to main content The Term Licensed Independent Practitioner Eliminated for AHC and OBS | The Joint Commission

The Term Licensed Independent Practitioner Eliminated for AHC and OBS

Effective August 27, 2023, The Joint Commission is eliminating the term licensed independent practitioner for its ambulatory health care and officed-based surgery programs. The revisions are consistent with current terminology used by the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Conditions for Coverage (CfCs). The updated terminology better reflects the full scope of practice of licensed practitioners allowed by their license and permitted by state and federal law and regulation while keeping the intent of the requirement.

The revisions streamline terminology and simplify elements of performance (EPs) by eliminating the detailed lists of individuals to whom the EPs apply. This primarily relates to the use of staff in the “Environment of Care” (EC), “Emergency Management (EM), “Infection Prevention and Control” (IC), “Life Safety” (LS) (ambulatory surgical centers only), and “Waived Testing” (WT) chapters. The term staff encompasses physicians, other licensed practitioners, students, volunteers, contract staff, and other staff when the EP does not address roles and responsibilities related to care, treatment, or services unless CfCs require further specification.

Because of these revisions, The Joint Commission also has added, updated, and deleted the following glossary terms:

  • Staff (revised)
  • Clinical staff (revised)
  • Practitioner (replacing with the term licensed practitioner)
  • Licensed independent practitioner (deleted)
  • Provider (new)
In addition, The Joint Commission made minor editorial changes to other glossary definitions where these terms are used.

As part of its standards reduction initiative, the Joint Commission is currently reviewing the requirements for office-based surgery and ambulatory health care that go above and beyond the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services’ (CMS) Conditions for Coverage and evaluating if any of those requirements can be deleted. As such, the prepublication standards containing the revisions to eliminate licensed independent practitioner will be added to this posting in late June to avoid any confusion if the requirement is then deleted.

Prepublication Standards:

Prepublication Standards - Effective August 27, 2023