Joint Commission to launch health equity certification in July

Hospitals striving to achieve healthcare equity will have another tool in their toolbox next year when The Joint Commission launches a new voluntary certification program, Health Care Equity. In early 2023, hospitals will be invited to pre-apply for certification, though the application won't be available until July 1, 2023.

In announcing the new program, The Joint Commission acknowledged "systemic inequities in the quality and safety of the patient care experience" with regard to access to telehealth and interpreting services, as examples, but said the new certification program will help hospitals advance efforts to achieve healthcare equity.

"The advanced certification program requirements build upon The Joint Commission's long-standing accreditation standards supporting healthcare equity and the recently released requirements to reduce health care disparities," according to the organization.

All hospitals, both Joint Commission-accredited and non-accredited, will be able to apply for the HCE certification as long as they are in compliance with applicable federal laws, such as CMS Conditions of Participation.

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