Finding a high-quality drug and alcohol treatment facility can be an overwhelming task. Each center offers differing levels of care, and substance abuse and co-occurring mental disorder treatment often vary from one facility to the next. Fortunately, a majority of treatment centers throughout the country are accredited, which can give prospective clients peace of mind knowing that they will receive care from a team of certified clinicians. In fact, roughly 85 percent of facilities nationwide are accredited by at least one major accrediting organization. This high average may comfort people who are seeking treatment, as they can rest assured that they’ll be in good hands at an accredited facility.

What Is Accreditation?

For treatment centers and health care facilities to become accredited, they must meet the required regulations and standards established by national accrediting organizations. While each organization may have different guidelines for accreditation, these guidelines follow the same basis of outlining resources needed to effectively treat someone who struggles with drug or alcohol addiction or a mental illness.

Accreditation is important for a variety of reasons, and being accredited benefits a treatment center and the people who need rehab care. The Public Health Accreditation Board believes that the accreditation process helps:

  • Identify a facility’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Determine the facility’s ability to deliver the 10 Essential Public Health Services
  • Improve a center’s communication with the state’s governing board of health
  • Compete with other facilities when it comes to obtaining funding
  • Improve management processes at the treatment center
  • Create greater transparency and accountability between the facility and public

Major Accrediting Organizations

The following four accreditation organizations thoroughly evaluate a majority of facilities across the country to ensure that they are held up to code and provide the highest levels of care. Fortunately for individuals looking for treatment options, numerous facilities across the nation are accredited by one or more of these organizations.

Commission on Accreditation of Rehab Facilities  

In 1966, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehab Facilities (CARF) was founded. With 73 percent of American facilities accredited by CARF, the organization is a non-profit accreditor pertaining to behavioral health, child and youth services and opioid treatment programs. The CARF International organization has accredited over 50,000 programs and 25,000 services. The organization also has a global reach, accrediting facilities throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and Oceania.

Being accredited by CARF benefits a rehab facility in more ways than one. CARF International says that some benefits that come with being accredited include:

  • Advanced marketing opportunities: Accreditation gives a facility more of a competitive edge. Displaying the CARF seal ensures prospective patients and their families that the facility adheres to the highest standards of client care.
  • Risk management: Being accredited by CARF reduces the amount of exposure to risk in departments like finance, human resources and health care.
  • International networking: Since CARF has a global reach, providers who are accredited by the organization are able to collaborate with one another on ways to improve their facilities.
  • Fiscal savings: Insurance carriers find accreditation to be a sign of financial stability. It also gives facilities an opportunity to gain more financial savings.

Council on Accreditation

The Council on Accreditation (COA) began in 1977 and is an internationally recognized non-profit organization. Their mission is to partner with human service organizations and facilities across the world to reach prospective patients. The organization has accredited over 2,200 facilities and programs that serve over seven million patients and their families. A total of 94 facilities across the United States are accredited by the COA.

The COA’s various accreditation programs include those for private organizations, public agencies, military family initiatives and youth development and adoption programs. The COA is also currently recognized by over 200 insurance companies within 49 states, the District of Columbia, two Canadian provinces and China.

National Committee for Quality Assurance

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) is a private, non-profit organization that aims to improve the quality of drug and alcohol rehab. Founded in 1990, the organization has created a name for itself in the health care industry. Like CARF, the presence of the NCQA seal signifies quality care that prospective patients can trust. NCQA-accredited facilities provide quality care, have refined health care protocols, and learn new, positive ways to practice patient care. The NCQA has accredited 93 percent of treatment centers in the United States, ensuring that more than 109 million Americans can benefit from rehab programs that adhere to NCQA standards.

The Joint Commission 

The Joint Commission is a non-profit organization that has accredited nearly 21,000 facilities and organizations throughout the country. Formerly known as the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization, the Joint Commission aims to improve health care for the public while collaborating with stakeholders, evaluating facilities and inspiring each center to provide beneficial and quality care. Roughly 81 percent of facilities in the United States, including The Recovery Village, are accredited by the Joint Commission.

The Joint Commission also has an international sector that offers accreditation in more than 100 countries. Joint Commission International (JCI) offers education, publication and advisory services to organizations around the globe. JCI works with various hospitals, clinics and medical centers to help improve the quality of care given, as well as advise on ways to reach prospective patients.

Obtaining accreditation through a trusted organization is important because it gives providers new resources and outlets to further their craft and practice, and also assures patients that they will receive high-quality, effective care.

In addition to the Joint Commission, COA, CARF and NCQA, other accreditation organizations include:

  • Accreditation Commission for Health Care
  • Center for Improvement in Healthcare Quality
  • Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program
  • Healthcare Quality Association of Accreditation

Finding Accredited Rehab Centers

Given that such a high percentage of American rehab facilities are accredited by one or more national accreditation organizations, finding an accredited rehab center may not be as difficult as you think. To ensure you receive the highest-quality rehab care, be sure to check online, or ask when you call, whether the center you’re interested in is fully accredited.

Once you find an accredited center, you can narrow down your options based on the kind of treatment that you need. The Recovery Village’s guide, “Finding the Right Rehab for You,” can help you understand what to look for when evaluating your options for rehab centers and programs. Accredited by the Joint Commission, The Recovery Village has locations across the country that help people heal from substance use disorder, alcohol addiction and co-occurring mental health conditions. Each facility offers individualized care plans that are tailored to each client’s needs and goals so that each person can pursue recovery effectively.

If you or a loved one struggle with a substance use disorder, call The Recovery Village at 352.771.2700. Representatives are available to answer any questions you may have about addiction, rehab care, insurance and more. The call is toll-free, obligation-free and completely confidential.  

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How Accreditation Defines Effective Rehab Facilities
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