CMS is Ramping Up Oversight of Accrediting Organizations

From Modern Healthcare:

The CMS plans to enhance oversight of accrediting organizations in light of conflict of interest concerns and publicized safety issues at provider organizations, according to CMS Administrator Seema Verma.

During a speech at the agency’s Quality Conference in Baltimore, Verma told the audience accreditors are failing to protect patients from harm and the CMS will be doing more on the issue “in the near future.”

Verma said the business practice of acting as both an accreditor and consultant is “a glaring conflict of interest.” She added it’s “simply not acceptable” some accrediting organizations use standards that differ from the CMS’ conditions of participation. The Joint Commission, which is the leading accreditor of hospitals, issues requirements that go beyond CMS standards.

“Receiving CMS’ authorization to inspect and deem healthcare providers compliant with Medicare’s quality standards is nothing short of assuming a sacred public trust responsibility,” Verma said. “But an increasing amount of evidence indicates that accrediting organizations are not living up to that high bar.”

Click here to read the full report from Modern Healthcare.