Your 2024 guide to Joint Commission changes

The Joint Commission is cutting more than 200 standards across its accreditation programs, many of which will take effect July 1. 

The organization initially announced its plans to scale back standards at this scale in July 2023, describing it as the "second tranche of major standards' reduction" following a first round of cuts in December 2022. 

"When we announced the first tranche of eliminated and revised standards in December 2022, hospital leadership and direct care providers alike were extremely supportive of the news that Joint Commission standards would be fewer but more meaningful," Jonathan Perlin, MD, PhD, president and CEO of The Joint Commission, said in a July 20, 2023, news release. 

Since then, the organization has begun rolling out more specifics about the exact cuts which will take effect this year, including for: 

  • Emergency management and ambulatory care, which received a 40% reduction in the number of elements of performance. As part of the cuts to this section, The Joint Commission eliminated "redundant requirements" related to office-based surgery standards and additional elements of hazard vulnerability analysis, leadership involvement, and staff education and training were added.

  • Infection control, which received a 70% cut to performance elements. As part of the revisions to this section, The Joint Commission added two new standards to "enhance critical access hospitals' and hospitals' preparedness for high-consequence infectious diseases or special pathogens." It said the goal for revision in this section is to help organizations develop a strong framework for their IC programs, while aligning requirements more closely to law and regulation" as well as CMS' Conditions of Participation.

The organization confirmed additional specifications will be shared in the coming months related to its other areas of focus for the 2024 revisions, including: 

  • Ambulatory Health Care: which will receive a 15% reduction in performance elements.

  • Behavioral Health Care: which will receive a 25% reduction in performance elements.

  • Critical Access Hospital: which will receive a 15% reduction in performance elements.

  • Laboratory: which will receive a 28% reduction in performance elements.

  • Nursing Care Center: which will receive a 26% reduction in performance elements.

  • Office-Based Surgery: which will receive a 9% reduction in performance elements.
  • Home Care: which will receive a 15% reduction in performance elements.
  • Hospital: Seven total performance elements were deleted or consolidated and four were revised.

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