Joint Commission to Offer Behavioral Health Home Certification Option in 2014

The Joint Commission will offer a new Behavioral Health Home Certification option beginning in January 2014, as part of a nationwide effort to expand and improve healthcare services.

Behavioral health homes integrate physical and behavioral healthcare services to provide treatment to address the needs of the whole person. The certification program will provide a framework for this, emphasizing care coordination and quality. Health home providers do not need to provide all the services themselves, but must ensure that the full array of primary and behavioral healthcare services is available and coordinated.

Proposed standards are posted on The Joint Commission Web site through May 24 for comment from the behavioral healthcare 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 certification option has also been informed by The Joint Commission’s considerable experience accrediting both behavioral healthcare and physical healthcare providers.

The ACA 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 healthcare organizations meet state Medicaid requirements and improve reimbursement. The Joint Commission will work with Joint Commission-accredited behavioral healthcare providers to acquire state or payor recognition by offering support and technical information.

Source: The Joint Commission, May 15, 2013

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