The Joint Commission, the accrediting organization for about 80 percent of U.S. hospitals, rarely revokes its approval of facilities out of compliance with Medicare rules, reports The Wall Street Journal.
The WSJ, after digging into Joint Commission inspection reports from 2014 through 2016, found that in 2014, about 350 hospitals with Joint Commission accreditation had violated Medicare requirements that year, and about a third had additional violations in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
The paper reported that the commission revoked accreditation for just 1 percent of hospitals out of compliance with Medicare. More than 30 hospitals retained their accreditations even though the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services found their violations important enough to cause, or likely cause, serious patient injury or death.
“It’s clearly a failed system and time for a change,” said Ashish Jha, M.D., a health policy researcher at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a practicing internist, told the paper. The probe “shows accreditation is basically meaningless—it doesn’t mean a hospital is safe.”
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