Healthcare providers and organizations behave in certain ways for many reasons. An important factor that drives behavior is the regulatory landscape in which healthcare providers and organizations operate. Accreditation in healthcare is very important, as it provides external validation that an organization meets regulatory requirements and standards governing the delivery of healthcare. While being accredited does not guarantee the quality of a healthcare organization, it is one piece of the puzzle.   There are many accrediting organizations out there, and an experienced health advisor can help determine those that are meaningful. Here are five of the most common healthcare accreditations and accrediting organizations to look out for:

  1. The Joint Commission.This is the oldest and largest accrediting organization in the United States, accrediting over 21,000 healthcare organizations and facilities. Accredited organizations earn The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval. Most states require hospitals to be accredited in order to receive reimbursements for Medicare and Medicaid. In addition to accrediting hospitals, the Joint Commission also accredits nursing homes, doctor’s offices, home care organizations, behavioral health treatment facilities, and some types of surgery centers.
  2. The Accreditation Commission for Health Care. The ACHC is an alternative to The Joint Commission, and other organizations such as The Community Health Accreditation Program (CHAP).  This organization offers 9 accredited programs for hospitals and other healthcare facilities, which includes home health care and occupational and speech therapy programs.
  3. Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. Another alternative to The Joint Commission, the CARF is an international organization that accredits addiction and substance abuse treatment facilities, disability rehabilitation organizations, home and community services and retirement facilities.
  4. American Nurses Credentialing Center. This ANCC provides the Magnet Recognition, which is the “highest and most prestigious distinction a healthcare organization can receive for nursing excellence and high-quality patient care.” In the United states, only 8% of hospitals have this designation. There is evidence that hospitals with Magnet accreditation have improved patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes, compared to hospitals without this accreditation.
  5. Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. This organization sets the standards for residency and fellowship programs in the United States. In doing so, it “sets and monitors the professional educational standards essential in preparing physicians to deliver safe, high-quality medical care to all Americans.”


For help finding an accredited hospital or medical facility, contact Better Health Advisors.