Andrea L. Devoti, RN, MSN, MBA, is executive vice president of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice. For more information, visit nahc.org.
There are three bodies that provide accreditation to homecare, skilled homecare, hospice and palliative care, and each has a different variety of providers for whom they provide accreditation and consultative services. These are:
- Joint Commission at jointcommission.org
- Community Health Accreditation Program, Inc. (CHAP) at chapinc.org
- Accreditation Commission for Health Care, Inc. (ACHC) at achc.org
More information about each of these programs can be obtained from their websites.
An organization providing Medicare services that is accredited is considered to have “deemed” status with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which means the organization also meets the Federal Conditions of Participation for homecare and/or hospice which is necessary for an organization to participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs.
All three accrediting bodies are good resources of information for an organization interested in the process. Surveyors can provide invaluable advice on issues or processes that the organization is working on through their quality improvement programs. In addition, companies may contract with the accrediting bodies for consultative services, including preparation for the accreditation process.
Overall, the reason an organization strives to be recognized as accredited is to demonstrate to the market that they take their business and care seriously. Their focus is on the consumer and using the best practices, cutting-edge education, human resource management and business practices. The community can, in good faith, seek care through an accredited organization knowing that it will receive competent, safe, compassionate, caring and comprehensive treatment as they traverse the health care system from their entry via their physician’s office through post-acute care.
Why should an organization seek accreditation? Find out here.