Credentialing: DEA registration changes

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The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is cracking down on provider’s primary practice address change requests.  Gone are the days of submitting a practice address update online and a 24-48 hour turnaround time.  It is now taking 2-3 weeks for the DEA to process practice address updates when transferring to a different state.  The delay in the DEA processing time leads to delays with credentialing and privileging completion.

The time lag is in part due to the fact that the DEA is now confirming providers are privileged (or in the credentialing process) with hospital Medical Staff Offices (MSO) prior to completing any practice address updates.  As such, it is import that the MSO contact phone and fax numbers be provided when submitting practice address update requests.  If the correct MSO contact information is not provided, the DEA will then need to contact you to request this information, further delaying the change request processing time.

There are two solutions in order to avoid delays in obtaining facility privileges – submit the address change request early or apply for additional DEA registrations, in order to have one DEA registration for each state you practice in.  While your DEA registration is a federal number, it is only valid in the state in which your primary practice address is listed.  The DEA does allow for multiple DEA registrations for providers to work in multiple states simultaneously.   The cost of a second DEA (or third, or fourth…) is worth saving you the last minute stress and potential loss of income if your DEA practice address change request is not processed in time to meet credentialing deadlines in order to start as scheduled.

Online resources:

DEA’s policy concerning Locum Tenens:

DEA registration application online:

DEA address update online request:

Katie Cherry, CPCS

Senior Credentialing Coordinator

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