The Joint Commission received conditional approval for its critical-access hospital accreditation program, but the program was placed on probation until it fixes the gaps between its standards and Medicares conditions of participation, the CMS announced.
The CMS, in a written statement published in the Oct. 24 Federal Register, said the commissions standards for psychiatric or rehabilitation units that are a distinct part of a critical-access hospital need to be revised and reviewed before they meet Medicares requirements. The commission has 180 days, or until May 20, 2009, to meet the requirement.
The CMS last approved the commissions critical-access hospital program in 2002 but since then Medicares conditions of participation have been revised, according to the CMS. Under the conditions, critical-access hospitals are allowed to provide inpatient psychiatric or rehabilitation services in a distinct-part unit as long as those services comply with hospital requirements in other sections of Medicares conditions of participation. The commission must revise its standards to comply with those requirements updated in the past six years. Once the commission has submitted its revised distinct-part unit standards, the CMS will conduct a survey to validate the changes.
The commission said in a written statement it was pleased to gain approval for its critical-access hospital program and would work with the CMS to bridge the gaps in standards for distinct-part units. -- by Jean DerGurahian