The Joint Commission will have to apply for hospital deeming authority as a result of the Medicare law that Congress approved last week.
With passage of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008, Congress revoked the permanent accrediting designation Medicare had earlier granted the commissions hospital program; the act went into effect July 15. The move comes more than a year after the U.S. Government Accountability Office and Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) expressed concern about potential conflicts of interest between the accrediting body and its consulting arm, Joint Commission Resources. Stark called for more oversight of the commission (Jan. 22, 2007, p. 10).
The commission has two years in which to apply and be recognized as a deeming authority by the CMS. The Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.-based organization said it supported the intent of the revocation. This is a process that the Joint Commission and all other accrediting bodies already go through when seeking deeming authority for the quality oversight of other types of providers, the commission said in a written statement.
A spokesman said the commission will create an application to show that its standards and survey process meet or exceed Medicare regulations for hospitals.