What is Drug Rehab Accreditation?
California Rehab Campus in Tucson, has the CARF (the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) Accreditation – a nonprofit, independent organization that accredits addiction, dual diagnosis and co-occurring disorder programs. It is the largest accrediting body for drug rehab and addiction treatment programs in the U.S.
Dana Point Rehab Campus has the Joint Commission (formerly JCAHO) accreditation which is America’s biggest accreditor of health care services and businesses as well as the second largest accreditor of addiction treatment programs.
Why Accreditation Matters
Accreditation by both CARF and the Joint Commission are commonly accepted by state licensing agencies as fulfillment of licensing requirements. Of the 13,655 addiction treatment programs that responded to The National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, 23.5 percent were accredited by CARF, 17.2 percent were accredited by the Joint Commission and 56.9 percent were not accredited by either. To put it simply: If an addiction treatment organization is not accredited, you should not entrust them with caring for your loved ones. Trust only the best with such a sensitive and difficult dilemma such as substance abuse addiction.
Facilities that meet CARF or The Joint Commission standards demonstrate their commitment to being the best drug treatment facilities in the world. Accrediting bodies have higher standards than state licensing requirements as well as guidelines for ongoing and future improvement. Accreditation is a rigorous process that includes a thorough review of the program’s structure, practices, clinical programming, housing units and sleeping areas and measures and outcomes. Facilities that are granted accreditation meet internationally accepted standards of quality of care and are committed to individualized treatment and client satisfaction.
Filling in the Gaps
Does accreditation always ensure quality care? Often, but not always. CARF requires addiction Treatment services to incorporate “current research, evidence-based practice, peer-reviewed scientific and health publications, clinical practice guidelines and/or expert professional consensus.” Facilities must have specific written policies and procedures in place, at all times, and also must develop individualized treatment plans. The Joint Commission has similar rigorous requirements, though it does not specify what kind of psychosocial or pharmaceutical services should be provided. It only regulates the programs a facility currently has, and the retaliations are very strict.
As recently pointed out in a national study by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University, accreditation is the most valuable measure of quality care in a health care organization.
Both CARF and the Joint Commission have night quality assurance requirements. CARF requires a review of service quality and utilization’s as well as analysis of patient outcomes to ensure effectiveness and outcomes. The Joint Commission asks programs to collect data and monitor opportunities for improving performance. When searching for a drug rehab program, ask how they evaluate effectiveness and if they monitor patient outcomes, and if they don’t, call ARC, because we do!