The first survey-fee increase in five years will be in double digits for hospitals undergoing accreditation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. The JCAHO's governing board voted to increase triennial survey fees for hospitals by an estimated $2,700 in 2005, an 11.7% rise when compared with the average $23,000 fee for surveys in all hospitals during 2004. But a JCAHO spokeswoman said the increase probably will be more like 10% after calculating increases for individual hospitals, which are assessed based on a formula of inpatient days and outpatient visits in addition to a base fee. Hospitals will see increases ranging from 5% to 12% depending on their size and complexity. In addition, the JCAHO will tack on a separate fee of $3,500 for hospitals of 200 beds or more to defray the cost of adding a certified healthcare engineer to the survey team. The JCAHO last increased survey fees in 1999 for the 2000 accreditation year. That fee increase was 3.25%. The add-on fee will enhance the commission's ability to evaluate hospital compliance with life-safety code and physical plant requirements, the commission said in a statement. -- by John Morrissey
JCAHO votes for double-digit fee increase
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