Observatory and Fast Facts

Sept. 21, 2022
New and revised requirements to reduce healthcare disparities

Effective January 1, 2023, new and revised requirements to reduce healthcare disparities will apply to Joint Commission–accredited ambulatory healthcare organizations, behavioral health and human services organizations, critical access hospitals, and hospitals.

The new standard, LD.04.03.08, will apply to the following Joint Commission–accredited organizations:

  • All critical access hospitals and hospitals
  • Ambulatory healthcare organizations providing primary care within the “Medical Centers” service in the ambulatory healthcare program
  • Behavioral healthcare and human services organizations providing “Addictions Services,” “Eating Disorders Treatment,” “Intellectual Disabilities/Developmental Delays,” “Mental Health Services,” and “Primary Physical Health Care” services

The Record of Care, Treatment, and Services (RC) requirement to collect patient race and ethnicity information has been revised and will apply to the following Joint Commission–accredited programs:

  • Ambulatory healthcare (Standard RC.02.01.01, EP 31)
  • Behavioral healthcare and human services (Standard RC.02.01.01, EP 26)
  • Critical access hospital (Standard RC.02.01.01, EP 25)

The Rights and Responsibilities of the Individual (RI) requirement prohibiting discrimination (Standard RI.01.01.01, EP 29) will apply to all Joint Commission–accredited ambulatory healthcare organizations and behavioral healthcare and human services organizations.

FBI warns healthcare professionals of ongoing scam

The FBI is warning individuals employed in the healthcare industry of ongoing widespread fraud schemes in which scammers impersonate law enforcement or government officials in attempts to extort money or steal personally identifiable information (PII).

Scammers, as part of a large criminal network, research background information of their intended targets through a medical practice’s website and/or social media and supplement this information with information found on common social media websites such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc., to make themselves appear legitimate.

Scammers will often spoof authentic phone numbers and names and use fake credentials of well-known government and law enforcement agencies to notify the intended target they were subpoenaed to provide expert witness testimony in a criminal or civil court case. The healthcare professional is notified since they did not appear in court, they are in violation of the subpoena, have been held in contempt, and an arrest warrant has been issued for them.

The targeted victim is told if they pay a court fine, they will no longer be held in contempt. Scammers use an urgent and aggressive tone coupled with scare tactics that claim the target victim is currently under surveillance and an arrest warrant will involve an early morning police raid. The intended victim is warned non-compliance will result in their medical license being revoked.

Payment is demanded in various forms, with the most prevalent being prepaid cards, wire transfers, and cash, sent by mail or inserted into cryptocurrency ATMs. If victims make money payments, a new reason to send additional funds is used, such as additional court costs for having to continue the court hearing.

Protect yourself:

  • Law enforcement authorities or government officials will never contact members of the public or medical practitioners by telephone to demand any form of payment, or to request personal or sensitive information. Any legitimate investigation or legal action will be done in person or by official letter.
  • Always ask for credentials to validate identity.
  • NO legitimate law enforcement or government official will request payment via prepaid cards or cryptocurrency ATM.
  • Never give personally identifying information (PII) to anyone without verifying the person is who they say they are.

If you are a victim:

  • Cease all contact with the scammers immediately.
  • Notify your financial institutions and safeguard any financial accounts.
  • Contact your local law enforcement and file a police report.
  • File a complaint with the FBI IC3 at www.ic3.gov.
  • Be sure to keep any financial transaction information, including prepaid cards and banking records, and all telephone, text, or email communications.