CARF (The Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission)
February 2013 - CARF International introduces accreditation for eating disorder treatment programs. These standards apply to 24/7 care in residential and inpatient settings. Read the announcement here.
AOTA is a member of CARF's International Advisory Committee (IAC), composed of representatives of national professional societies, national organizations representing providers, and consumers' organizations. The IAC provides input to CARF on the development and revision of standards. In addition, the IAC provides feedback on the survey process and surveyors as reported by organizational members.
Founded in 1966, CARF is a private, not-for-profit organization that promotes quality rehabilitation services. It does this by establishing standards of quality for organizations to use as guidelines in developing and offering their programs or services to consumers. CARF uses the standards to determine how well an organization is serving its consumers and how it can improve.
CARF produces separate Standards Manuals for behavioral health, medical rehabilitation, and employment and community services. A Standards Manual for adult day services was developed in 1999 and one for assisted living in 2000. In 2003 CARF merged with the Continuing Care Accreditation Commission and now accredits continuing care retirement communities and long-term-care systems. CARF provides specialty certification programs for spinal cord systems of care (for persons with spinal cord injury) and for stroke specialty programs.
The CARF standards are developed with input from consumers, rehabilitation professionals, state and national organizations, and funders. Every year the standards are reviewed and new ones are developed to keep pace with changing conditions and current consumer needs.
In December, 2010, the Long-Term Quality Alliance (LTQA) tested an idea – that there are communities across the United States leading the way in unique and effective approaches to improving the organization and delivery of supportive services to individuals requiring long term care. Over 140 participants from over 20 communities across the nation came to Washington, DC to demonstrate that “innovative communities” do exist. More importantly, they shared their accomplishments, aspirations, and vision for what is possible when the existing creativity, leadership, good will and available services are optimally aligned and coordinated in a community. Together, they began to design a shared interest in pursuing a national learning community of “innovative communities,” and the LTQA committed to pursuing this opportunity on behalf of our collective interest and enthusiasm.
This report of the proceedings of that day is the first step in the path to creating a national “innovative communities” initiative to create a more collaborative future for those who provide care and services to persons needing long-term services and supports. The ideal health system of tomorrow fosters consumer empowerment, promotes team-based approaches to care, features leaders who can build partnerships for the good of the community, and sets up a system that fosters cross-sector collaborations and flexible funding streams.