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CMS Recognizes the Joint Commission's Critical Access Hospital Accreditation

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Health Care Practice Group
Foster Swift Health Care Law Report
August 2009

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ("CMS") on July 8, 2009 issued a press release that stated that The Joint Commission has been granted deeming authority for the accreditation of critical access hospitals.  This designation means that critical access hospitals accredited by The Joint Commission may choose to be deemed as meeting Medicare and Medicaid certification requirements.  CMS found that The Joint Commission's standards for critical access hospitals meet or exceed those established by Medicare and Medicaid.  This deeming authority is effective through November 21, 2011.  Accreditation is voluntary and seeking deemed status through accreditation is not required.  Organizations seeking Medicare approval can choose either to be surveyed by an accrediting body such as The Joint Commission, or by state surveyors on behalf of CMS.