Whether you are a start-up agency or one that is already established, accreditation is a big decision. Many start-ups don’t have an option and must initially be accredited in their respective state. So, let’s consider what it looks like to make that call with both pros and cons of accreditation.
5 Pros Of Accreditation:
Considering this route is a good one. Let’s look at 5 things in the plus column:
- Higher Standards: Every accrediting body has standards to which agencies must comply that are above and beyond the state and federal levels. The point is to be the elite providers of homecare who do not just exist at minimum standards.
- Timeliness For Initial Survey: When you are at the mercy of the state, you never know when they will come through the door. That leaves start-up agencies spending extended periods of time providing care to which they cannot bill. Considering where we are with the pandemic, many states are backlogged trying to get surveys completed with many reporting being out 9 months for a new agency survey. With accreditation, it is not uncommon for the survey to happen within a month of the time you declare survey readiness.
- Support/ Education: With accreditation, you have additional education and support from the staff. Your agency is normally assigned a contact to pose questions and be able to call to get clarification on regulation or guidance to put rules into practice. It also provides free and discounted access to CEUs for your staff. At survey time, a state surveyor may not allow you to plead your case when it comes to the way you put the regulation into operations. Normally, the accrediting body will as long as you can prove why you think your agency has met the standard.
- Contracting: Some payers require accreditation to be a provider.
- Marketing: Accreditation is a plus for your agency as you are able to advertise you comply with higher standards.
Cons Of Accreditation:
Ultimately, an agency focused on patient-centered quality care won’t see many negatives to accreditation. However, the biggest issue comes with how providing this standard hits your wallet. Let’s look at the biggest cons:
- Lack Of Choice For Initial Survey: Many states have now made accreditation a requirement for those who are starting an agency and need the initial survey completed. With Covid, the focus of the state surveyors were those agencies in immediate jeopardy and infection control surveys. It made sense for many of the states to take this off their plates as returning to “normal” for the survey process still meant start-ups would be on the bottom on the pile.
- Money: Plain and simple. It costs more. You will pay annual fees based upon your size in addition to any time a surveyor is on site.
- Costs For Surveys: You will pay for on-site survey time and expenses for the surveyors. For a start-up agency, you are probably looking at 2 surveyors on site for a couple days. For medium size agencies with multiple locations, you may have 5 surveyors and the process take a week. So, the cost varies depending on your size.
- Additional Standards With Which You Must Comply: Although this is in the plus column, it can also been seen as a negative by some. If you are trying to staff patients and educate staff, it can be difficult to considering adding more regulations on top of the compliance pile. This means more time, potential staff, and education on the part of the agency. It may be difficult if you don’t have the wiggle room in finances to invest the additional resources needed.
Let Us Help you Get Ready For Accreditation:
As previously stated, patient-centered quality care comes from agencies focused on providing it. Accreditation is certainly a path to excellence. Let Kenyon Homecare Consulting help prepare your start-up or get you ready for the move to accreditation. We can do off site consulting as well as on-site mock surveys for CHAP or ACHC. Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to see how we can help you! Join us on March 31st for our free webinar Don’t Miss The Forest For The Trees and see how your chronic disease program may be what’s missing in your care. Register today!