What is Accreditation?

When seeking services from a home health care company, one must ask the question, ďAre all home care organizations alike?" The answer is "no". The quality of home care can differ significantly from one organization to another. There are several thousand public and private organizations nationwide, with new ones opening up every day. As a protection to the consumer many states have established licensure laws governing these types of companies. Licensure rules will typically establish the minimum requirements for doing business. Not all states have licensure requirements for home care companies. It is suggested that consumers check with their state government to determine if there is a licensure law and if the organization contacted is in compliance with those requirements.

Another form of consumer protection is that of voluntary accreditation. Standards of care are based upon the consensus of professionals of those elements that should exist in home care organizations that have "gone the extra mile" to assure quality. Accreditation is a means of measuring the organizational management, internal practices and service outcomes. Most home care companies are good and deserve your trust. However, organizations that have earned accreditation usually are most serious about maintaining the quality of services and products they provide.

Accreditation is professional peer review administered by a private nonprofit organization, which is structured to establish higher standards than state or federal requirements. Accreditation is the most commonly accepted means of assuring quality care and products.