The Importance of the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval

The Importance of the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval

Did you know that there are over 26,000 nursing home facilities in the US? This sector of the long-term care space services more than 1.2 million residents, and that number grows annually. Given the vulnerability of the population they serve, nursing homes are highly regulated; being awarded the Gold Seal of Approval by the Joint Commission can help set a facility apart from the competition.

What is the Joint Commission?

The Joint Commission, developed in 1951, is a private, non-profit accreditation organization that focuses on continuously improving health care for the public through setting standards across many healthcare spaces. Although highly regulated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS), the Joint Commission has established quality of care and survey measurements which CMS has approved as having met or exceeded federal standards and is revered by the healthcare industry to be the Gold Standard of quality and excellence in health care administration

What is the Gold Seal of Approval?

By becoming accredited, the Joint Commission offers you the Gold Seal of Approval. This assures regulators, payors, and potential clients that the facility is providing the highest quality and standard of care to its residents. Organizations look at this “Gold Seal of Approval” to show they have met and/or exceeded CMS guidelines. More often in today’s environment, this Gold Seal is a deal breaker in continued revenue. Health plans, departments of insurance, and departments of health are starting to look to the Joint Commission as a condition of participation. This is entirely encompassing of service standards, quality reporting, and even the credentialing process of quality healthcare professionals who work in such a facility. 

For perspective, of the 26,000+ nursing facilities in the United States, only around 1,200 are Joint Commission Accredited/Certified. 

Why is This Accreditation Important?

Year after year, it becomes more and more challenging for nursing homes to maintain their standing or stand out from the rest of the industry. Not only do facilities want to ensure the highest quality care, but they want something that differentiates them with hopes of bringing more business to their facility. 

One way that facilities can set themselves apart is by elevating nurse staffing. Credentialing standards for nursing professionals are fundamental to an onboarding process. A solid credentialing process will ensure the nursing professional is able to legally perform services and also guarantee they meet minimum compliance and competency criteria for any given facility. This can sometimes include ongoing performance management, which is recognized by CMS through their established Conditions of Participation. 

The Joint Commission does not look at this process lightly. This process, along with performance management, is an integral part of a standard facility survey and is scored as such towards a successful accreditation or certification. A substandard credentialing process can jeopardize a renewal or initial accreditation/certification. Working in long-term care can require additional screenings such as federal and state criminal background checks, fingerprinting, and occupational health screenings, all of which have minimum criteria to pass compliance.

Cost Savings for Gold Seal Accreditation

If a facility is accredited/certified by The Joint Commission, criteria is auto-scored and sometimes foregoes an audit by a regulator. This can save money, administrative resources, and time. What more can an organization want than to have a Joint Commission certified or accredited process to bring in new business and highlight their standards and mission of excellence in the industry?

Intelycare was awarded certification by The Joint Commissionin July 2019 after review of compliance certified all excellence standards, performance management processes, and credentialing of each of its nursing professionals. In January 2022, IntelyCare renewed its certification status. Intelycare’s commitment to quality and credentialing processes is paramount and helps ensure our facilities are partnering with an outstanding organization.


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