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Here’s some news and updates to keep you informed on what’s going on in the BHC Accreditation Program:

Julia FinkenNew Executive Director

Julia Finken, BSN, MBA, CPHQ, CSSBB is the new Executive Director of Behavioral Health Care and Psychiatric Hospital Accreditation for TJC. She was previously Director of Home Care Accreditation. In her new role, Ms. Finken will lead strategy and growth for both the Behavioral Health Care and Psychiatric Hospital Accreditation programs. We had the opportunity to meet Ms. Finken last week at the annual meeting of the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems in Washington, D.C. She is excited about her new role and bringing TJC accreditation to more behavioral health organizations and psychiatric hospitals throughout the country. Welcome and good luck, Julia!

More Information on the New Outcomes Measurement Requirement

As reported in our January 2017 issue, the new requirement for behavioral healthcare outcomes measurement goes into effect in January 2018. It requires BH organizations to use a standardized outcomes measure and to analyze outcomes data both for the individual client and the population served. Dr. Scott Williams, Director of Health Services Research at TJC, recently answered questions about how behavioral healthcare organizations can go about selecting an outcomes measurement instrument and how outcomes data can be used. See the Q&A in the BHC News (PDF) to get some insights into how to meet the new outcomes measurement requirements.

Survey Timelines

As many of you are aware, there have been some delays this past year in the scheduling of behavioral health surveys; both initial and triennial surveys. This is a result of the increased demand in the field for BHC accreditation. TJC is in the process of hiring additional BH surveyors to meet this demand. For triennial surveys, their plan is to be back on schedule by the end of the year with all triennial surveys scheduled within 30 days of the three year anniversary date.  For initial surveys, TJC is currently advising BH programs that they will be surveyed anytime between the “ready date” (that they give to TJC) and 120 days from that ready date. So, plan accordingly with your application and stay in close touch with your TJC account executive.

Phase I Revisions to Behavioral Health Care Standards

Remember, there are some revisions to the BH standards that go into effect on July 1, 2017. These include an expansion of the standard related to discharge planning. For full coverage of these revisions, see our February 2017 article.