As complexity of JCAHO surveys rises, so do fees

It’s going to cost you more for an experience you’d rather avoid altogether. JCAHO recently announced overall 2005 survey fee increases across all of the organization’s accreditation programs. A special $3,500 fee for hospitals with more than 200 beds is being attributed to JCAHO’s continuing emphasis on the Life Safety Code.

The fee increases, the second in the last decade, will vary by program and, within programs, they will vary by the types and volumes of services provided. The Joint Commission also announced plans to institute a subscription-billing model in 2006 that will allow accredited organizations to begin to spread their survey fees over the three-year accreditation cycle. These are the new average triennial survey fee increases, by program:

  • Critical Access Hospitals — $300
  • Laboratories — $590
  • Assisted Living — $610
  • Ambulatory Care — $810
  • Long Term Care —$815
  • Home Care — $880
  • Behavioral Health Care — $1,065
  • Hospitals — $2,700
  • Networks — $3,000

JCAHO reports that hospital and network program fees are proportionately higher because of the substantially greater overall complexity of these surveys.

Also on Jan. 1, 2005, the JCAHO will begin adding a certified health care engineer to surveys of hospitals having 200 or more beds. JCAHO says the intent of this change is to enhance its ability to evaluate hospital compliance with the Life Safety Code and physical plant requirements. The additional survey fee for this survey team enhancement will be $3,500, in addition to the other fees.