What is JCAHO Accreditation

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Understanding what is JCAHO accreditation for substance abuse treatment programs

One of the most frequently given pieces of advice about choosing a substance abuse treatment center is to select an accredited center. So what is JCAHO accreditation, and what does it mean when a treatment center has achieved it? Does JCAHO accreditation guarantee you will have a successful outcome at a certain drug rehab center? And if an addiction treatment center doesn’t have JCAHO accreditation, does that mean it can’t provide the help you need for recovery? To help you choose the best substance abuse treatment center for you or a loved one, we have the answers to these commonly asked questions about JCAHO accreditation.

What is JCAHO Accreditation?

To demonstrate the quality of the services they offer, some substance abuse and addiction treatment programs choose to get accredited by a third party. For a drug rehab center JCAHO accreditation is the hallmark of an ongoing commitment to the highest standards of patient care.The Joint Commission, which was formerly the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), is the largest accreditor of health care agencies in America, and the second largest accreditor of addiction treatment programs. Only CARF, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, accredits more addiction treatment programs in the United States.

Is JCAHO accreditation the same as CARF accreditation?

No, CARF and JCAHO are separate accrediting organizations, each with its own high standards. Just because a drug treatment program has not been accredited by the Joint Commission, does not mean that they cannot provide the care you need for successful recovery. According to figures from the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, 21.8 percent of the respondents were accredited by CARF, and 19.2 percent were accredited by the Joint Commission. 56.9 percent of respondents were not accredited by either organization; these facilities may not provide any of the review processes that CARF and JCAHO accredited facilities undergo to make sure their programs meet the highest quality standards.

Is JCAHO or Joint Commission accreditation the same as being licensed?

Being accredited by the Joint Commission is not the same as being licensed by a state or federal agency, but it does mean is that the addiction treatment program has met the standards set by that organization. Accrediting organizations have standards that are actually higher than those required by state licensing facilities. Before they can receive JCAHO accreditation, drug rehab centers must go through a rigorous review process. The Joint Commission examines their program’s practices, staff qualifications, and programming to make sure they meet internationally accepted standards of quality. JCAHO accredited facilities have demonstrated their ongoing commitment to being some of the best drug rehab centers in the world. Accreditation by the Joint Commission is generally accepted by state licensing agencies toward the fulfilment of their requirements for licensing.

Does JCAHO accreditation guarantee you will have a successful outcome?

While accreditation by the Joint Commission is the hallmark of a high quality addiction treatment program, no accreditation organization can guarantee a successful outcome. What JCAHO accreditation does mean is that the drug rehab treatment programs meet certain staff, quality, and ongoing improvement standards. In order to receive JCAHO accreditation for substance abuse, addiction treatment programs must hire staff that have been licensed, certified, or registered in accordance with the law. The Joint Commission requires substance abuse programs to evidence-based practices, collect data, and monitor patient outcomes.

Choosing a substance abuse treatment program is a momentous decision. While JCAHO accreditation is one indication of a high quality drug treatment program, there are other aspects that need to be considered as well. Program length, types of therapy offered, atmosphere, environment, access to aftercare, program outcomes, and other factors will all play a role in achieving a successful recovery.

Finding a substance abuse program that offers the best chance for a lasting recovery for you or a loved one is difficult, but Better Addiction Care can help. Call 1-800-429-7690 today to speak to someone about your treatment needs and help you find an accredited addiction rehab program that will provide you with a strong chance for long-term recovery. Call us now, we’d love to help!