Joint Commission announces major standards reduction to provide relief to healthcare organizations

Feb. 7, 2023
Update from The Joint Commission.

The Joint Commission is eliminating a total of 168 standards (14%) and revising 14 other standards across its accreditation programs to streamline requirements and make them as efficient and impactful on patient safety, quality and equity as possible.

The first tranche of standards deletions and revisions went into effect on January 1. They include six deleted and one revised standard for the Laboratory Accreditation Program.

The standards reduction is the result of The Joint Commission’s comprehensive review that was announced in September 2022. The Joint Commission reviewed all its “above-and-beyond” requirements – those that go beyond regulatory requirements of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Conditions of Participation (CoPs) and are not on crosswalks to the CoPs. Specifically, The Joint Commission reviewed each standard to answer:

  • Does the requirement still address an important quality and safety issue?
  • Is the requirement redundant?
  • Are the time and resources needed to comply with the requirement commensurate with the estimated benefit to patient care and health outcomes?

In addition to a direct review of each standard, The Joint Commission conducted quantitative analyses of scoring patterns and tested for redundancy. Where necessary, The Joint Commission led literature and field reviews and engaged experts within the field.

CMS approved the recommended discontinued standards after confirming they do not diminish any CMS regulatory requirements. Importantly, a second tranche of standards is under consideration for elimination or revision, and a second announcement of burden reduction is anticipated in approximately six months.

The Joint Commission release

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