Navigating Licensing and Credentialing: Timesaving Steps for Medical Staff Relocation

So, you’ve just hired a talented physician from out-of-state—congratulations! Given the ongoing healthcare talent shortage, that’s something to celebrate. But don’t break out the party hats yet. Because now, the race against the clock begins.

Obviously, you want that physician in-house and working ASAP. But there’s three more hurdles to overcome: licensing, credentialing and relocation. None of these happen overnight—which is why you need some strategic efficiencies in place.

How L-o-n-g Does It Take to Get New Physicians In-house?   

Obviously, the timeline for getting physicians fully on board varies, considering what they/you must accomplish first:

Obtain a State Medical License

Every physician must possess an in-state license before they can practice. According to the American Medical Association (AMA), it typically takes at least two months for licensure to be granted—and can take longer, since requirements and processing speeds vary from state to state.  

Get Credentialed  

Credentialing is a multi-step process since incoming physicians must be credentialed by both their new hospital and each of its affiliated managed care networks/insurance plans. According to the AMA, this can take up to 180 days.


Managing a relocation doesn’t require a medical degree, but it does involve some intensive, time-consuming tasks: choosing a neighborhood, finding housing, arranging the household goods move, and more. While relocations vary in complexity, they generally take at least one to two months to plan, book, and execute—not to mention acclimate to the new job and location!

Add it up, and there are mountains to move. So, how can you move them a little faster?

4 Ways to Accelerate Licensing and Credentialing

There are some things you as an employer can control; others are out of your hands. Let’s focus on those that you can influence—and how you can accelerate them. 

  • Rather than leave it to incoming physicians (who, after all, have a lot on their plates), guide them through the licensing and credentialing process. Tell them what’s required, arm them with cheat sheets, and assist wherever you can. Often, incomplete paperwork slows down the process—with oversight, that’s preventable.
  • Centralize your licensing and credentialing support, giving ownership to a specific employee or two. Make sure they keep detailed records, follow up closely, and track their metrics, creating efficiency standards.
  • Make it a condition of hiring to start these processes immediately. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), many physicians don’t apply for credentials until after they’ve relocated, adding precious months to the process. 
  • Similarly, direct physicians to stay on top of their references. Some managed care organizations won’t consider an application until all the references have been received, allowing one slow respondent to bring the process to a halt.

How to Speed and Smooth Physicians’ Relocation

It’s not enough to give your new physicians a relocation allowance. If you want to accelerate their move—while ensuring it goes smoothly—the key is to help them plan it, too.

However, most healthcare employers don’t have the bandwidth or expertise for this, which is why many industry-leading organizations outsource this task to a relocation provider—ideally, one that knows the healthcare industry.  

Specifically, organizations like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Mayo Clinic count on UrbanBound to:

  • Guide new hires through the entire relocation, through step-by-step software that lets them plan and book their move online   
  • Steer them to proven, pre-qualified movers, realtors, etc., saving time while ensuring prompt, problem-free relocations  
  • Provide them with a dedicated relocation consultant to help 
  • Keep a real-time tally of incurred expenses  
  • Provide useful information about their new city: housing, schools, commuting options, etc.

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  • By taking the work and stress out of relocation, you can free your new hires to focus on additional priorities: licensing, credentialing and acclimating to their new job and city. And when you pick the right relocation provider, you can actually slash your relocation budget, too.  

So, where can you find that relocation provider that specializes in healthcare and provides all these excellent services?

Well, we’re right here. We’re UrbanBound. And we’d love to help you get your new employees up to speed faster—just like we do for leading healthcare organizations. Learn more about us—and our healthcare clients—here 

Human Resources Today