For many years, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has required inpatient hospitals that serve people under 21 to be accredited by The Joint Commission (formerly called the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations or JCAHO). Because the Commission standards are pretty rigorous, we’ve had limited network capacity for the inpatient treatment for adolescents and young adults in Arizona- because so few facilities have maintained Commission certification. But that’s about to change.
CMS is amending the rule that had required Commission accreditation- and beginning October 1, psychiatric hospitals (and hospitals with inpatient psychiatric programs) will have the choice of undergoing a State survey (from us) to determine whether the hospital meets the requirements to participate in Medicare as a psychiatric hospital. They’d also be able to get accreditation from an alternative national accrediting organization (as long as their psychiatric hospital accrediting program has been approved by CMS). Here’s the link to the changes, which start on page 1168 of the document. We think this change will help us develop a more robust psychiatric inpatient treatment network for adolescents & young adults in Arizona.