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CARF International introduces accreditation for health home services

New standards focus on integrated physical and behavioral healthcare 

July 17, 2012, Tucson, Arizona -- CARF International released standards for accreditation of health homes. The standards will remain posted at (PDF) through the end of this year.

Service providers may begin applying the new standards in their organization immediately. CARF International surveys leading to health home accreditation may be conducted as soon as a provider is able to demonstrate six months of conformance to the standards.

Health home is a healthcare delivery approach focused on the whole person and provides integrated healthcare coordination that includes primary care and behavioral healthcare.

"A health home is not a facility or dwelling," explained Nikki Migas, managing director of CARF International's Behavioral Health accreditation area. "Rather, it is a central point to coordinate an array of primary and acute physical health services (including prevention and wellness promotion), behavioral healthcare, and long-term community-based services and supports, especially for persons with chronic conditions."

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provided states with an option to provide health home services for Medicaid enrollees. To be eligible for health home services, a Medicaid beneficiary must have at least two chronic conditions, one chronic condition and be at risk for another, or one serious and persistent mental health condition. A chronic condition might be asthma, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, a mental condition, or a substance abuse disorder.

CARF International's health home standards were drafted by a series of focus groups and then submitted to CARF's International Advisory Council for comment. CARF International's approach to an inclusive standards development process culminated in a broad field review, which invited feedback from persons served, the public, and professionals prior to the standards' adoption.

CARF International's leadership in framing standards is backed by its 46-year history of accrediting health and human services.

The health home standards will be published in the 2013 Behavioral Health Standards Manual, available in electronic and print formats at (in Canada, in early 2013.

Service providers interested in being accredited for their health home services may contact a CARF International Behavioral Health resource specialist for guidance at or toll free (888) 281-6531.

7/16/2012 12:05:00 AM

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