DNV GL Healthcare, the nation's fastest-growing healthcare provider accrediting body, has certified Hillcrest Medical Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma for palliative care services. It's the first provider DNV GL Healthcare has certified since it introduced a certification for palliative care providers earlier this year. The hospital is affiliated with Hillcrest HealthCare System, which operates seven acute care hospitals across northeast Oklahoma as well as the Tulsa Spine & Specialty Hospital.
"Certification is a really good way for a specialty practice to meet the gold standard of care," said Jennifer Clark, M.D., a Hillcrest HealthCare System palliative care physician and an advisor to the executive team. "If there's a hospital claiming to offer a specific service, it should be held to high standards, and their providers should practice at the top of their licenses." Hillcrest has about 700 patients receiving palliative care, primarily those with cancer, liver disease, congestive heart failure and other serious medical conditions that are life-threatening but not terminal.
Palliative care is one of the greatest healthcare needs among the U.S. population, particularly as people age and chronic illnesses take their toll. Palliative care is usually considered an option for patients who are not terminally ill, but are in poor health from a specific serious medical condition and are not expected to improve. The components of such a program include pain management, closely coordinated care for the patient, discussions about future care planning and psychosocial and spiritual support for both their patient and their family members.
There are more than 1,100 palliative care programs operating in more than 1,300 hospitals and other provider settings nationwide, according to data from the National Palliative Care Registry. About 400 new hospital-based programs are introduced every year. Certification brings peace of mind to patients and their loved ones, as well as additional payments from the Medicare program.
"We're extremely excited to have certified Hillcrest Medical Center for palliative care services," said Patrick Horine, President of DNV GL Healthcare. "We expect many more certifications to follow in the coming months and years."
As the nation's second-largest healthcare accreditation body, Anders Lindgren, DNV GL Business Assurance North American Regional Manager, cites its "kinder and gentler" approach and its year-round partnership strategy as some of the keys to successfully accrediting hospitals and boosting quality improvement at a rate of 20% growth year over year. The majority of hospitals choose accreditation in order to be certified by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to receive federal funds and reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid programs.
Hundreds of hospitals across the United States have switched to DNV GL Healthcare over the past decade. The organization accredits 500+ hospitals in 49 states.