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CARF releases new standards for networks

May 31, 2016, Tucson, Arizona — Addressing the recent trend toward integration of business and service delivery models within the health and human services field, CARF International has released a new standards manual supplement for networks that is available for use in combination with all CARF standards manuals beginning in standards manual year 2016, effective July 1, 2016.

CARF defines a network as a legal entity that contracts with two or more organizations that deliver health or human services to persons served (participating providers) to coordinate functions between or on behalf of the participating providers. Various types of networks exist and they may have different purposes in the field. For example, business networks may be formed to establish strategic business arrangements with or among participating providers, and service delivery networks may establish an integrated system of service provision by participating providers to persons served. Other types of networks may combine the functions of business and service delivery networks. The network standards are available as a complimentary download at

“Providers are forming a variety of relationships with one another due to recent economic incentives and an increasing focus on improving outcomes for individuals who access services across various primary, acute, and community-based care settings,” says Sue Matthiesen, managing director of aging services for CARF. “CARF implemented the network standards to support networks’ development toward continuity of services among multiple providers and to support quality when a legal entity does not own all participating providers within its network.”

The new network standards replace CARF’s previous Business and Services Management Network Standards Manual, which is now discontinued, and the standards for Aging Services Networks previously included in the Aging Services and CCRC standards manuals. An International Standards Advisory Committee (ISAC) collaborated to develop new network standards that are applicable across all of CARF’s accreditation areas. The ISAC included representatives from a cross-section of networks including Central Florida Behavioral Health; VA Boston Healthcare System; Human Factor Consulting, LLC; Carolinas HealthCare System; naviHealth; Shepherd's Care Foundation; Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation; Children’s Treatment Network of Simcoe York; and ROC Solutions.

Prior to adoption, CARF submitted the draft standards to its International Advisory Council (IAC) for review. CARF also conducted a public field review to invite comments from interested parties, including persons served and their families, to further refine the standards prior to publication. CARF’s leadership in framing standards is backed by its 50-year history of accrediting health and human services.

5/31/2016 9:10:00 AM

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