Joint Commission Nursing Home Accreditation Predicts Quality

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Joint Commission accreditation is a significant predictor of nursing home quality, according to a new study published online September 2, 2016, in JAMDA the official journal of AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.”

The new study, “Comparing Public Quality Ratings for Accredited and Nonaccredited Nursing Homes,” compares 711 Joint Commission accredited nursing homes with 14,926 non-accredited nursing homes using public data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Nursing Home Compare data set, a press release from the Joint Commission notes.

After controlling for the influences of facility size and ownership type, Joint Commission accredited nursing homes with Post-Acute Care Certification performed statistically better on the CMS star rating, and Joint Commission accredited nursing homes had better performance than non-accredited nursing homes on each of the star rating component subscales. Joint Commission accredited nursing homes also had fewer deficiencies than non-accredited nursing homes, were less likely to have deficiencies associated with immediate jeopardy or widespread deficiencies, and they had fewer payment denials and lower fines.

“The results confirm findings from prior research in the literature, demonstrating a consistent pattern of superior performance among nursing homes accredited by The Joint Commission,” said Scott C. Williams, PsyD, director, Health Services Research, The Joint Commission, and lead author of the study. “We conducted the study following the redesign of The Joint Commission’s Nursing Care Center Accreditation program in 2013 and the addition of a Post-Acute Care Certificate option, which took place around the same time that CMS modified the Nursing Home Compare Five-Star Quality Rating System in February 2015.  So it was gratifying to see that the results continue to validate the value of Joint Commission accreditation and certification, first and foremost for the residents who deserve the best quality care and second for the organizations who seek accreditation.”

The Joint Commission’s (NCC) Accreditation program is designed to help providers achieve, maintain and demonstrate consistent excellence for those they serve. The NCC Accreditation program combines an enhanced patient- and resident-centered quality framework with collaborative on-site evaluation to help nursing homes proactively identify and address vulnerabilities to safeguard patients and residents. Accreditation also helps to minimize the risk of readmissions from nursing homes to hospitals that are critical to the success of their strategic partnerships.

Joint Commission accredited NCC organizations also have the option to become certified for Post-Acute Care (PAC) or Memory Care. PAC recognizes organizations that provide advanced, rehabilitative services to patients or residents within the nursing home setting and Memory Care recognizes organizations that demonstrate competency in advanced dementia care services.

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies nearly 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, nonprofit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.

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