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CARF introduces accreditation for independent evaluation services in 2012 Medical Rehabilitation Standards Manual

New standards answer providers' and insurers' need for objective evaluations 

February 9, 2012, Tucson, Arizona -- Responding to needs of healthcare service providers and insurers, CARF International released accreditation standards for independent evaluation services. The standards are in the newly published 2012 Medical Rehabilitation Standards Manual, available in electronic and print formats at www.carf.org/catalog (in Canada, www.carf.org/catalogue). 

Independent evaluation services coordinate and facilitate objective, unbiased evaluations based on individualized referral questions; effective and efficient use of resources; regulatory, legislative, and financial implications; and relevant communication with stakeholders.

The standards for independent evaluation services can be applied on CARF surveys conducted after June 30 this year.

The standards were drafted by an International Standards Advisory Committee and then submitted to CARF's International Advisory Council for review. CARF's approach to an inclusive standards development process culminated in a broad field review, which invited comment from interested professionals and the public, prior to the standards' adoption.

"Both service providers and insurance companies urged CARF to review the independent evaluation services field to ensure consistency of practices and also to address the unique needs of the populations the providers and insurers serve," said Christine MacDonell, managing director of CARF's Medical Rehabilitation accreditation area. "Independent evaluations may be completed by one or more healthcare professionals who are not involved in the care of the person served for the purpose of clarifying clinical and case issues."

MacDonell continued, "In developing the standards, it was essential to carry out CARF's mission of enhancing the lives of the persons served. The new standards address specific diversity needs of individuals who are involved in these evaluations. The International Standards Advisory Committee and the robust field review process provided CARF with excellent feedback on this new set of standards."

The delivery of independent evaluation services can occur in a variety of settings, such as a healthcare environment, private practice, community-based setting, or private or group residence. In view of the multiple stakeholders involved, the standards for independent evaluation services support transparency and exchange of information.

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

2/9/2012 2:05:00 AM

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