Your article, Bill would halt Joint Commissions Medicare deeming authority (Late News, July 30, p. 4), is incorrect and misleading. The bill does not propose an end to the commissions federal deeming authority for Medicare and Medicaid. The measure proposes to require that the Joint Commission apply for deeming authority through the CMS, just as all other national accrediting bodies must do. Other hospital accrediting bodies and those in clinical areas such as home health, clinical laboratories or ambulatory surgery, must meet certain regulatory requirements if they wish to achieve the granting of deeming authority by the CMS. The Joint Commissions hospital accreditation program currently has a statute-based exemption from these regulatory requirements. The commission is not opposed to the proposed change as long as the bill also provides for a process to update the 20-year old Medicare Conditions of Participation for hospitals and improvements in the methodology for validating the performance of deemed accrediting bodies.
Dennis OLearyPresident Joint Commission Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.