Joint Commission announces plans to increase 2005 survey fees

Sunday, September 12, 2004

September 13, 2004

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. - Citing the need to make further investments in the new accreditation process that was introduced this year, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations’ Board of Commissioners last week approved a survey fee increase for 2005 across all of the organization’s accreditation programs.
The fee increases will vary by program and, within programs, will vary by the types and volumes of services provided. The estimated average survey fee increase is $880 for home care, $810 for ambulatory care, $815 for long-term care and $610 for assisted living.
“The expense management efforts that have made possible the recent value-enhancing investments in the Joint Commission’s accreditation products can no longer alone permit us to provide the level of support and service that accredited organizations are, quite appropriately, seeking,” said JAHCO's president, Dennis O’Leary, in a press release. “To consolidate and advance the improvements that have been achieved, we need to identify and carefully deploy new resources.”
The Joint Commission also announced plans to institute a subscription billing model in 2006 that will allow accredited organizations to begin to spread their survey fees over the three-year accreditation cycle. 
In other changes at JCAHO, some HMEs may now need to add two more elements to their accreditation to-do list. JCAHO recently tacked on new National Patient Safety Goals for home care organizations. The requirements, which target medication management and patient falls, will take effect in 2005.
Clinical respiratory providers seeking accreditation through JCAHO will be impacted by the medication management addition, which says organizations must develop a process for obtaining and documenting a complete list of the patient's current medications and a process for communicating that list to the patient's next health care provider.
"It is now required that HME companies policies address situations where oxygen or nebulizer medication orders appear to be out of the ordinary by asking referral sources for verification on read back of orders," said Bob Thornburg, a consultant with Home Medical Equipment Industry Consultation.
Full implementation of this goal is not required until January 2006.