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The Joint Commission to Launch ASC Program The agency will roll out its first advanced certification program for surgery centers this year BY SAHELY MUKERJI he

Joint Commission is plan- ning the launch of a new product

called Total Hip and Knee Replace- ment Advanced Certification Program this year. The agency has been working with ASCA for the last couple of years to develop this program. “It will be a disease-specific certifi-

cation program offered to hospitals and ASCs,” says Michael Kulczycki, exec- utive director of the Ambulatory Care Accreditation Program at The Joint Commission. “We have 11 advanced programs offered to hospitals. This will be the first advanced certification program applicable to ASCs as well.”

The Joint Commission has more than

800 core orthopedic disease certification programs for both hospitals and ASCs. “A key characteristic of this certifi- cation will be that the reviewer will be on site for two days and visiting intra- operative suites. It will be a clinical program with emphasis on procedures and will be focused on continuity of care,” says Wendi Roberts, executive director of certification at The Joint Commission. “The decision to create an advanced program for total hip and knee replacement came from our stra- tegic planning process.” The ability to recognize ASCs as an expert in this field was initiated by

Terry Bohlke, ASCA Board president, Kulczycki says. “In the past six months or so, as I talked to ASCs, I raised the topic of future development of this product and received a lot of interest. United Surgical Partners International (USPI) has an initiative in this and has 30–40 surgical hospitals and ASCs engaged in this area.” ASCs would have to be accredited

by The Joint Commission to apply for this certification. “With the potential strength of this

program in the ASC community, our strategic planning team will be looking at other programs in the ASC setting,” Roberts says.


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