SOURCE: The Joint Commission

The Joint Commission

May 15, 2013 11:30 ET

Joint Commission to Offer Behavioral Health Home Certification Option in 2014

OAKBROOK TERRACE, IL--(Marketwired - May 15, 2013) - Joint Commission-accredited behavioral health care organizations that are establishing behavior health homes as part of nationwide efforts to expand and improve health services will soon have a certification option.

Beginning in January 2014, The Joint Commission will begin offering a new Behavioral Health Home Certification option. Behavioral health homes integrate physical health care services and behavioral health care to provide treatment that addresses the needs of the whole person. The certification program will provide a framework to better meet the needs of individuals served by emphasizing care coordination and quality. Behavioral health homes integrate physical health care services with behavioral health care to provide treatment that addresses the needs of the whole person. Health home providers do not need to provide all the services themselves, but must ensure that the full array of primary and behavioral health care services is available and coordinated.

Proposed standards are posted on The Joint Commission website through May 24 for comment from the behavioral health care field, and prepublication standards are expected to be available online this summer. The Joint Commission developed the proposed standards and survey process with input from experts on the various models of behavioral health homes and from accredited behavioral health organizations in the early stages of offering these services. The certification option has also been informed by The Joint Commission's considerable experience accrediting both behavioral health care and physical health care providers.

"The Joint Commission believes that an integral approach that provides primary physical health care services with behavioral health care yields the best results for all individuals," says Mary Cesare-Murphy, Ph.D., executive director, Behavioral Health Care Accreditation, The Joint Commission. "By focusing on teamwork to provide comprehensive services, behavioral health care organizations that achieve certification will lead the way in improving the lives of Americans."

The Affordable Care Act has enabled many states to establish behavioral health homes. The Joint Commission is working closely with states to acquire recognition for the new certification. State recognition will help behavioral health care organizations meet state Medicaid requirements and improve reimbursement. The Joint Commission will work with Joint Commission accredited behavioral health care providers to acquire state or payer recognition by offering support and technical information.

For more information about the Behavioral Health Home Certification option, please contact Mary Cesare-Murphy, Ph.D., executive director, Behavioral Health Accreditation, at mcesare-murphy@jointcommission.org or 630-792-5790, or Peggy Lavin, senior associate director, Behavioral Health Accreditation, at plavin@jointcommission.org or 630-792-5411.

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 10,600 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,600 other health care organizations that provide long term care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. The Joint Commission also certifies more than 2,400 disease-specific care programs such as stroke, heart failure, joint replacement and stroke rehabilitation, and 400 health care staffing services. 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 www.jointcommission.org.

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