The Joint Commission’s Nursing Care Center (NCC) Accreditation program is designed to help providers achieve, maintain and demonstrate consistent excellence for those they serve. The program launched in early 2013, replacing the previous Long Term Care Accreditation program. The NCC Accreditation program combines an enhanced patient- and resident-centered quality framework with collaborative on-site evaluation to help nursing homes:
- Proactively identify and address vulnerabilities to safeguard patients and residents.
- Minimize the risk of readmissions from nursing homes to hospitals that are critical to the success of their strategic partnerships.
- Standards: Focus on key care processes that contribute to improved outcomes for all patients and residents. Standards address person- and resident-centered care, and the cultural transformation away from institutionalized care.
- Surveyors: Are specially trained professionals with experience in nursing care centers and the specialty certification areas.
- On-site survey: Includes additional time to better identify potential risk areas, as well as high-performing areas. Surveys that include certification have a dedicated “transitions of care” session.
- Accreditation manual: Includes the standards and additional features to support overall performance improvement, including “tracer prompts,” and documentation checklists.
- Memory Care accreditation requirements for all nursing homes: On July 1, 2014, new Memory Care requirements became effective for all accredited NCC organizations. These requirements address critical quality and safety issues for nursing home patients and residents with cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
NCC accredited organizations can additionally choose to become certified for specialized services. Certification provides additional recognition of the quality of a nursing care center’s specialty services that can be attractive to hospital and health system networks, other care providers, accountable care organizations, payers, and the public. Certifications include:
- Post-Acute Care (PAC): Recognizes organizations that provide advanced, rehabilitative services to patients or residents within the nursing home setting.
- Memory Care: Recognizes organizations that demonstrate competency in advanced dementia care services.
The cost includes two components: an annual fee, due each January; and an on-site fee, due only during the year the on-site survey is conducted. Both fees are determined by the organization’s average daily census and the services provided.
The annual fee for an organization seeking accreditation with Post-Acute Care and Memory Care certifications that serves an average of 100 patients or residents each day is $3,050. The on-site fee for that organization would be approximately $4,414. Organizations this size not pursuing certification will have a two-day survey, with a cost reduction of $750 to their annual fee and approximately $1,000 to their on-site fee.
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