DNV GL Healthcare continues to expand its product offerings to the nation’s hospitals by offering a new three-year certification for inpatient palliative care programs. DNV GL Healthcare announced the launch of the program today from the International Stroke Conference in Los Angeles, California.
“Certification demonstrates to the community that their palliative care program is committed to excellence in care delivery and continuous improvement. We review patient management, plan of care, medication management, physical care, and psychosocial care, among other program components,” said Tammy Allen, DNV GL Healthcare’s Director of Program Certification.
Palliative care is one of the greatest healthcare needs for the U.S. population, particularly as it ages and chronic illnesses take their toll. It 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. Palliative care programs can include pain management, closely coordinated care for the patient, discussions about future care planning, and psychosocial and spiritual support for the 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 payment from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Medicare program.
As part of the certification process, DNV GL Healthcare reviews palliative care programs for compliance with the DNV GL Healthcare Palliative Care Program Certification requirements. Certification requirements integrate the recommendations of the National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care (3rd. edition).
On January 1, the state of California made the availability of palliative care benefits mandatory for the 14 million enrollees in Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program. “The new benefit available to roughly one-third of Californians and the fact that the western U.S. is one of our fastest growing markets weighed in our decision to make the announcement from Los Angeles,” said Patrick Horine, DNV GL Healthcare’s chief executive officer.
As with its other certification programs, DNV GL Healthcare surveys occur annually versus every three years. Annual survey audits assist programs in their efforts to ensure continuous quality improvement.
Horine comments, “As the nation’s second-largest accreditation body, DNV GL Healthcare credits our unique yet thorough approach in partnering with the hospital as the reason that we have garnered so much interest in our accreditation and certification programs. DNV GL Healthcare is successfully accrediting hospitals and boosting quality improvement at a growth rate of 20% year over year.”
The majority of hospitals choose accreditation in order to be eligible to receive federal funds and reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid programs.
Without the type of continuous vigilance that DNV GL Healthcare provides through its accreditation process, hospitals miss opportunities to improve the quality of care delivered to patients, oftentimes at great and unnecessary cost.
Hundreds of hospitals across the United States have switched to DNV GL Healthcare over the past decade. The organization accredits more than 500 hospitals in 49 states.