The Joint Commission has accredited hospitals for more than 50 years and today it accredits approximately 4,500 general, children's, long term acute, psychiatric, rehabilitation and surgical specialty hospitals, and maintains a unique accreditation program for critical access hospitals. The Joint Commission currently accredits approximately 80 percent of the nation's hospitals. Accreditation helps to inform and protect consumers, educate providers and support improvement in the quality of the health care system overall. Hospitals seek Joint Commission accreditation primarily as a means to enhance organization performance. Accreditation also may be used to meet Medicare certification requirements and, in many states, licensure requirements. It also is a condition of reimbursement for certain insurers and other payers. Many hospitals find that Joint Commission accreditation builds community confidence, helps recruit top medical staff, and provides an important framework for staff education. It also can reduce a hospital's liability insurance premiums. Since the enactment of the Social Security Act in 1965, hospitals with Joint Commission accreditation have been deemed as meeting the federal Conditions of Participation for the Medicare and Medicaid programs, meaning they can receive payment from Medicare and Medicaid (http://www.jcaho.org/).
Benefits of Accreditation
Improves care -- Joint Commission standards focus on state-of-the-art performance improvement strategies that help health care organizations continuously improve the safety and quality of care provided to individuals.
Strengthens community confidence -- Accreditation highlights an organization's commitment to providing safe, quality care to the community it serves. Achieving accreditation makes a strong statement to the community about an organization's efforts to provide the highest quality services.
Provides professional advice and enhances staff education -- The survey process is designed to be educational, not punitive. Joint Commission surveyors are experienced health care professionals trained to provide expert advice and education during the survey.
Offers ongoing support -- Through its not-for-profit affiliate, Joint...