to main content The Joint Commission Receives CMS Deeming Authority for Rural Health Clinic Accreditation | The Joint Commission

The Joint Commission Receives CMS Deeming Authority for Rural Health Clinic Accreditation

New program to help rural health clinics improve patient safety and quality of care Tuesday, May 7, 2024

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Maureen Lyons
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(OAKBROOK TERRACE, Illinois, May 7, 2023) – The Joint Commission today announced that its new Rural Health Clinic Accreditation Program has received initial deeming authority from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The program helps organizations in underserved, rural communities improve the safety and quality of primary care and personal health services.

The new Rural Health Clinic Accreditation Program, available in summer 2024, provides a framework to help rural health clinics standardize how care is delivered. The accreditation program is focused on reducing variation and risk to improve patient outcomes.

Rural health clinics that seek Medicare reimbursement must be accredited by an accrediting organization with deeming authority. Rural health clinics eligible for the new accreditation program must meet all state and federal requirements, including location, staffing and healthcare services requirements.

Additionally, rural health clinics must meet The Joint Commission’s standards based on CMS Conditions for Certification (CfCs) for rural health clinics, with additional specific requirements critical to patient safety and quality. The standards focus on these key operational areas:

  • Emergency preparedness
  • Health information management
  • Infection control
  • Medical error mitigation
  • Medication management
  • Patient assessment and care
  • Patient rights
  • Performance improvement
  • Staff competency

“With deeming authority from CMS, The Joint Commission will be able to work with rural health clinics across the country to help them establish a quality and safety framework for the more than 60 million Americans living in rural areas,” says Jonathan B. Perlin, MD, PhD, president and chief executive officer, The Joint Commission enterprise. “The new Rural Health Clinic Accreditation Program closely aligns with The Joint Commission’s strategic priority area on healthcare equity for all. All patients deserve access to safe and quality care regardless of their location.”

To learn more about Rural Health Clinic Accreditation, please visit The Joint Commission website.


About The Joint Commission

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve healthcare for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating healthcare organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 22,000 healthcare organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, nonprofit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in healthcare. Learn more about The Joint Commission at



  • Rural Health Clinics