The Joint Commission Extending the Accreditation Process to Primary Care Home Option in 2011

On September 7th, the Joint Commission announced that, commencing in July 2011, the Joint Commission will extend the accreditation process of accrediting ambulatory health care organizations to those who choose the Primary Home option. “A Primary Care Home is a model of care whereby services are provided to patients by a primary care provider or team that increases access to its services, tracks and coordinates a patient’s care delivered by other providers and facilities, uses evidence based treatment protocols, and focuses more on patient and family education and self-management.”

Michael Kulczcki, the executive director of the Ambulatory Health Care Accreditation Program of the Joint Commission states, “[t]his new optional program will help ensure that patients receive ambulatory care services in a manner that is comprehensive, accessible and coordinated. By focusing on carefully orchestrating care, patient outcomes can be improved.” The governing Primary Care Home Initiative standards will be posted in November 2010 for field review with pilot testing scheduled to begin in 2011. The Joint Commission expects that the final standards are expected to be available in March 2011 and that on-site surveys will begin in July 211.

A Primary Care Home Initiative Expert Panel is developing supplemental ambulatory care accreditation standards electing the Primary Care Home Option by examining topics such as the roles and responsibilities of the primary care provider and composition of the care team, the processes necessary to ensure and support continuing care, the processes necessary to support and incorporate patient self management, and operational issues (i.e., scheduling patient appointments, etc.).

For more information, please contact Carey F. Kalmowitz, Esq., Adrienne Dresevic, Esq., Abby Pendleton, Esq. or Robert S. Iwrey, Esq. at (248) 996-8510 or (212) 734-0128, or visit the HLP website.

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