CARF Accreditation – The seal of quality service
Find out all you need to know about the CARF accreditation. Understand the difference between a facility with CARF accreditation and the one without.
The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, CARF is an independent, nonprofit organization with a focus on advancing quality in the fields of health and human services. These range from child and youth, to aging and to opioid treatment. CARF is an accrediting body meaning that a CARF-accredited service provider has applied a set of standards for quality to their business and service delivery practices. Think of CARF as the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for nonprofits. CARF International provides a framework, then consults and advises health and human service organizations to help improve their service quality. CARF has been an approved accreditation provider for opioid treatment programs providing outpatient, residential, and detox services since 2001 and has been an accrediting body as a whole since 1966.
What is the CARF Accreditation process?
CARF accreditation can be quite a lengthy process – 9-12 months for first-time applicants; however, because of the time required to complete, it demonstrates the facility’s commitment to continually enhance the quality of services and programs offered. The agency will also expend several thousands of dollars in costs associated with the process. It begins with the service provider completing an internal examination of its programs and business practices. Then CARF sends a team of expert practitioners to complete an on-site survey of the service provider. During that on-site survey, the service provider must demonstrate that it conforms to the rigorous and internationally recognized CARF standards.
CARF accreditation consists of ongoing consultation and in-depth on-site reviews to help a CARF-accredited service provider achieve the highest quality of care for their customers. Accreditation demonstrates that the organization has opened its service delivery and business processes to outside scrutiny to improve the quality of their programs.
Following the on-site survey, the CARF presents a written report for the CARF-accredited service provider which includes strengths and areas for improvement. Throughout accreditation, the facility is required to keep the CARF updated on the status of the improvements that are being made, particularly if there are areas for improvements in the written report.
What does CARF Accreditation mean for the public?
For those being served, CARF accreditation means that the CARF-accredited service provider is committed to reducing risk, addressing health and safety concerns, respecting preferences of individuals (cultural or otherwise) and providing the best quality of care possible. It also shows that the accredited organization values the feedback and input of their clients and is accountable to the community. Accreditation demonstrates that a CARF-accredited service provider has made a specific commitment to put the needs of their residents at the center of everything they do and that they respect the rights and individuality of its clients.
What does CARF Accreditation mean for funders and partnering agencies?
This accreditation can give those that provide finanical support to this agency, that their accounting, bookkeeping, expenditures, 990 reports and bank statements have been thoroughly scrutinized by a team of professional financial experts and this nonprofit meets their highest standards.
SMA has officially been accredited by CARF International, receiving some of the highest honors available, including a maximum length term (3 years). SMA was also accredited having received no recommendations, meaning they were in full compliance and no improvements need be made, which is a notation less than 3% of all facilities receive.