The Joint Commission has suspended all regular, on-site surveys of hospitals and other health care organizations, effective March 16. In some cases, a small number of surveys may continue, such as in high-risk situations. This decision will allow health care organizations and professionals to focus on preparing and caring for patients with COVID-19.

The Joint Commission does not have an anticipated restart date at this time. All postponed survey events will occur once normal operations are resumed. If any organizations go past their accreditation due date, accreditation will be extended without disruption to their accreditation status. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has assured that Medicare payment status will not be affected.

The Joint Commission recommends hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities have a plan for managing a surge of infectious patients (Infection Control Standard 01.06.01). Hospitals are encouraged to review their infection control and emergency management plans, assess whether they can rapidly and reliably implement their plans as designed, and modify their plans if needed based on this assessment.

The Joint Commission remains available to help its accredited organizations develop an appropriate response to COVID-19. While we will continue to provide regular updates, organizations are able to contact their account executive directly to ask specific questions about managing the coronavirus threat and to receive appropriate resources.

In addition, The Joint Commission is working closely with its field staff and customers on plans to redirect resources to best assist health care organizations during this ever-changing and stressful time.

The Joint Commission’s affiliate organizations—Joint Commission Resources, Joint Commission International, and the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare—have also suspended all external engagements, including all consulting services and all international surveys.

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