Joint Commission announces major standards reduction to provide relief to healthcare organizations
The Joint Commission has eliminated nine standards and revised one other in its Behavioral Health Care and Human Services Accreditation Program to streamline requirements and make them as efficient and impactful on patient safety, quality and equity as possible.
The reduction is the result of The Joint Commission’s comprehensive review that was announced in September 2022. These changes were part of the first tranche of standards deletions and revisions that went into effect on Jan. 1. In total, The Joint Commission eliminated 168 standards (14%) and revised 14 other standards across its accreditation programs.
The Joint Commission reviewed all its “above-and-beyond” requirements – those that go beyond regulatory requirements of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Conditions of Participation (CoPs) and are not on crosswalks to the CoPs. Specifically, The Joint Commission reviewed each standard to answer:
- Does the requirement still address an important quality and safety issue?
- Is the requirement redundant?
- Are the time and resources needed to comply with the requirement commensurate with the estimated benefit to patient care and health outcomes?
In addition to a direct review of each standard, The Joint Commission conducted quantitative analyses of scoring patterns and tested for redundancy. Where necessary, it also led literature and field reviews and engaged experts within the field.
CMS approved the recommended discontinued standards after confirming they do not diminish any CMS regulatory requirements. Importantly, a second tranche of standards is under consideration for elimination or revision, and a second announcement of burden reduction is anticipated in approximately six months.
“The standards reduction will help streamline Joint Commission requirements, as well as provide some much-needed relief to healthcare professionals and organizations as they continue to recover from the pandemic,” said Jonathan B. Perlin, MD, PhD, MSHA, MACP, FACMI, president and chief executive officer, The Joint Commission. “Our goal is to eliminate any standard that no longer adds value. We want to have fewer, more meaningful requirements that best support safer, higher-quality and more equitable health outcomes.”