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CMS Recognizes The Joint Commission’s Accreditation of Clinical Labs

June 21, 2012
By: Elizabeth Eaken Zhani, Media Relations Manager

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(OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. – June 21, 2012) The Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has again granted The Joint Commission deeming authority for the accreditation of clinical laboratories under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA). The Joint Commission accredits for all laboratory specialties recognized by CLIA including clinical pathology, cytology and anatomic pathology. 

The CMS designation means that clinical laboratories accredited by The Joint Commission may choose to be “deemed” as meeting Medicare and Medicaid certification requirements. CMS found that The Joint Commission’s standards for clinical laboratories meet or exceed those established by the Medicare and Medicaid program. CMS’ approval, is effective for a 6-year period through May 25, 2018.

Accreditation is voluntary and seeking deemed status through accreditation is an option, not a requirement. Organizations seeking Medicare approval may choose to be surveyed either by an accrediting body, such as The Joint Commission, or by state surveyors on behalf of CMS. All clinical laboratory deemed status surveys are unannounced.

“The Joint Commission is pleased to again receive this recognition of its accreditation of clinical laboratories,” says Jennifer Rhamy, executive director, Laboratory Accreditation Program, The Joint Commission. “Collaborating with CMS provides quality oversight for clinical laboratories – organizations that are indispensable to the diagnosis and well-being of patients throughout the United States.”

In addition to clinical laboratories, The Joint Commission has federal deeming authority for advanced diagnostic imaging, ambulatory surgery centers, critical access hospitals, durable medical equipment suppliers, home health, hospice, hospitals and psychiatric hospitals.

The Joint Commission has been evaluating and accrediting hospital laboratory services since 1979 and freestanding laboratories since 1995. Today, The Joint Commission accredits more than 1,600 organizations providing laboratory services. This represents more than 2,500 CLIA-certified laboratories, including freestanding laboratories, such as reference labs and in vitro fertilization labs, and those connected with other health care organizations such as ambulatory surgical centers and long term care facilities.

For more information about The Joint Commission Laboratory Accreditation program, visit or contact Jennifer Rhamy at 630.792.5754 or

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