Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) was recently named an approved accreditation agency for acute care hospital stroke centers in the State of New York. In a separate news release, it also was recently approved to accredit acute care hospitals in Indiana in lieu of annual licensure inspection.

As part of the New York accreditation process, HFAP will survey hospitals seeking certification to confirm they meet certain criteria to provide advanced stroke care at primary, thrombectomy-capable and comprehensive stroke centers starting March 20, 2019.

The announcement comes after the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) launched new regulations to “ensure access to quality, evidence-based stroke care for all patients across all levels of stroke care designation, establish a framework to support regional operationalization of transport processes for suspected stroke, and continue full reporting of data for evaluation and monitoring of systems of stroke care,” according to the department.

“HFAP’s rigorous stroke certification requirements mirror those established by the NYSDOH, emphasizing access to care, ongoing quality improvement and coordination with other providers in the region,” says Meg Gravesmill, CEO of HFAP, in a media release. “With the second lowest stroke mortality rate in the nation, New York is leading the way in developing stroke care protocols across the state. We look forward to partnering with hospitals in New York to increase access to high-quality stroke care and improve the services available to affected patients.”

Hospitals will have a 2-year transition period to enter into a contractual agreement with HFAP or other approved certifying organization, followed by 1 year to complete the certification process. Once certified, hospitals must communicate and collaborate with other designated stroke centers to provide access to care for patients through a coordinated agreement, as well as EMS providers at the regional and state level to establish destination protocols. Designated stroke centers will also be required to participate in ongoing quality improvement activities.

Any acute care hospital in Indiana that is accredited by HFAP will be exempt from annual state licensing inspection during its term of accreditation, according to a separate release from HFAP.

HFAP already has deeming authority for acute care hospitals from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), allowing the accrediting organization to conduct accreditation surveys and assess compliance with the Medicare Conditions for Coverage for acute care hospitals nationwide. HFAP also holds deeming authority for ambulatory surgery centers, clinical laboratories and critical access hospitals; and offers certification programs for stroke ready, primary and comprehensive stroke centers; joint arthroplasty, lithotripsy services and wound care centers.

“To meet our rigorous standards, HFAP prides itself in working collaboratively with healthcare organizations to communicate the intent behind the requirements and integrate best practices into the daily delivery of care,” adds Gravesmill, in the release.

“This educational approach empowers organizations to ask questions and develop policies and procedures to ensure compliance well beyond the accreditation survey. We are excited to work alongside the Indiana State Health Department to help all acute care hospitals in the state demonstrate their commitment to patient safety and quality improvement.”

[Source: HFAP]