Joint Commission Sucks Again

A new study in “The BMJ, a peer-reviewed medical journal, also found no evidence that patients who select a hospital accredited by the Joint Commission obtain any health-care benefits over hospitals reviewed by other accrediting organizations.”  It’s time to shut these bastards down.

Last year the Wall Street Journal investigated them and you can see my take on it here.  I wasn’t the only one to notice this charade that the WSJ outed:

  • The Harvard report comes amid mounting federal oversight of, and congressional investigations into, the hospital-accreditation system following a report last year in The Wall Street Journal that found that problem-plagued facilities routinely kept their Joint Commission accreditation.
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, or CMS, this month announced increased oversight of accreditors, citing the Journal report. The agency is launching a pilot program that could lead to changes in the way accreditors’ performances are reviewed, and officials said they’re likely to propose new federal regulations this fall.
  • The House Energy and Commerce Committee in March launched an investigation into the organizations following the Journal report. Separately, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) asked CMS to outline how federal law could be changed to make accreditors’ inspections reports public. The commission currently now keeps its detailed inspection reports private and has opposed efforts to make them widely available.

Say what you will about this administration (I do not want to get into a political fight here) but they have clamped down on some BS going on in the healthcare system.  You can see prior posts on this blog for more proof.

My issue with the Joint Commission has always been proof.  They would scare everyone at a hospital to make ridiculous changes that were unproven.  An unopened diet coke at the nurses station? Ding.  Christmas cards on a doctor’s door?  Ding.  We base what we do in medicine on some studies that show it works.  These jerks pranced around like the Gestapo without anyone questioning them, other than me.  And guess what?  They suck.

Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, which you can find here.
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