Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO)

Formerly called JCAH, or Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals, this is the peer review organization which provides the primary review of hospitals and healthcare providers. Many insurance companies require providers to have this accreditation in order to seek 3rd party payment, although, many small hospitals cannot afford the cost of accreditation. JCAHO usually surveys organizations once every 3 years, sending in a medical and administrative team to review policies, patient records, professional credentialling procedures, governance and quality improvement programs. JCAHO revises its “standards” annually.