Accreditation is Mandatory
Everyone knows that accreditation is mandatory. If you are in one of the 10 CMS MSAs, you already need to be accredited. Every organization that wants to continue to bill Medicare must be accredited by July 31, 2009. Being accredited is a major step an organization takes to benchmark itself with quality standards. When an organization proves it has met accreditation standards, it says to your customers that you are a professional organization and quality and safety are your primary concerns.
CMS has approved the following 10 accrediting organizations for providers to choose from:
- Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC)
- American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics, and Pedorthics (ABCOP)
- Board of Certification/Accreditation, International (BOC)
- Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)
- Community Health Accreditation Program (CHAP)
- Healthcare Quality Association on Accreditation (HQAA)
- National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP)
- The Compliance Team (CTEAM)
- The Joint Commission (JCAHO)
- The National Board of Accreditation for Orthotic Suppliers (NBAOS)
Don't Believe Everything You're Told
With the onset of mandatory accreditation, the number of available manuals and consultants has exploded. Many of these consultants moonlight as accreditation surveyors. They'll analyze your business and, suprisingly, find areas of weakness that can be fixed with their products. How unbiased of a view of your organization are you getting from a consultant who is also a surveyor for your accrediting organization?
Writing a policy manual that meets accreditation standards takes hundreds of hours of time and tens of thousands of dollars. Not only is there a cost in creation of your manual, but maintaining your policies is a full-time job. Medicare and Medicaid regulations change almost daily. Make the entire process simple by having industry experts (that don't work for any accreditation body) monitor standards and keep your policies up-to-date.