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Joint Commission teams up with ASHI

The Joint Commission and the American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (ASHI) have entered a cooperative agreement to recognize histocompatibility (HLA) accreditation. Effective July 1, 2011, ASHI will have the authority as a deemed accreditor for transplant testing services in Joint Commission facilities.

The Joint Commission said the agreement will reduce the burdens on health care organizations by eliminating the need for duplicate laboratory surveys for organizations conducting HLA testing, and will also save them money by accepting the ASHI accreditation as evidence of compliance with Joint Commission policies and standards.

Find out more  and see what each organization has to say about the agreement by visiting The Joint Commission Website here.

Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act

I just wanted to update you on a news brief I posted to the group a few weeks back. Congress overruled yesterday President Bush’s veto of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act, based on a bill authored by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.).

While the primary focus of the bill is to improve several key aspects of Medicare, for those of us working in the area of accreditation, under the category of “Enhancements for Rural and Other Hospital Care,” note this short passage:

Revokes unique authority of the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations to deem hospitals in compliance with Medicare Conditions of Participation.

There will be a 24-month transition period for The Joint Commission to complete the application process for deeming authority, and “the amendments made by this section shall not effect the accreditation of a hospital by the Joint Commission, or under accreditation or comparable approval standards found to be essentially equivalent to accreditation or approval standards of the Joint Commission, for the period of time applicable under such accreditation.”

Additional information can be found online here:

What are your thoughts? Does this level the playing field for other accrediting organizations? What effect do you think this will have on hospital accreditation, if any?

We have reached out to The Joint Commission and several other organizations for comment; I will be sure to distribute to the group follow-up information as it arises.

Update: Joint Commission to lose "unique" deeming authority?

Hello, everyone. I just wanted to update you on the developing story in last week’s post. Senator Max Baucus’ (D-MT), chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, bill containing language to revoke the unique deeming authority status held by The Joint Commission failed to find support on the Senate floor. Meanwhile, a competing Medicare reform bill, introduced by Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), has been introduced, containing similar language regarding The Joint Commission’s deeming authority.

Senator Grassley’s proposed Medicare reform package can be found here. A summary of Senator Baucus’ proposed legislation can be found here.

Joint Commission to lose "unique" deeming authority?

Hello, all. Just wanted to update you on a developing story:

Montana Democratic Senator Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, announced proposed legislation last week which included language to revoke the unique deeming authority status held by The Joint Commission.


This change would require all accrediting bodies, including The Joint Commission, to apply for hospital deeming status for hospitals—a process The Joint Commission and other accreditors undergo for other organizations and facilities (for example, laboratories and ambulatory centers). The Joint Commission currently does not need to undergo this application process for hospitals.


The Joint Commission issued a statement on Tuesday, June 10, supporting the legislation, while proposing several amendments. The Joint Commission has requested CMS issue “modernized guidelines and procedures for assessing compliance with existing conditions of participation for hospitals,” according to the official statement. The accreditor also requested a two-year period to undergo the application process following the issue of those guidelines and procedures. Finally The Joint Commission suggests that provisions are made to give the Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary the ability to create up-to-date methodology for assessing the performance of accreditors.


A summary of Senator Baucus’ proposed legislation can be found at


Go to for Senator Baucus’ Web site.