JCAH standards for accreditation of community mental health service programs: Implications for the practice of psychology

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The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals (JCAH) has recently developed standards for the accreditation of community mental health centers (CMHCs). A review of these standards and the Balanced Service System reveals little that could be considered restrictive of the practice of psychology in CMHC settings. Unlike JCAH accreditation of hospitals and psychiatric facilities, the CMHC standards do not endorse the view that patient care be the ultimate responsibility of the physician. Although the standards were developed with no formal involvement from organizations representing psychologists, they do reflect contemporary psychological thought in the area of effective delivery of mental health services. Given the heavy consumer orientation and accountability focus emphasized in the standards, the present article maintains that JCAH accreditation could be an appropriate criterion for CMHC eligibility for national health insurance reimbursement. (25 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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