RATC puts accreditation program on hold

Sunday, August 31, 2003

WASHINGTON - AAHomecare’s Rehab and Assistive Technology Council (RATC) has put its rehab accreditation program on hold in light of Senate Medicare reform legislation that includes a provision for all HME providers to become accredited.

RATC selected the Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) to develop standards for the program last fall, but the council knew RESNA wouldn’t have time to complete them before the House and Senate were slated to reconcile their versions of the legislation.

“Right now, we’re in a holding pattern,” said Sharon Hildebrandt, executive director of RATC.

If the accreditation provision is included in the final version of legislation, RATC wants to focus all of its efforts on working with CMS to ensure that no one accrediting body is selected and that accrediting bodies are appropriate for the type of company undergoing the accreditation. (The provision calls for accrediting bodies to be identified within six months of legislation being passed.)

“We don’t know how much they’ll let us in there, but we have our own view on what rehab-specific standards should be included,” she said.

One such standard would be requiring that rehab providers employ qualified professionals, like those who hold ATP or an ATS credentials with RESNA, Hildebrandt said.

Simon Margolis, president of RESNA, said the organization was still in the planning stages of developing the standards. He said RESNA might have been able to develop standards for review within six months of legislation being passed - but not for implementation. HME