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Joint Commission to offer new behavioral health home certification in early 2014

May 16, 2013
by Shannon Brys, Associate Editor
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Joint Commission-accredited behavioral health care organizations that are establishing behavioral health homes will soon have a new certification option.

Beginning in January 2014, The Joint Commission will offer a new Behavioral Health Home Certification, aimed at new behavioral health homes that integrate physical and behavioral health care services in treatment that addresses the needs of the whole person. The certification program will provide a framework to better meet health homes' emphasis on care coordination and quality.

Proposed standards are posted on The Joint Commission website through May 24 for comment from the behavioral health care field, and prepublication standards are expected to be available online this summer. The Joint Commission developed the proposed standards and survey process with input from experts on the various models of behavioral health homes and from accredited behavioral health organizations in the early stages of offering these services. 

“The Joint Commission believes that an integral approach that provides primary physical health care services with behavioral health care yields the best results for all individuals,” says Mary Cesare-Murphy, Ph.D., executive director, Behavioral Health Care Accreditation, The Joint Commission.  “By focusing on teamwork to provide comprehensive services, behavioral health care organizations that achieve certification will lead the way in improving the lives of Americans.”

The Affordable Care Act has enabled many states to establish behavioral health homes. The Joint Commission is working closely with states to acquire recognition for the new certification. State recognition will help behavioral health care organizations meet state Medicaid requirements and improve reimbursement. The Joint Commission will work with Joint Commission accredited behavioral health care providers to acquire state or payer recognition by offering support and technical information.