Joint Commission launches new telehealth stamp of approval for virtual healthcare providers

The Joint Commission announced Tuesday a new set of accreditation standards for telehealth and remote patient monitoring companies. Virtual-only companies can receive the third-party healthcare accrediting organization’s trademarked gold seal of approval beginning July 2024.

The new standards will replace the Joint Commission’s technology and telehealth accreditation products in its ambulatory and behavioral health accreditation programs. Organizations will be able to apply to the accreditation process if they provide virtual-only telehealth or remote monitoring services. Healthcare organizations that provide telehealth to another organization’s patients, such as a psychiatric hospital providing tele-psychiatry to others through contract, can also receive a telehealth accreditation for the set of services.

The Joint Commission said it established the new standard in conjunction with technical advisory panels and external thought leaders. Its telehealth standards mirror its other accreditation program, the commission said, but it has new, telehealth-specific standards: remote emergency management requirements, provider and patient education on telehealth platforms and devices and a standards chapter on telehealth equipment, devices and connectivity, a press release says.

“As telehealth continues to evolve, it was imperative to create a new accreditation program to provide a framework to support the integrity of patient safety regardless of the care setting,” said Jonathan B. Perlin, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO of The Joint Commission enterprise. “Our new Telehealth Accreditation Program helps organizations standardize care and reduce risk so that all patients, including those obtaining services remotely, receive the safest, highest-quality care with outcomes consistent with traditional settings.”