The CARF Accreditation and HIPAA Compliance Connection

CARF Accreditation and HIPAA

For more than 55 years, CARF International has been considered the gold standard for accreditation of health and human service programs across the continuum of care, serving children through seniors. One pre-requisite of CARF accreditation is HIPAA compliance.

How Are CARF Accreditation and HIPAA Compliance Connected?

Behavioral health providers and organizations that offer rehabilitation services seeking CARF accreditation must undergo a comprehensive survey that encompasses the services they provide as well as their organizational structure and how they conduct their business activities.

The CARF Behavioral Health Standards Manual states that accredited organizations must demonstrate a process to comply with all legal and regulatory requirements. If protected health information (PHI) is involved, compliance with HIPAA regulations is mandatory.

The good news is that becoming HIPAA compliant helps fulfill other CARF standards.

Let’s Simplify Compliance

HIPAA compliance can help satisfy CARF requirements. We can help!

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HIPAA Seal of Compliance

Where Do CARF Accreditation and HIPAA Compliance Intersect?

The organizational leadership of CARF must guide compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, contractual obligations (or business associate agreements), and the privacy of those served by the organization.

CARF accreditation requires written policies and procedures that address corporate compliance, codes of conduct, and ethical behavior. Part of this can be fulfilled when an organization develops HIPAA compliant policies and procedures regarding PHI’s creation, access, use, storage, and destruction. 

CARF also requires that a staff member be designated as the organization’s compliance officer, just as HIPAA does. This compliance officer must monitor matters related to compliance, conduct risk assessments, and report on matters related to corporate compliance.

Employees must also be trained on compliance policies and procedures for allegations of fraud, waste, abuse, and other wrongdoing, including data breaches caused by improper actions or negligence.

How We Can Help

Helping an organization achieve HIPAA compliance is one critical way that Compliancy Group can support the CARF accreditation process. But an added benefit is the ability to use “The Guard” as a single electronic storehouse for both your HIPAA compliance efforts and your requirements for CARF accreditation.

The CARF accreditation process requires a commitment of time and resources. It includes self-audits within the organization as well as an onsite survey by a team of professionals.

The survey team conducts interviews of staff, persons served, and their families. They also observe organizational practices, review appropriate documentation, answer questions, and suggest ways to improve the provider’s operations and service delivery.

A final report is prepared along with the decision to accredit or not. An organization can earn accreditation for either three years or one year. Those accredited must respond to the report with an action plan to correct deficiencies and file Annual Conformance to Quality Reports each year during the accreditation term.

With “The Guard,” users can keep the proof of their accreditation efforts in one convenient place alongside their HIPAA compliance and other important documentation. They can also set up reminders for annual requirements that may be needed to maintain compliance or accreditation.