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Statement on Proposed CMS Rule Regarding Private Accreditation Reports

June 1, 2017
By: Elizabeth Eaken Zhani, Media Relations Manager, The Joint Commission

(OAKBROOK TERRACE — June 1, 2017) — The Joint Commission today submitted public comment to The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding a proposal to require all accrediting organizations with Medicare deeming authority to make all survey reports of all organizations they accredit, including reports on full accreditation, deficiency, follow-up and complaint surveys as well as all providers’ plans of correction, available on their public websites. The provision is contained within the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Medicare Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and Long Term Acute Care Hospital (LTCH) Prospective Payment System Proposed Rule, and Request for Information CMS-1677-P.

The Joint Commission strongly supports making reliable and valid quality data about health care organizations public, and we created the first such program in the United States for making nationally standardized data about quality for thousands of hospitals public. However, survey reports are not health care quality data. They are quality improvement tools for health care providers.

The proposed CMS rule on private accrediting organizations would have the opposite of its intended effect and make it more difficult to assure safe and high-quality care for patients, not less. Releasing the information we collect on hospitals and other health care organizations would make providers less candid about their weaknesses on our surveys; it would chill the open and confidential dialogue that is the foundation of our improvement efforts. We all want better patient care, but this is not the way to achieve it.

The full text of The Joint Commission’s public comment can be reviewed here.

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