Hallelujah, CMS Is Going After the Joint Commission

I write this with a smile on my face and a skip in my step. Say what you want about this administration (no, I don’t really want you to) but they are getting some things done. They are now “weighing whether to continue approving hospital and health-accreditation groups that also have consulting arms”. This is because evildoers like the Joint Commission say they have a strict firewall between its consulting arm and the accrediting organization (stop laughing) but CMS sees a conflict of interest. More from the WSJ article:

  • This marks the first time in the 53-year history of U.S. health accreditation system that its potential financial conflicts have come under regulatory scrutiny.
  • The Journal article found that troubled hospitals with safety violations often kept their full accreditation with the Joint Commission even after significant problems were found.
  • Hospitals and health organizations pay accreditors for the inspections. Many that hire the Joint Commission also pay a subsidiary for consultants, who help them pass the accreditation survey.

For those of you who hate the Joint Commission, like I do, please feel free to post your thoughts below. I truly want to see this organization flame out but maybe I am overdoing it? You tell me.

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Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  8 comments for “Hallelujah, CMS Is Going After the Joint Commission

  1. Dr. YouGuessedIt
    December 31, 2018 at 5:20 am

    IMO The joint commission has been displaying obvious conflicts of interest and consumer fraud violations since the beginning. Their innapropriate influence on practice guidelines also contributed to our current opiate situation. It’s about time they get shut down.

  2. sp
    December 29, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    In some states, if you do procedures in the office with moderate sedation and above, you have to be accredited through the Joint Commission OBS (office based surgery) arm. (They expect small offices to resemble large hospital administrations with numerous committees and binders full of meeting minutes so it’s really helpful to have their expert advice for a small office with one or two providers…) They are crooks who used to delight in surprise inspections to play with your accreditation. After more than a few complaints, they changed from surprise to about 2 weeks’ notice. We told them the date they wanted was very inconvenient, numerous staff were on vacation, etc etc but they were inflexible and threatened us. They have too much power and the agent I spoke with was rude and unwilling to listen to our explanations. My dealings with some of their more disgruntled employees revealed that they are panicked because the public is figuring out how much they have been getting away with. Doug, I join you in jumping for joy at their unraveling. A private company with excessive governmental power (and greedy politicians in their pocket) to make the clients whimper because they can interfere with how they get paid…Where have I seen that model before?

    • Kris Ray
      December 29, 2018 at 5:41 pm

      You should just change to AAAASF – much better than JC. They have very reasonable standards.

  3. Cliff Norman
    December 29, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    Thanks for posting! 53 years of a racket. What changed?

  4. PW
    December 29, 2018 at 11:38 am

    It’s about time.

  5. Pat
    December 29, 2018 at 8:47 am

    For critical access hospitals its AHCA. If not as overtly evil as the Joints, it’s nonetheless a(nother) group of parasitic drones who contribute nothing to health care except more costs.

    Without regulation there would doubtless be abuses by some, but this other extreme is the predictable result when a society cedes all of its own market due diligence to a bureaucracy.

  6. Dr Bonz
    December 29, 2018 at 8:22 am

    A hospital wants to get its “Gold Star’ from Joint Commission. They SPEND A LOT OF MONEY to have a consulting firm come in and tear the place apart and tell them what they need to do to fix all of their so-called “problems”. Then they SPEND A LOT OF MONEY to fix all of the problems that Joint Commission tells them they need to fix. Then Joint Commission comes in and turns the place upside down, disrupting every employees day (face it, patient care HAS to suffer when they are there since everyone is on edge running around like chickens with their heads cut of, nervous about the evil JCAHO minions lurking throughout the hospital). Then they ALWAYS find more “issues” that need to be addressed so the hospital again SPENDS A LOT OF MONEY to fix them. Finally, they get their Gold Star. As of now, I am still unaware of ANY study that has ever shown that JCAHO approved hospitals give better care or get better patient satisfaction scores than non-approved hospitals.

    Meanwhile, our hospital is getting rid of it’s cardiology service because they don’t want to pay for more cardiologists. They already dumped our neurology and infectious disease services (they say they didn’t because we have “telemedicine” for these services). And finally, we doctors still don’t even have a small lounge to drink a cup of coffee in. But THANK GOD the hospital is JCAHO approved. That and $3.50 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

  7. bbneo
    December 29, 2018 at 8:06 am

    We can thank Joint Commission for the opioid crisis and “Pain as a Fifth Vital Sign”.
    We can thank JC and NCQA for our MOC circus.

    They have built an INDUSTRY on this…



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