August 15, 2017

There has been a lot of discussion and confusion going on the last few months regarding ligature attachment issues with regard to The Joint Commission (TJC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

This all started when CMS decided earlier this year that TJC was not doing a good job of surveying for ligature attachment points during its accreditation surveys.  The Joint Commission issued a notice on March 1st stating that increased emphasis was going to be placed on these, but very little guidance was provided regarding exactly what or how this was to be done.  Naturally chaos followed.  The Joint Commission called a meeting of an “Expert Panel” at its headquarters on June 9th to discuss this situation.  CMS had three representatives present and David Sine and I were two of the 19 “experts” invited to attend.  Very little, if anything was determined at that meeting.

TJC has been working very hard to get clarification on these issues and has been very helpful and proactive in working with hospitals that have been on the verge of losing their accreditation. Also a lot of groups have been doing a lot of work in the background trying to help get these issues resolved.

The same “Expert Panel” group is meeting again on Friday of this week (August 18, 2017) at the same place to try to make some progress.

I will post an update here next week.

James M. Hunt, AIA

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