Muhammad Sair Khan
Will the New Certification for Addiction Treatment Centers Benefit Your Facility?
In October, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and CARF International (CARF) announced a new certification program for addiction treatment centers. The two groups predict that the certification process will be open to all residential treatment facilities by the end of 2019. They may develop certification for outpatient treatment centers and other levels of care in the future.
While the goal of the new certification is to ensure consistent and quality patient care, gaining a new certification can be a lengthy and expensive process for many facilities. Many treatment centers already obtain accreditation through the Joint Commission and may be questioning if this new certification is worth the time and effort of their staff members.
After a Harvard study was published in 2018, many healthcare professionals are questioning the importance of certifications and accreditations by independent organizations. Though the accreditation is supposed to help improve patient care, the study found that hospitals accredited by the Joint Commission did not have statistically better readmission or mortality rates than hospitals who were not accredited.
Like The Joint Commission accreditation, the goal of the new ASAM / CARF certification is to standardize care and prove that facilities deliver evidence-based care. This certification relies heavily on adherence to ASAM Criteria, which are already widely used to determine appropriate care for patients with substance abuse disorders.
The ASAM / CARF certification can provide your facility with the following benefits:
Improved Trust in Your Facility
Achieving certification provides proof that your facility can stand up to the scrutiny of an independent outside organization. Whether or not the criteria improve your care, it tells the public that your care is trustworthy. Patients may feel safe and more comfortable seeking treatment at your facility.
Certification also helps you be more transparent with your patients. Some unscrupulous treatment centers try to take advantage of patients with kick-back and unmet promises. Some of these companies use unproven and often unscientific methods to “treat” addiction. Certification from two well-respected organizations can show that your facility is legitimate, uses evidence-based care, and has nothing to hide.
Possible Increased Revenue
As this certification becomes more widely known, insurers may be more likely to refer patients to ASAM / CARF certified treatment centers. Additionally, it may draw more patients to your facility. Gaining certification early can give you an advantage over your competition. By explaining the certification in your marketing materials, you can help patients understand its value and feel more confident in your care, making them more likely to choose your facility over your competitors.
Improvement in Your Daily Operations
In the process of achieving certification, you will have to carefully look at the treatment processes and protocols you have in place. This type of scrutiny can help you identify weaknesses and create better programs and environments for your patients. These small changes can improve the efficiency of your facility, saving you time and money. It also gives you an opportunity to better evaluate patient outcomes and look for ways to improve your care.
Achieving certification may not be the magic bullet that leads to amazing patient outcomes and a huge jump in revenue, but the journey toward accreditation may still improve your facility and its reputation.
Learn more about how Datapro can help your organization stay up to date with outcome-tracking requirements and other aspects of certification.