Why Accreditation Matters

There are hundreds of drug and alcohol detoxification centers in operation across the United States. In name, each of these centers shares the same goal: provision of effective detox services for people seeking to recover from substance addiction. However, in reality, a significant percentage of detox centers fail to offer a standard of care that puts this goal within reach.

To ensure the quality of available care and help potential clients make smart choices, several prominent organizations issue their seal of approval through a certification process called accreditation. Programs seeking certification can only qualify by meeting an organization’s professional standards. Accreditation is a mark of a detox program’s commitment to excellence. It also allows clients and third-party referrers to compare programs across key areas such as quality, consistency of care, long-term effectiveness, client satisfaction, and cost. In addition, in some markets, certification from an accrediting body is becoming a prerequisite for eligibility for insurance reimbursement, participation in managed care plans and contract bidding.

Summit Detox is proud to hold accreditation from two of the nation’s most esteemed healthcare-related organizations, the Commission for the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and the Joint Commission. As a Florida-based facility, we also hold licenses from the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Commission for the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities

About CARF

Founded more than 40 years ago, the Commission for Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities is an international, independent and nonprofit accreditor of health and human services programs. CARF’s mission is to ensure that all clients served by its accredited facilities receive the best treatment and the most effective outcomes possible. To meet this end, it assists providers in improving the quality of their services, demonstrating value and meeting international standards for programming and organization.

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CARF sees itself as a catalyst for enhancing the quality of life of the people served by its accredited organizations. The organization places particular emphasis on diversity and cultural competency in all activities and associations. This contributes to what CARF views as its core values: ensuring that all people are treated with dignity and respect, have access to the services needed to achieve optimum health outcomes, and feel empowered to exercise informed choice on their own behalf. The organization’s standards are continually developed and revised through a series of leadership panels, national advisory committees, focus groups and field reviews that rely heavily on the active involvement of persons served at all levels.

What It Means and Why It’s Important

CARF is considered the premier accrediting body for rehabilitation programs. Facilities accredited by the organization must meet stringent standards. In addition, CARF’s accreditation process is ongoing, signaling to the public that a certified provider has made a commitment to continuously improving services, encouraging feedback and serving the community.

Certification by the Commission for the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities is voluntary. This means that facilities seeking CARF accreditation spend their own time, money and efforts to undergo the in-depth assessment and review the organization requires. Approved programs demonstrate:

  • A higher degree of internal quality
  • Greater involvement of clients in their treatment and services
  • Increased cohesion among staff members at all levels within an organization
  • Enhanced status of the service provider within the community

How Accreditation is Achieved

To achieve CARF accreditation, all applicants must commit to quality improvement, place an emphasis on the unique needs of each client and monitor the outcomes of all program services. The accreditation process begins with an internal examination of the service provider’s programs and business practices. Next, the provider requests an on-site survey to be conducted by a team of expert practitioners selected by CARF. During the survey, each applicant must demonstrate that it conforms to a series of rigorous and internationally recognized CARF standards. Based on the results of the survey, CARF prepares a written report of the provider’s strengths and any needed areas of improvement. If a provider has sufficiently demonstrated its conformance to the standards, it earns CARF accreditation.

After receiving this accreditation, the provider must submit a Quality Improvement Plan that shows CARF how it plans to implement any required improvements. Then, each year during the term of certification, the provider must submit a report documenting its success in making these changes. A facility that meets or exceeds the organization’s standards must undergo recertification after a period of three years. Deficient facilities must address CARF’s concerns and reapply sooner.

The Joint Commission

About the Commision

Founded in 1951, the independent, nonprofit Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest accrediting body in the healthcare field. The organization seeks to continuously improve the level of care available to the public by evaluating individual programs and motivating them to reach the highest possible standards for quality and value. Currently, the Commission certifies and accredits nearly 21,000 healthcare providers across the United States.

What It Means and Why It’s Important

The Joint Commission’s emphasis on clear clinical practice guidelines helps accredited providers establish a consistent approach to care and disease management. In turn, this consistency reduces the risks for errors and complications over the course of treatment. The Commission also places a focus on data-driven performance improvement that translates into consistent, high-quality programs. Staff members of accredited facilities receive ample opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge. Clinical teams also benefit from the commitment to common treatment goals and the concrete validation of their ongoing efforts.

How Accreditation Is Achieved

To earn accreditation, applying providers must undergo a rigorous on-site survey conducted by a Joint Commission team of professional assessors. Each member of this team has significant experience in the evaluation of disease management programs. In addition, each assessor is trained to offer expert advice and provide the education needed to uphold best practices. To receive positive survey results, applicants must meet Commission standards on key recovery-related topics such as person-centered care and overall satisfaction with the care experience. Qualifying facilities receive the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval as a demonstration of their commitment to top-quality services. This accreditation must be reaffirmed through a new survey at least once every three years.

The Florida Department of Children and Families

The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) is a state agency tasked with the protection of vulnerable population groups and promoting the establishment of strong, economically self-sufficient family units. DCF also plays an important role in supporting the process of personal and family recovery from substance addiction and other issues. Summit Detox maintains all current licensing from this vitally important organization.

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