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CARF Connection Blog

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The CARF Connection blog, previously distributed in the form of a newsletter, provides timely tips, resources, and updates about CARF accreditation, business practices, and related matters. Learn about current trends in the fields that CARF accredits, improving services, and the latest CARF news.

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Addressing social determinants with higher standards

Social determinants of health (SDH) are the conditions in which people live, work, and age and include factors like housing stability, employment status, geographic location, education, and other socioeconomic circumstances. SDH, often determined by distribution of wealth and resources, has proven responsible for inequities in healthcare and has become its biggest cost-driver.


3 examples of outcomes management systems in action

By CARF International

CARF shares best practices related to outcomes management through its standards. To complement that effort, here are some recent field examples of outcomes systems’ improving performance.


World investing in and collaborating on healthcare quality

By CARF International

As providers, regulators, and payers in health and human services around the world seek value and efficiency, many are adopting new standards, integrating new methods, reviewing existing regulations, and exploring innovative practices from other countries.


The story of one provider’s path to value-based care

By CARF International

Services for the UnderServed used accreditation standards as part of a wholesale commitment to performance management. Now the organization is well positioned to market itself within value-based and other outcomes-based payment models.


All about outcomes: Performance-based reimbursement is changing health and human services

By CARF International

Many payers are exploring value- and performance-based payment models in which providers are reimbursed for positive outcomes. Most analysts believe such payment systems, which offer lower costs for payers, are the wave of the future.


4 ways accreditation supports the human services ecosystem

By CARF International

A recent report discusses the future of community-based human services. The first four initiatives are directly supported by CARF standards, meaning, if you’re a CBO applying the standards for accreditation, you’re likely strengthening the overall ecosystem. Here are the standards and other CARF resources that can offer guidance to your organization.


Seen and Heard at the Transforming Outcomes Institute

CARF’s winter Transforming Outcomes Institute concluded on February 24. It hosted more than 100 participants in Tucson, AZ. Here’s a visual breakdown of the training.


Tending to business in human services

By Betty O'Keefe, publications & communications, CARF International

Standards for business practices in health and human services are robust and forward-looking in the CARF model. However, this important area can be underemphasized or overlooked entirely by other accreditors. David Wilber, executive director of Diversified Enterprises and long-time CARF surveyor, witnessed the difference in results and volunteered his perspective for the white paper Developing sophisticated systems for success, recently published by BB&T Capital Markets. In the following article, Wilber describes his path to understanding how CARF is a differentiator for organizations seeking to survive, compete, and thrive in this increasingly complex service arena.


Better outcomes through consumer feedback: A spotlight on China

By Brad Contento, Corporate Communications, CARF International

Gathering consumer feedback with uSPEQ survey tools has been gaining traction within hospitals across China over the past two years. It is part of a larger quality improvement groundswell happening in the country.


Making the shift: Improving SCI outcomes with enhanced person-centered care

Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia, is beginning to share the results from a three-year research project on the outcomes of an enhanced person-centered care initiative (including spinal cord injury peer mentorship) and how those strategies can be affordably replicated elsewhere.


Parity and the modern boom time for mental healthcare in the United States

By Michael Johnson, Managing Director of Behavioral Health, CARF International

What we are seeing today, for the first time in my career, is a mainstream attitude in the United States that mental health treatment should be on par and equal with that of other illnesses. However, growth in service offerings has been slow. We must utilize this historic opportunity to move forward with greater capacity and efforts toward integrating mental and behavioral healthcare with primary healthcare. As part of CARF’s 50th year anniversary, we will be sharing snapshots of the industries in which we offer accreditation services. This is part 2 of that series: Behavioral Health.


How Ticket to Work helped a county improve employment outcomes

By Maria Walker, Employment Program Planner, Polk County Health Services

To paraphrase a popular book title, it takes a village to reduce the large unemployment rate for persons with mental illness and intellectual or other developmental disabilities. Increasing employment opportunities for these individuals is every service provider’s responsibility. Polk County Health Services (PCHS) in the Des Moines, Iowa, area works with a network of providers in the community to increase employment outcomes. This approach was presented at a CARF employment and community services conference in 2012.

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