Evolv­ing ac­cred­i­ta­tion

Rise of ACOS prompts group to ex­pand ser­vices be­yond am­bu­la­tory care

Modern Healthcare - - OUTPATIENT CARE -

The ac­cred­i­ta­tion in­dus­try is be­gin­ning to feel the rip­ple ef­fects of the rapid growth of ac­count­able care or­ga­ni­za­tions and other pay­ment mod­els, ex­perts say. Just four months ago, the Ac­cred­i­ta­tion As­so­ci­a­tion for Am­bu­la­tory Health Care, a Skokie, Ill.-based or­ga­ni­za­tion that ac­cred­its am­bu­la­tory surgery cen­ters, physi­cian prac­tices and community health cen­ters, an­nounced plans to launch a new ac­cred­i­ta­tion pro­gram cre­ated specif­i­cally for smaller, re­sources­trapped hos­pi­tals.

Formed in 1979, AAAHC ac­cred­its more than 5,000 or­ga­ni­za­tions and is con­sid­ered a leader among ac­cred­i­ta­tion or­ga­ni­za­tions fo­cused specif­i­cally on out­pa­tient care, along with the oth­ers, in­clud­ing the Gurnee, Ill.-based Amer­i­can As­so­ci­a­tion for Ac­cred­i­ta­tion of Am­bu­la­tory Surgery Fa­cil­i­ties.

Ac­cord­ing to John Burke, AAAHC’s pres­i­dent and CEO, his or­ga­ni­za­tion moved to ex­pand their of­fer­ings be­yond am­bu­la­tory care be­cause of in­creas­ing con­sol­i­da­tion and changes in health­care re­im­burse­ment.

“The move­ment to ac­count­able care or­ga­ni­za­tions and other re­cent trends has led to more health sys­tems re­ab­sorb­ing pri­mary-care physi­cians and free-stand­ing am­bu­la­tory-care set­tings back into the hospi­tal,” Burke said in an April re­lease an­nounc­ing the pro­gram. “AAAHC saw an op­por­tu­nity to im­prove pa­tient care by of­fer­ing a pro­gram that ad­dresses both out­pa­tient and in­pa­tient hospi­tal care and the am­bu­la­tory care of­fered by small hospi­tal sys­tems.”

The new ac­cred­i­ta­tion pro­gram, known as the Ac­cred­i­ta­tion As­so­ci­a­tion for Hospi­tal/ Health Sys­tems, is still in the early stages, says Archer Rose, who has been named chair­man of the new en­tity’s board.

“We plan to do pi­lot sur­veys this fall, and we’ll be work­ing with hos­pi­tals to fine-tune our stan­dards and pro­cesses,” says Rose, a past chair­man of the Ge­or­gia Hospi­tal As­so­ci­a­tion. “We plan to be­gin ac­cred­it­ing hos­pi­tals in 2013.”

The pro­gram was de­signed for ur­ban and ru­ral hos­pi­tals with fewer than 200 beds, says Rose, adding that some of those smaller hos­pi­tals have had trou­ble seek­ing and main­tain­ing ac­cred­i­ta­tion. Un­der the cur­rent plan, AAHHS and AAAHC will op­er­ate in­de­pen­dently from one an­other, un­der one um­brella group known as the Ac­cred­i­ta­tion As­so­ci­a­tion.

“The health­care in­dus­try is chang­ing fast, and this was a nat­u­ral evo­lu­tion for us,” Rose says.

Oth­ers broad­en­ing ser­vices

Pay­ment mod­els em­pha­siz­ing care co­or­di­na­tion, pa­tient out­comes and over­all pop­u­la­tion health have led to shift­ing views at the Joint Com­mis­sion, too, says Ann Scott Blouin, ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of cus­tomer re­la­tions for the Oakbrook Ter­race, Ill.-based ac­cred­i­ta­tion or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Widely known for its ac­cred­i­ta­tion pro­grams for hos­pi­tals and other set­tings, the Joint Com­mis­sion has also added new of­fer­ings tar­get­ing ar­eas like dis­ease man­age- ment and pre­ventable hos­pi­tal­iza­tions, Blouin says.

“It ac­tu­ally presents an op­por­tu­nity for us to look across sites of care in a new way,” she says of chang­ing re­im­burse­ment struc­tures.

For in­stance, in June, af­ter hold­ing a num­ber of fo­cus groups with front­line staff from hos­pi­tals, long-term care, home-care and am­bu­la­tory-care fa­cil­i­ties, the Joint Com­mis­sion launched a tran­si­tions-of-care por­tal fea­tur­ing re­sources re­lated to hand­off com­mu­ni­ca­tion, dis­charge plan­ning and other as­pects of health­care across the con­tin­uum.

The Joint Com­mis­sion also plans to make its pri­mary-care med­i­cal home cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­gram avail­able to hos­pi­tals be­gin­ning in 2013, Blouin says. Launched in July 2011, the med­i­cal home pro­gram stresses pa­tient-cen­tered­ness, preven­tion, the use of health in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy and a team-based ap­proach to care. Un­til now, cer­ti­fi­ca­tion has been avail­able only to am­bu­la­tory-care or­ga­ni­za­tions.

“Our hospi­tal cus­tomers ex­pressed in­ter­est in it, too, so we cre­ated a pro­gram tai­lored to them” Blouin says of the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, which will be avail­able to hos­pi­tals as an op­tional add-on to their reg­u­lar ac­cred­i­ta­tion.

Ac­cred­i­ta­tion is likely to change even more dra­mat­i­cally as more providers adopt health in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy and as qual­ity mea­sures im­prove, she pre­dicts.

Most of the mea­sures cur­rently avail­able look at one point in time at one in­pa­tient or out­pa­tient set­ting, such as as­pirin upon ar­rival for heart at­tack pa­tients. But as it be­comes more fea­si­ble to look at pa­tient out­comes across set­tings and pop­u­la­tion health over time, ac­cred­i­ta­tion will likely be­come less siloed, too, Blouin says.

“When we have bet­ter in­for­ma­tion sys­tems and mea­sures and we can look closely at pat­terns and trends, I think that will re­ally change the way that ac­cred­i­tors look at the health­care sys­tem,” she says.

Read the Out­pa­tient Care sec­tion at mod­ern­health­care.com/out­pa­tient­care

The growth of am­bu­la­tory surgery cen­ters and other types of out­pa­tient-care fa­cil­i­ties, along with new health­care de­liv­ery mod­els, is fu­el­ing the need for new ac­cred­i­ta­tion pro­grams and agen­cies.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.