Mandatory accreditation by April 1, 2009?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

ORLANDO, Fla. - CMS may require accreditation of all providers beginning April 1, 2009, according to industry consultant Mary Ellen Conway, who gave an "Accreditation Update" at Medtrade last week.

"It is only rumored at this point, but by that time it is likely that everyone will have to be accredited whether they are participating in competitive bidding or not," said Conway, president of Bethesda, Md.-based Capital Healthcare Group.

That timeline provides some cushion for companies to prepare, select an accrediting body and get in the queue.

Meanwhile, CMS is due to meet soon to discuss launching competitive bidding for the next 70 top MSAs, Conway said.

"They know where they're going to go and what they're going to do," she said.

When preparing to become accredited, Conway advised, companies should pay particularly close attention to performance management aspects of the business, especially patient satisfaction. Among the key measurements companies must make: patient surveys, complaint logs, service logs and error logs for both billing and sentinel events.