The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced today the approval of DNV Healthcare, Inc. as a deeming authority for U.S. hospitals. DNV is the first new organization to receive deeming authority for hospitals in more than 30 years.
According to the pre-Federal Register announcement, DNV was recognized "as a national accreditation program for hospitals seeking to participate in the Medicare or Medicaid programs" effective September 26, 2008 through September 26, 2012.
"We're coming into this business not just as another option," says Yehuda Dror, president of DNV Healthcare. "We want to take a leadership position."
"I think a lot of people will explore the possibility," says Bud Pate, REHS, vice president for Content and Development for The Greeley Company (a division of HCPro, Inc.). "There are some hurdles that people will need to walk through--since DNV is new they're going to need to work through some residency issues, contract issues, that may exist and may mention The Joint Commission but none of these are insurmountable."
DNV has crafted a system intended to combine CMS Conditions of Participation with ISO 9001 quality management. This program, called the National Integrated Accreditation for Healthcare Organizations, or NIAHO(SM), was created to make the accreditation process more streamlined as well as identify means for improving current standards and promoting continual improvement.
"The ISO-9001 certification seems to be a logical progression to the focus on quality assurance and quality improvement that has occurred in healthcare, primarily in hospitals," says Larry Poniatowski, RN, BSN, CSHA, principal consultant for Accreditation Compliance Services with The University HealthSystem Consortium. "The issue here now will be to see how well it's embraced by hospitals."
Twenty seven U.S. hospitals in 22 states have been accredited by DNV Healthcare using the NIAHO(SM) program in addition to other accreditation services.
In mid-2007, DNV Healthcare acquired Cincinnati-based TUV Healthcare Specialists with the belief that the acquisition would help cement DNV's application to CMS. In 2006, TUV had unsuccessfully applied for deeming authority.
DNV Healthcare is a division of Houston-based DNV USA, a subsidiary of the Norwegian company Det Norske Veritas. DNV focuses on risk management and training in several industries, including healthcare.