CMS approves Joint Commission's hospital deeming authority

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services this week determined that the Joint Commission may continue to to hold deeming authority for hospitals through at least 2014. 

The Joint Commission has held this responsibility since 1965. Having deeming authority means the Joint Commission can officially determine which facilities meet Medicare and Medicaid certification requirements.

This year marks the first time in its history that the Joint Commission has had to "ask" CMS to continue its deeming authority. Congress revoked the Joint Commission's carte blanche authority last year after years of criticism over the Joint Commission's ability to detect serious deficiencies at hospitals.

While hospitals hoping for Medicare approval aren't required to go through the Joint Commission, the organization has been one of the primary channels to receive such accreditation. Other options for hospitals looking to achieve deemed status include state surveyors and Det Norske Veritas (DNV), which was granted similar deeming authority in September of 2008. 

The Joint Commission also has deeming authority over ambulatory surgery centers, critical access hospitals, durable medical equipment suppliers, home health, hospice and laboratories.

"The Joint Commission is proud of its tradition of collaboration with CMS to provide quality oversight of hospitals," says Mark Pelletier, R.N., M.S., executive director, Accreditation and Certification Services, The Joint Commission. "Accreditation is a proven method for improving the care of Medicare beneficiaries." 

To learn more:
- check out this Joint Commission press release