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Accreditation of health care providers

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Accreditation of health care providers in the United States
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Being a privately-owned skilled nursing facility, we provide residential care to clients who need incessant nursing care and who have considerable hardships dealing with the requisite daily activities as defined by either a social worker or a nursing facility provider. Following the present regulations in the nursing industry, as well as government directives, such organizations should be accredited by recognized bodies to ensure patient safety and improve the standards of care (Certification & Compliance – Nursing Homes, 2015).
There are two primary recognized bodies that are tasked with accrediting health care institutions, namely, NCQA and the Joint Commission. These two bodies vary significantly in the type of institutions they deal with, as well as the standards applied for accrediting health care providers. NCQA accredits Accountable Care Organizations, which helps such institutions to show their capacity to enhance the quality, coordinate patient care and minimize costs. NCQA has a recognition system for patient-centered medical homes, which organizes primary care by emphasizing communication and care coordination. This recognition guarantees an automatic credit for medical homes recognized under the NCQA Recognized Patient-Centered Medical Homes (Accountable Care Organization Accreditation, n.d.). However, the eligibility criterion for Accountable Care Organizations under NCQA does not favor skilled nursing facilities.

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On the other hand, Nursing Care Center Accreditation package by the Joint Commission is designed specifically for nursing homes and aids health providers to realize, uphold and exhibit continual excellence in the provision of their services. By combining a resident and patient-centered framework with concerted on-site analysis, the accreditation package helps nursing homes to reduce the probability of readmissions from such facilities to hospitals and to proactively ascertain and deal with susceptibilities in order to safeguard residents and patients (The Joint Commission, 2014).
The Joint Commission’s program helps nursing homes to adhere to the Memory Care accreditation prerequisites for nursing homes, which deal with vital safety and quality issues for nursing home residents and patients with cognitive impairments. The standards applied concentrate on primary care procedures that are aimed at improving outcomes for all residents and patients (The Joint Commission, 2014). In addition, the surveyors sent for the on-site visits are trained professionals with sufficient experience in the specialty certification fields and nursing care centers. The significance of the on-site visits cannot be understated. These visits include extra time to facilitate the identification of high performing areas, as well as probable risks areas.
In the case of a privately-owned skilled nursing facility, the accreditation program by NCQA appears to be insufficient. More so, nursing homes do not fit the accreditation criteria for NCQA. NCQA accredits publicly administered institutions that collaborate with health providers to arrange care, networks of separate practices, provider-health plan joint ventures, hospital-provider joint ventures, providers in group practice agreements and hospitals and their contracted or employed providers. This criterion automatically disqualifies nursing facilities from this program. The most suitable body to accredit a nursing care facility is the Joint Commission. Apart from ensuring the success of the strategic partnerships of nursing homes, the Nursing Care Center Accreditation package by the Joint Commission helps nursing facilities to comply with government directives regarding nursing homes. The program has a customized package that is specifically tailored for nursing homes. Moreover, after accreditation, institutions may opt to be certified for certain specialized services, including Post-Acute Care and Memory Care, thus providing supplementary recognition of an organization’s specialty services to health system networks and hospitals, accountable care organizations, other health care providers, payers and the general public.

References
Accountable Care Organization Accreditation. (n.d.). Retrieved June 19, 2015, from http://www.ncqa.org/Programs/Accreditation/AccountableCareOrganizationACO.aspxCertification & Compliance – Nursing Homes. (2015). Retrieved June 19, 2015, from http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/CertificationandComplianc/NHs.html
The Joint Commission. (2014). Retrieved June 19, 2015, from http://www.jointcommission.org/accreditation/accreditation_main.aspx

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