There are times when an organization receives an outcome of less than three-years. In some cases, the organization is in dispute with the accreditation outcome that resulted in a one-year or non-accreditation outcome. Other times, the decision was very close. CARF has a very detailed appeal process the addresses such situations when the organization feels the outcome is incorrect. If your organization finds itself in this situation, it is highly advisable to hire a consultant to guide your organization through the process.
Appeals must be made in writing within 30 calendar days of the date of the accreditation letter. If the appeal is of a one-year accreditation outcome, a resurvey will be scheduled within 60 days of receipt of the written request. If the appeal is of a non-accreditation outcome, then the review will be scheduled within 30 days of receipt of the payment for the re-survey. For more specific information about timelines and CARF’s policies regarding appeals of disputed decisions, please refer to the first section of the standards manual.
One of the first things the consultant will do is review your survey report to understand why the survey team recommended a particular outcome. The consultant will pay particular attention to the paragraph that outlines the rationale for the decision, as well as the types of recommendations that were made. Not all standards are equal. Certain standards are more important than others, especially when it comes down to the health and safety of persons served and if they are benefiting from services. A consultant can best guide you and give you feedback on what your options are and the potential to change the accreditation outcome.
If you make the decision to appeal an accreditation outcome, then the consultant will let you know what your course of action ought to be in order to potentially change the outcome. It is important that an organization aggressively addresses areas that were of concern and the cause of the accreditation decision. The consultant will guide you with these activities so that they are targeted. Examples of forms, plans and policies may be provided.
It is generally cost effective to hire a consultant and appeal a decision if the outcome was close and if changes can be made to address recommendations. The best approach is to talk to a consultant as soon as possible and seek an opinion of if your situation might result in an improved accreditation decision.