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MU Health Care Ends ‘Refer and Follow’ Privileges; Reviewing Other Proposed Changes to Credentials Procedure Manual

September 24th, 2015

Story Contact: Christian Basi, 573-882-4430,

COLUMBIA, Mo. (Sept. 24, 2015) ― After a review of University of Missouri Health Care policies and procedures, the executive committee of the medical staff of MU Health Care voted unanimously to discontinue “refer and follow” as a category of privileges at MU Health Care facilities. The change will be effective Dec.1, 2015.

The review of MU Health Care policies and privileges was prompted by inquiries from various members of the legislature and public to MU’s chancellor. Chancellor Loftin then asked the medical staff, many of whom are also faculty, to review these policies and make recommendations.

“Of the 800 members of MU Health Care’s medical staff, two medical providers had refer and follow privileges,” said Steve Whitt, chief medical officer of MU Health Care and a member of the executive committee. “Refer and follow privileges only allow physicians to access their own patients’ information. This level of access to patient information is already permitted by any referring provider, including those not on MU Health Care’s medical staff; therefore, the designation of refer and follow privileges was outdated and unnecessary.”

As part of its review, MU Health Care is also proposing changes to its privileging process that will include additional review of the contributions applicants will make to MU Health Care’s multiple missions of providing exemplary patient and family-centered care, high-quality professional education and research.

As part of the decision-making process, the proposed changes have been forwarded to MU Health Care’s eligible voting medical staff members for comment. At the conclusion of the comment period, the executive committee will consider all information, including suggestions and comments from these members of the medical staff, prior to voting on these revisions.

The proposed changes to the Credentials Procedure Manual are intended to help officials confirm that providers who are not MU employees meet the qualifications for privileges while also contributing to the three missions of MU Health Care and the University of Missouri.