Becoming JCAHO Certified
JCAHO is an acronym that stands for the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization. It is a nonprofit organization that accredits more than 22,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. The Joint Commission was founded in 1951 and is the oldest and largest accrediting body in American health care. Any organization that seeks to become JCAHO certified will undergo an extensive on-site survey by a Joint Commission survey team every three years in order to retain the JCAHO accreditation. Twenty-one members make up the Board of Commissioners that govern The Joint Commission, including administrators, nurses, physicians, quality experts, educators, and a consumer advocate. The Joint Commission surveyor force consists of approximately one thousand individuals. The central office is located in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois and an additional office is in Washington, D.C.
The JCAHO standards are carefully and thoughtfully developed utilizing input from expert health care professionals. Standards are informed by scientific literature, and are reviewed by the Board of Commissioners. While new standards can be added, they are only done so if they relate to patient safety or quality of care, meet or surpass law, can be precisely and easily measured, and have a positive impact on health outcomes. According to The Joint Commissions official webpage, the process for developing the standards includes the following steps:
- The Joint Commission’s standing committees and advisory groups, accredited organizations, professional associations, consumer groups and others contribute suggestions for the need of additional and/ or revised requirements regarding quality and safety issues.
- The Joint Commission prepares drafts of standards using input from various expert sources including scientific literature, technical advisory panels, and focus groups.
- The drafted standards are nationally distributed as well as made available for additional input on The Joint Commissions website.
- Revisions are made.
- Standards are reviewed and approved by executive leadership.
- The survey process is augmented to address and include the new standards requirements.
- Pilot testing of the adjusted survey process is conducted.
- Surveyors are taught how to assess compliance with the new standards.
- The approved standards are published for use by the field. Subsequent to implementing a new standard, ongoing feedback is obtained for the purpose of continued improvement.
Each accreditation program has a somewhat unique set of standards. The various standards manuals, not in field or in the prepublication status, are not freely disclosed by the Joint Commission. Each accredited and certified JCAHO organization will, however, receive a complimentary manual.
There are several different types of accreditation programs health care organizations can obtain through JCAHO. These can include the following:
- Ambulatory Care Accreditation: including medical groups, urgent care centers, office-based surgery practices and ambulatory surgery centers
- Hospital Accreditation: including critical access hospitals, rehabilitation, children’s general, and psychiatric
- Nursing Care Center Accreditation: including long term care, post-acute, and sub-acute
- Home Care Accreditation: including hospice, home health, pharmacy, medical equipment, personal care, and community-based palliative care services
- Behavioral Health Care Accreditation: including addiction treatment, ID/DD, child welfare services, and mental health
- Laboratory Services Accreditation: including both independent or freestanding clinical laboratories
There are myriad reasons why a health care organization may seek JCAHO accreditation. The JCAHO seal of approval allows the public to know the organization holds a steadfast commitment to provide the highest quality of services.
As insurance regulations change, it is imperative that companies understand how each change can affect their practice, in all aspects. Insurance companies are notorious for offering excuses and utilizing loopholes to avoid paying providers what they owe. Accreditations such as CARF and JCAHO are now a common requirement for insurance companies to render payment. These certifications alert the public that a company has been adequately inspected and is considered reputable, meeting the accreditations high standards. The accreditation process can be arduous, requiring a significant amount of time and energy. Our staff offers diverse skills that enable Oracle Billing and Services, Inc. to assist in areas ranging from CARF-Accreditation, Verification of Insurance benefits, Insurance Collection Calls, Drug/Alcohol state licensing, JCAHO-Certification and more. Oracle Billing and Services has extensive experience in assisting companies in the health industry, in understanding the ever-changing regulations as well as providing expert consultation for all areas of operations. Reach out today and schedule an appointment with Oracle Billing and Services via phone at 626-872-7344. We look forward to connecting and helping to bring your company to the next level.