SOURCE: The Joint Commission

The Joint Commission

October 24, 2013 11:30 ET

Joint Commission, California Primary Care Association Team Up for Quality

Alliance Will Encourage Accreditation for Community Clinics, Health Centers

OAKBROOK TERRACE, IL--(Marketwired - Oct 24, 2013) - The Joint Commission and the California Primary Care Association (CPCA) today announced a strategic alliance to improve quality of care and patient safety at community clinics and health centers in California.

The alliance will focus on encouraging the more than 900 not-for-profit community clinics and health centers represented by CPCA to seek ambulatory care accreditation by The Joint Commission. The community clinics and health centers provide primary and preventive health care for California's diverse population that may otherwise not have access to treatment due to poverty, lack of health insurance, immigration status, ethnicity, homelessness, geographic isolation, disability, and other circumstances. Community clinics and health centers are expected to play an essential role in implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

"Community clinics and health centers serve as an essential safety net and vital component in efforts to ensure that all California residents have access to high quality health care. The Joint Commission is excited to join with the California Primary Care Association to support and assist community clinics and health centers in California interested in improving patient care through Joint Commission accreditation," says Lon Berkeley, project director, Community Health Center Accreditation, The Joint Commission.

"The strategic alliance with The Joint Commission will encourage more members to seek ambulatory care accreditation. We view accreditation as an important vehicle to strengthen operations and ultimately improve patient care," says Carmela Castellano-Garcia, president and CEO, CPCA. "This is one way that community clinics and health centers are moving forward to become the providers of choice for the newly insured in California."

Through the strategic alliance, The Joint Commission and CPCA will develop joint educational and technical assistance efforts about accreditation. In addition, the two organizations will share and analyze data about challenging accreditation requirements, and identify potential areas needed for quality improvement.

CPCA is designated by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration's Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) as the state primary care association and receives federal program support to develop and enhance services for member clinics. Also, over the past 16 years BPHC has encouraged accreditation of BPHC-supported community clinics and health centers nationally through a contract with The Joint Commission that covers accreditation fees and educational training opportunities. For more information about this strategic alliance or health center accreditation, please contact Berkeley at or 630.792.5787.

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 10,300 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,500 other health care organizations that provide nursing and rehabilitation center care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. The Joint Commission currently certifies more than 2,000 disease-specific care programs, focused on the care of patients with chronic illnesses such as stroke, joint replacement, stroke rehabilitation, heart failure and many others. The Joint Commission also provides health care staffing services certification for more than 750 staffing offices. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at

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