almost 2 hours to fill out all the information they need.

What is CAQH

CAQH stands for the “Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare”. CAQH does a bunch of stuff but today we are focused on their CAQH ProView, the next generation of UPD – “Universal Provider Datasource.” ProView allows optometrists and other healthcare professionals in all 50 states to enter all of their information free-of-charge into a secure database. You, and only you, now have the power to authorize healthcare organizations, on a one-by-one basis, to access all of that information. In summary – the CAQH ProView eliminates redundant paperwork and reduces administrative workload.

My Experience with CAQH

  • Difficult to get started
  • Takes a very long time to complete
  • Frustrating to upload “supporting documents”
  • Big learning curve
  • Makes life A LOT easier once you are done (and that is what matters)
  • Overall a GREAT tool and well worth it

CAQH Contact Information

Phone: CAQH Support Desk at 1-888-599-1771

Email: [email protected]

Help Desk hours: 7am-9pm ET Monday – Thursday and 7am-7pm ET on Fridays

Supporting documents should be faxed toll-free to 1-866-293-0414

Step-By-Step Guide To Register for CAQH

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About Matt Geller

Matt Geller
Matt is the founder of OptometryStudents.com, NewGradOptometry.com and the co-founder of CovalentCareers.com and NewGradMedia.com. He is also an optometrist in San Diego, California with a focus on ocular disease and pediatric care. Matt's focus is in the world of digital publications and healthcare staffing, with special attention on business architecture, UI/UX design, and software architecture.

16 comments

  1. FYI, you no longer have to wait for an insurance company to provide an ID and you can apply for an ID on the CAQH website without being credentialed yet.

    • I just found this out as well, except it’s the opposite of what this article says. VSP now expects us to already have a CAQH ID. I can’t find a place to apply for it on the CAQH website. VSP is trying to help me do this. Lauren, if you can point me to where on the website I can apply, please let me know. Thanks.

  2. Warren G Ansaldo

    Is there any way for a new graduate to finish this without having a practice location? I just received my license today, but one of the places I’m applying to wants me to provide my CAQH. It seems like a catch 22. I can’t finish my CAQH application without getting hired first and I can’t finish my job application without completing the CAQH. Please advise.

    • Antonio Chirumbolo

      You can use your home address until your practice address is finalized and then update it. I believe that is what I did. Hope that helps!

      • Nicole Kohan

        I’m an independent contractor now at a few locations but I’m looking for a full time gig or something at least 1/2 the week permanently to make my home. Should I wait until I know where this will be before doing the CAQH? I spoke with an OD today who told me to do this process asap to get the credentialing process going for insurance panels but I don’t really have a main practice yet so I cannot fill out big chunks of the PDF…what to do??

        • Matt Geller

          Hey Nicole,

          The OD you spoke to is correct; you want to do it ASAP. This advice is debatable, but I would just list any of the practices you are contracting with. The purpose is just to get on CAQH, not have it be perfect and beautiful looking. Furthermore, CAQH is incredibly easy to update. You can change it at any time. So when that full-time practice comes along, just switch it up!

          Legally and ethically, I believe this is totally ok, but I would do your own due diligence and make sure. CAQH doesn’t say “this must be a practice where you spend ‘x’ hours per week” so I think it should be ok.

          Hope this is helpful.

  3. Michelle Biaggi

    A few questions. Where do I enter NBEO certification (and is this necessary if it not a red asterisk field)? Is there a benefit to uploading the W-9, state license and insurance policy since these are not required?

  4. Cemone Khan-Nakagawa

    Can I apply for a NPI number and register for CAQH without a practice address yet? I just got licensed in California and have not started working yet. I would prefer not to use my home address.

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