Rural Health Clinic Accreditation Program from The Joint Commission Available in Summer 2024

May 8, 2024
The program received initial deeming authority from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to launch the accreditation program.

On May 7, The Joint Commission announced that its new Rural Health Clinic Accreditation Program has received initial deeming authority from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The program aims to help organizations in underserved, rural communities improve the safety and quality of primary care and personal health services.

The program, which is available in summer 2024, will provide a framework to assist rural health clinics standardize the delivery of care and focuses on reducing variation and risk to ultimately improve patient outcomes.

A press release on the announcement says that “Rural health clinics that seek Medicare reimbursement must be accredited by an accrediting organization with deeming authority. Rural health clinics eligible for the new accreditation program must meet all state and federal requirements, including location, staffing and healthcare services requirements.”

The release also says that rural health clinics are required to meet The Joint Commission’s standards based on CMS Conditions for Certification (CfCs) for rural health clinics. The standards focus on key areas including:

  • Emergency preparedness
  • Health information management
  • Infection control
  • Medical error mitigation
  • Medication management
  • Patient assessment and care
  • Patient rights
  • Performance improvement
  • Staff competency

“With deeming authority from CMS, The Joint Commission will be able to work with rural health clinics across the country to help them establish a quality and safety framework for the more than 60 million Americans living in rural areas,” says Jonathan B. Perlin, MD, PhD, president and chief executive officer, The Joint Commission enterprise. “The new Rural Health Clinic Accreditation Program closely aligns with The Joint Commission’s strategic priority area on healthcare equity for all. All patients deserve access to safe and quality care regardless of their location.”

About the Author

Janette Wider | Editor-in-Chief

Janette Wider is Editor-in-Chief for Healthcare Purchasing News.