Whether you are in the process of starting a new addiction treatment center, or you are an established facility, accreditation and licensing compliance are essential elements of the business. While your primary objective is to help people get well, accreditation and licensing are high priorities that must be addressed correctly in order to keep your facility running and allow you to help others. The type of endorsements your facility holds makes a huge difference in your success. Proper accreditation opens doors, is an important marketing tool and helps establish trust and authority. Licensure is an area of your business that you have to get right, and compliance is an ongoing process that ensures your facility is operating at high standards and that you are able to continue providing services for those in need.
State By State Requirements
A firm understanding of state requirements for licensing is important to start or continue operating your facility. Staying on top of requirements is a full-time job. Once you are licensed, you will continue to be periodically audited to ensure compliance and to maintain your licensure. Getting through the audit process is much easier when you are organized and have a firm grasp on all current requirements. It’s important that you are constantly reviewing your operations versus requirements and keep abreast of any changes.
The Importance Of Accreditation
What does accreditation cover? How important is it to your business, and does it matter where the accreditation comes from?
Never underestimate the power of accreditation, because it absolutely matters. Today’s treatment consumer is savvy and has done their homework. There are a lot of treatment centers out there, and yours needs to offer a safe environment that provides proven solutions to their problem. New treatment centers are cropping up everywhere, and while the need is certainly great, the client has more treatment options than ever before. You can have a beautiful facility, cutting-edge programs and highly trained staff, but without this important piece, you will miss out on clients. Proper and comprehensive accreditation shows potential clients and their families that you are a trustworthy facility where they can get the help that they need. It increases the likelihood that individuals and organizations will refer potential clients to your facility. Accreditation is a process, and requires a certain amount of diligence to acquire it. Be sure to choose the body that commands the most respect and recognition.
For example, The Commision On Accreditation Of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) is an important and sought-after accreditation and it behooves your facility to receive this endorsement. Some of the variations of this include:
- Three-year accreditation
- One year accreditation
- Provisional accreditation
Other accrediting bodies include the Joint Commission (JCAHO). FARR (Florida Association for Recovery Residence) Certifications and AHCA (Agency for Health Administration) Licensure.
For people seeking treatment for themselves or their loved ones, a recognized accreditation reassures them that they are going to receive quality care.
Juggling Compliance And Operations
Compliance is not a one-time event, it’s an ongoing requirement. It encompasses a variety of elements of your facility, including education, training and certification of staff members, operations, policies and procedures, health and safety, and more.
Keeping your facility compliant requires careful attention to detail, high levels of communication and strict adherence to state laws and best practices. It must be consistently maintained while at the same time providing quality treatment and attention to clients. There may be times when compliance and client attention can seem to clash, due to time involvement, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Getting support for accreditation, licensure and compliance from an outside agency allows you to stay current and on track so that you can focus on providing clients with the attention that they need.
Getting Help To Keep You Compliant And Up To Date
Accreditation and licensing are essential elements of your treatment business. It’s imperative that they be handled professionally. Whether you are a startup facility just getting off the ground, or an established rehab looking to maintain compliance and improve accreditation, there is help available. It often takes outside help to come into a facility and identify potential barriers to compliance, improvement, licensure, etc. It’s much better to have a consultant come in and point out issues than to have to deal with it during an audit. An impartial third party will see things that your management or director may miss. Not only that, but they can work with you to quickly improve your facility in a timely manner.