Trusted Content

JCAHO Accredited Alcohol And Drug Rehab Centers

David Hunter, MA.Ed, LPC

Medically reviewed by

David Hunter, MA.Ed, LPC

January 29, 2019

Finding a trusted drug rehabilitation center is an important part of the recovery process. One guideline many people have when choosing a rehab center is to find one that has been accredited by the Joint Commission, a non-profit organization formerly known as the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations or JCAHO. Understanding this organization and why it matters can help steer individuals towards choosing the best facility for their needs.

What Is JCAHO / The Joint Commission?

The Joint Commission is an organization dedicated toward improving the quality of healthcare facilities around the nation. They are focused on creating a unified set of standards that ensure patients receive the quality of care that they deserve.

Any facility that wants Joint Commission accreditation must be inspected and evaluated by highly trained and licensed inspectors. These inspectors will decide whether or not the facility deserves to be accredited. If they don’t meet those requirements, a list of improvements will be created to guide the facility towards improvement and later accreditation. Inspiring healthcare providers to meet and exceed accreditation standards is a big part of the Joint Commission’s purpose.

Over 20,000 different facilities and organizations have been accredited by the Joint Commission and its board of 28 commissioners. These commissioners are made up of doctors, nurses, and administrators that have real-world experience and a lifelong passion for the healthcare industry.

What Is JCAHO Accreditation, And How Does It Work?

Joint Commission accreditation occurs every 39 months. Surveyors will visit healthcare providers interested in accreditation, such as drug rehabilitation centers. To avoid the possibility of temporarily improving conditions to fool the commissioners, all surveys are unannounced.

Random patients will then be selected and their treatment records inspect closely and thoroughly. Surveyors will also talk to the patient and any healthcare official who has interacted with them. If the surveyors find the center meets its standards and guidelines, it will be accredited for another 39 months.

However, that’s not the end of the process: every three months, all accredited centers must submit data to the Joint Commission regarding their treatment process. That information is then presented on their website, Quality Check. This website is a godsend for people interested in drug rehabilitation: it gives them the ability to research the quality of potential centers and make an informed decision when choosing their preferred center.

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What Are The Benefits Of JCAHO Accreditation?

Drug rehabilitation accreditation generates multiple benefits that are designed to help give you the best possible care. Getting a drug rehabilitation center Joint Commission accreditation:

  • Creates a safer rehabilitation environment
  • Improves confidence in center care
  • Keeps center updated on new and important rehabilitation breakthroughs
  • Educates center operators and patients
  • Decreases insurance cost for center, potentially decreasing your investment
  • Generates a stronger and more stable rehabilitation treatment structure

Many of these benefits are twofold: they are likely to generate more business for the center while creating a safer, more stable, and more effective treatment environment. As a result, drug rehabilitation centers often go to great lengths to ensure they retain their accreditation.

What Are The Joint Commission Standards For Rehabilitation?

The Joint Commission regularly updates its standards for drug rehabilitation centers: as recently as 2014, they added a whole new set of revisions. These revisions were designed to streamline your care and to ensure continued high quality. These standards include:

  • Pain being treated and managed in all drug rehabilitation patients
  • Methadone and buprenorphine levels staying consistent, regardless of the addition of new pain medicine prescriptions
  • Case-based administrative discharges i.e. no longer discharging patients for violations of broad rules
  • Treatment for neonatal abstinence syndrome when a patient is pregnant
  • Creation of parenting support groups

Does Joint Commission Accreditation Ensure Quality Care?

It’s fair to say that Joint Commission accredited rehab centers will offer you a higher level of quality than centers without it. After all, accreditation is a voluntary process and centers that achieve it must pass a stringent set of rules and regulations.

However, there are a few holes in accreditation that you should know. While they shouldn’t be a major deal-breaker, they have popped up for a few people going through the drug rehabilitation process.

For example, while the Joint Commission requires all accredited centers to collect data and actively pursue ways to improve their performance, this data isn’t always published by the centers. As a result, you may need to ask some centers directly for the information before it is provided.

Another problem is the wording in the statement regarding staff training. Simply put, the Joint Commission states that all employees must be trained in “accordance with the law,” i.e. guidelines laid down by city and state governments.

Unfortunately, these qualifications are likely to vary wildly. Some cities and states will require highly-trained and fully-licensed employees. Others may be more lenient. That’s why you need to contact us or talk to the center’s director about training requirements before you agree to attend.

How Do I Find JACHO Accredited Facility?

Finding a Joint Commission accredited drug and alcohol rehabilitation center isn’t as hard as you might imagine. Beyond searching on Quality Check, a Google search for “Joint Commission drug rehabilitation center” will reveal dozens of facilities around the country advertising their accreditation and will really tell you all you need to know about Joint Commission accreditation. After all, it’s not likely that multiple centers are proudly showing off their affiliation with the group if the accreditation was meaningless for risk of punishment by the JCAHO. And while it’s clear that there may be some holes in what accreditation covers, it is still better than turning to a center with no accreditation of any kind.

If you’re interested in learning more about accredited drug rehabilitation, contact us today. Our helpful and dedicated employees are more than ready to find you the help that you need to finally beat your addiction.

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