The American Hospital Association and the American Association of Healthcare Consultants have joined to provide a consulting referral service for AHA members that are forming integrated delivery networks.
Under the agreement, which was announced last week at the AHA's annual convention in Dallas, the Fairfax, Va.-based AAHC will credential consulting firms for the AHA.
"The AHA wanted someone to look at the quality of work and qualifications (of consulting firms)," said Vaughan Smith, the AAHC's president. "Users can have some confidence that firms (on the list) have a track record of success."
The AAHC's 65 member firms will automatically qualify for the referral service if they seek placement on the list, Mr. Smith said.
For an initial application fee of $500, consulting firms that want to be on the list will be reviewed. AHA members will not be charged to use the service, Mr. Smith said.
Firms applying for the referral list must have conducted consulting work for five different systems during the last two years, Mr. Smith said. He said he expects 50 firms to apply for credentials within the next year.
To request information on consultants, executives can call the AAHC at 800-691-7306.