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Tuesday 1:39 CST, July 29, 2014

Joint Commission FAQ Page

E-dition

FAQs Behavioral Health Accreditation

What can accreditation do for my organization?

How long does the process take?

What does it cost?

What kind of help can I expect?

What are the first steps?

How soon after I apply can I be surveyed?

What happens to my accreditation if there are changes in our organization?

How long must we be in compliance with the requirements before our first survey?

How do I register a complaint about an accredited organization?

Where can I get an accreditation manual?

How do I find out how other organizations rate with The Joint Commission?


FAQs Behavioral Health Accreditation

Q: What can accreditation do for my organization?
A:

Accreditation is a periodic external evaluation by recognized experts that provides impartial evidence of the quality of care, treatment or services delivered to the individuals you serve.

Preparing for accreditation affords your organization the opportunity for an in-depth review of safety and care delivery processes.  Achieving accreditation is a visible demonstration to those you serve, their families, your staff and community of your organization’s ongoing commitment to safe, high quality care, treatment or services.

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Q: How long does the process take?
A:

How long you take to get ready for accreditation is up to you.  You can move forward at your own pace.  Most Joint Commission accredited organizations take about 4-6 months to evaluate themselves and/or establish new policies and procedures before they are ready for their survey.  As the application for accreditation is good for 12 months, this gives you time to review the accreditation requirements and make sure your organization is ready before our surveyor(s) arrive.  Also, your first survey is a “scheduled” one, which means you’ll know the exact date we’ll be arriving – and that date will be based on when you tell us you think you’ll be ready.

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Q: What does it cost?
A:

A Joint Commission accreditation period is three years.  We divide your fees across this three year period using an annual fee.  There is also a survey fee in the first year, as that is when we incur the most costs to send surveyor(s) to visit you.  So you’ll pay about 60% of your total accreditation costs in the first year and about 20% each the next two years.  All costs are included in those fees, so there are no extra charges for surveyor travel, etc.  As an example, a small organization would pay about $1,689 in annual fees every year, plus a survey fee of around $2,835 in the year we do the on-site survey. 

Your actual cost will depend on several factors such as the number of locations you have and the volume of individuals you serve.  You can get an estimate by calling (630) 792-5115; or you can calculate it yourself by using our pricing worksheet available on this web page. 

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Q: What kind of help can I expect?
A:

We understand that the road to accreditation often has its challenges, but we also offer a wide variety of resources to assist you.  These include a Behavioral Health Accreditation Team for the early steps, such as helping you find a mentor organization to talk to; a dedicated Account Executive for your organization, who will help you through the application and pre-survey process; and a Standards Help Desk, just to help clarify and answer questions about the accreditation requirements.  You’ll find their contact information under “Quick Links,” or see the Resource Directory in our “Guide to Joint Commission Behavioral Health Accreditation,” also available on this web page.

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Q: What are the first steps?
A:

The first step for most organizations is to contact us to get free trial access to our accreditation requirements, and to use the sorting feature(s) to determine which of the requirements in the manual you’ll need to be in compliance with by the time of survey.  This will let you conduct an analysis to see how close you are to compliance with the requirements and give you an idea of how much preparation time you’ll need.  You may also wish to review our “Guide to Joint Commission Behavioral Health Accreditation,” available on this web page, which explains the accreditation process in depth. 

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Q: How soon after I apply can I be surveyed?
A:

The key issue is when you feel you will be ready for your survey.  A new organization will need to be surveyed within 12 months of submitting their application and deposit.  But we will do our best to schedule your survey on or after the month you indicate on the application as your “ready date”.  We also allow you to tell us specific dates when you don’t want us to come. Most organizations request to be surveyed 3-9 months after they have submitted their application, to give themselves time to prepare.  But we can also be responsive to short turn-around times for those who wish to be surveyed quickly.
 

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Q: What happens to my accreditation if there are changes in our organization?
A:

If there are major changes at your organization, such as a merger, acquisition, or other major change in services/programs provided, location(s), capacity, or corporate structure, you’ll need to contact us within 30 days.  We do not automatically transfer accreditation to new owners.  Usually, we will extend your accreditation until we can determine if the change is major enough to warrant a special extension survey.  Failure to notify us of major changes to your organization can result in a loss of accreditation.
 

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Q: How long must we be in compliance with the requirements before our first survey?
A:

The Joint Commission does not require a “track record” for Behavioral Health Care organizations.  We do expect that you will be in compliance with all the accreditation requirements by the time of your survey, but we will not review previous compliance.

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Q: How do I register a complaint about an accredited organization?
A:

If you or anyone else wishes to register a complaint about an accredited organization, complete our online “Quality Incident Report Form”, or call 800-994-6610.
 

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Q: Where can I get an accreditation manual?
A:

They are available for purchase on our sister-site, www.jcrinc.com.  A complimentary copy will also be sent to your organization upon receipt of your application and a deposit towards your accreditation fees, and we also offer a free trial of our online accreditation manual to anyone who is interested in reviewing the requirements prior to sending in their application.  If you are considering behavioral health accreditation and would like a free trial of our online accreditation manual, please call us at (630) 792-5771.

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Q: How do I find out how other organizations rate with The Joint Commission?
A:

Visit www.qualitycheck.org, where you can search our database for a complete listing of all Joint Commission accredited organizations, and review their latest quality reports.

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