What’s new for Hospitals in Pa.?
House Bill 1190 was signed into law by Governor Tom Corbett in early July as Act 60 of 2013. This legislation is a historic rewrite of the hospital/licensure process in the commonwealth, amending the Health Care Facilities Act of 1979 and the commonwealth’s hospital licensure process for the first time in more than 30 years.
What changes will occur?
Through Act 60, the Department of Health (Department) can now grant a state license renewal to facilities accredited by an approved national accreditation organization. This bill authorizes the Department of Health to rely on hospital surveys/inspections conducted by nationally recognized accreditation organizations rather than have the Department conduct a regular licensure renewal survey. Hospitals will be given the option of “opting in” to choose this process or to continue to permit the Department to conduct these surveys. Hospitals that choose to “opt in” will be held to the standards of the accreditation organization. The Department will continue to conduct complaint surveys, validation surveys and review and approve any proposed new construction or renovation plans for all hospitals. The Act also extends the term of licensure from two years to three years for all hospitals, regardless of the option chosen, beginning with licenses issued in January 2014.
Why is this important?
This bill addresses the concerns of the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) that hospitals had been required to devote valuable staff time to prepare for two wide- ranging surveys (that of the Joint Commission and the Department) requiring familiarization with two different sets of standards. Approximately 65 percent of all Pa. licensed hospitals are accredited by a nationally recognized accreditation organization. There were also concerns that the Department’s regulations were not current to the present standard of care, as they had not been completely revised since the 1980s. House Bill 1190 allows the Department to modernize the hospital licensure process in the state by instituting best practices that are up-to-date with national accreditation standards and will make improvements to patient safety and quality. Pennsylvania joins more than 40 other states that have adopted this process.
Who are the national accreditation organizations?
There are four organizations that hospitals can choose to use:
· Joint Commission;
· American Osteopathic Association Healthcare Facility Accreditation Program;
· Det Norske Veritas; and
· Center for Improvement in Healthcare Quality.
Accreditation Survey Authorization
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)