Joint Commission to overhaul quality metrics, freeze accreditation fees: 6 changes for 2023

The Joint Commission is undergoing sweeping overhaul of its standards, eliminating 168 standards (14 percent) and revising another 14 standards. The organization is looking to make its accreditation programs as "efficient and impactful on patient safety, quality and equity as possible," according to Jonathan Perlin, MD, PhD, president and chief executive officer of The Joint Commission.

Additionally, The Joint Commission announced it would freeze hospital accreditation fees "to provide relief to healthcare organizations."

The first set of changes will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023, according to a Dec. 21 press release shared with Becker's. A second tranche of changes is currently being considered for revision or elimination and is expected to be announced in mid-2023.

Dr. Perlin said the elimination and revision to standards comes in the wake of a major review of its programs in September 2022. 

The Joint Commission decided to make these changes after noting some of the standards go beyond CMS's regulatory requirements. CMS approved discontinuing 168 standards and revising another 14, after noting the changes do not negatively impact any CMS regulatory requirements.

"The standards reduction will help streamline Joint Commission requirements, as well as provide some much-needed relief to healthcare professionals and organizations as they continue to recover from the pandemic," Dr. Perlin said, noting the goal is to have standards that add value and "best support safer, higher-quality and more equitable health outcomes."

For the full list of discontinued standards, please visit The Joint Commission website.

Five more changes The Joint Commission is rolling out in 2023: 

  1. Accreditation fees frozen: In an effort to provide hospitals and healthcare systems with more financial relief, domestic hospital accreditation fees will not be increased in 2023. Additionally, some surveys will be conducted at a reduced cost.

  2. New healthcare equity certification: The Joint Commission will launch a new certification, Health Care Equity, in July 2023 to reinforce commitment to quality.

  3. Safety briefings added: Beginning in 2023, The Joint Commission will include safety briefings prior to starting surveys.

  4. Evaluation timeline extended: In 2023, the timeline for evaluating a physician’s license and ability to provide care will be increased to three years from two.

  5. New leadership requirements: The Joint Commission unveiled revised requirements to reduce healthcare disparities that will take effect Jan. 1.

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