12/15 Deadline For Input on New Joint Commission Heart Failure Certification

December 15, 2010 is the deadline to share your comments with the Joint Commission on proposed requirements for Advanced Certification in Heart Failure from health care professionals who care for individuals with heart failure. 
The Joint Commission drives much of how hospitals and a growing number of health care providers are judged and ultimately paid.  Since the cost of meeting these standards ultimately will be passed on in the charges made by health care providers, health plans and employers should evaluate these credentials and provide appropriate comments when the demonstrated benefits of added conditions or paperwork drive up costs unnecessarily, divert resources from more important patient care goals, or promote other inefficiencies.

The Joint Commission is a leading quality accreditation agency, whose reach now extends to almost all health care organizations and providers.  While acknowledging that the Joint Commission has and continues to do much to promote health care quality,  health care providers increasingly complain the Joint Commission requirements increasingly are becoming overkill that unnecessarily adds costs and recordkeeping burden in a way that puts measurement before patient care, but feel pressure to comply.  Supporters say the standards are necessary to maintain and demonstrate quality.

Striking the proper balance between quality and cost is at the heart of much of the current national initiative to control costs, as well as the efforts of almost all health care providers and payers.  To promote proper standards, share comments before the standards are adopted. In the meanwhile, what is your experience about the Joint Commission and the impact of their growing involvement in health care?

The Joint Commission is expanding its Advanced Heart Failure Certification program to encompass the care provided to individuals with heart failure in outpatient settings. The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association (AHA) have established a strategic alliance to recognize programs that demonstrate excellence in the care of individuals with heart failure in both inpatient and outpatient care settings. To receive this certification, an organization must demonstrate compliance with Joint Commission standards, including use of the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines®, and ongoing performance improvement. This new advanced certification is projected to launch in July 2011. 

For More Information or Assistance

For a link to the proposed standards or other information, see  hereIf you need help evaluating or responding to this development of other health care reimbursement, technology and process, compliance, risk management, transactional, operational, enforcement or public policy concerns, please contact the author of this update, Cynthia Marcotte Stamer, at (469) 767-8872, cstamer@Solutionslawyer.net.
Vice President of the North Texas Health Care Compliance Professionals Association, Past Chair of the ABA Health Law Section Managed Care & Insurance Section and the former Board Compliance Chair of the National Kidney Foundation of North Texas, Ms. Stamer has more than 23 years experience advising health industry clients about these and other matters.  She continuously advises health industry clients about the use of technology, process and other mechanisms to promote compliance and internal controls, workforce and medical staff performance, quality, governance, reimbursement, and other risk management and operational needs. As part of this experience, she has worked extensively with health care providers, payers, health care technology and consulting and other health industry clients on the design and use of health information systems, technology, privacy and other related. A popular lecturer and widely published author on health industry concerns, Ms. Stamer also publishes and speaks extensively on health care privacy, technology, and other health and managed care industry regulatory, staffing and human resources, compensation and benefits, technology, public policy, reimbursement and other operations and risk management concerns. Her insights on these and other related matters appear in the Health Care Compliance Association, Atlantic Information Service, Bureau of National Affairs, World At Work, The Wall Street Journal, Business Insurance, the Dallas Morning News, Modern Health Care, Managed Healthcare, Health Leaders, and a many other national and local publications. To review some of her many publications and presentations, or for additional information about Ms. Stamer, her experience, involvements, programs or publications, see here.

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Solutions Law Press™ provides business risk management, legal compliance, management effectiveness and other resources, training and education on human resources, employee benefits, compensation, data security and privacy, health care, insurance, and other key compliance, risk management, internal controls and other key operational concerns. If you find this of interest, you also be interested reviewing some of our other Solutions Law Press resources available for review here.

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