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CARF Connection Blog

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The CARF Connection blog, previously distributed in the form of a newsletter, provides timely tips, resources, and updates about CARF accreditation, business practices, and related matters. Learn about current trends in the fields that CARF accredits, improving services, and the latest CARF news.

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12/4/2018

The story of one provider’s path to value-based care

By CARF International

Services for the UnderServed used accreditation standards as part of a wholesale commitment to performance management. Now the organization is well positioned to market itself within value-based and other outcomes-based payment models.

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11/29/2018

All about outcomes: Performance-based reimbursement is changing health and human services

By CARF International

Many payers are exploring value- and performance-based payment models in which providers are reimbursed for positive outcomes. Most analysts believe such payment systems, which offer lower costs for payers, are the wave of the future.

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10/23/2018

Opioid treatment services now covered by Medicare

By CARF International

Although private and state insurance sometimes cover opioid addiction treatment, Medicare historically has not. However, on October 3, Congress passed the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, which expanded Medicare coverage to include opioid treatment programs.

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10/4/2018

Options to opioids: Medical technology offers other pain control choices

By CARF International

Partly in response to the opioid crisis, medtechs across the nation have ramped up development of devices that aim to manage pain without exposing patients to the risk of drug addiction.

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9/25/2018

3 reflections from the 2018 Zero Suicide International summit

By Michael Johnson, managing director of behavioral health, CARF International

I attended the Zero Suicide International Summit this year to exchange ideas with global thought leaders on how to eliminate the public health crisis of suicide. I came away with many thoughts, but here are some of the highlights.

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9/19/2018

Eradicating suicide: Tips for better public service messaging

By CARF International

As suicide rates edge up, many human service organizations are challenged to publicly talk about the issue in responsible and effective ways.

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6/8/2018

Recent CDC report, deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, again bring attention to suicide as public health issue

By CARF International

This week brings renewed attention to the issue of suicide. While the tragic losses of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain will get headlines, they represent a growing public health issue that is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States: suicide. These events offer an opportunity to address misconceptions, stigma, and a lack of resources that act as barriers for people at risk, and to bring the focus toward resources and best practices.

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5/24/2018

The Value of Professional Development

By CARF International

Take advantage of the professional development resource offered to CARF-accredited organizations, and encourage your emerging leaders to become CARF surveyors. 

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5/17/2018

4 ways accreditation supports the human services ecosystem

By CARF International

A recent report discusses the future of community-based human services. The first four initiatives are directly supported by CARF standards, meaning, if you’re a CBO applying the standards for accreditation, you’re likely strengthening the overall ecosystem. Here are the standards and other CARF resources that can offer guidance to your organization.

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5/10/2018

Perspective of a social justice mental health microbusiness

By Valeria Benabdallah, CEO/Psychotherapist, VEMB Psychotherapy Services

Being a microbusiness means that stakeholders, persons served, and the two staff members at VEMB Psychotherapy Services work closely together. My work as a social justice mental health clinician is to collaborate with appropriate systems while providing psychotherapeutic interventions to clients and their families. As a CEO, my job is to provide sound leadership and oversight to all business, clinical, and financial functions of the organization. 

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4/10/2018

Seen and heard at the CARF surveyor conference

By CARF International

Surveyors representing health and human service organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada attended the 2018 CARF Surveyor Continuing Education Conference on March 24 and 25 at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort in beautiful Tucson, Arizona.

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2/28/2018

Seen and Heard at the Transforming Outcomes Institute

CARF’s winter Transforming Outcomes Institute concluded on February 24. It hosted more than 100 participants in Tucson, AZ. Here’s a visual breakdown of the training.

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1/19/2018

What the loss of Tyler Hilinski teaches us about the vital, ongoing conversation around suicide

On Tuesday, January 16, Tyler Hilinski, the starting quarterback for the Washington State Cougars football team, lost his life to suicide. His death leaves family, teammates, classmates, and many other members of the community in a state of deep pain. Tyler was not someone most would have imagined was dealing with a behavioral health issue. He was young, intelligent, and a star Division-1 athlete. These facts underscore a major misconception about suicide.

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11/8/2017

Tending to business in human services

By Betty O'Keefe, publications & communications, CARF International

Standards for business practices in health and human services are robust and forward-looking in the CARF model. However, this important area can be underemphasized or overlooked entirely by other accreditors. David Wilber, executive director of Diversified Enterprises and long-time CARF surveyor, witnessed the difference in results and volunteered his perspective for the white paper Developing sophisticated systems for success, recently published by BB&T Capital Markets. In the following article, Wilber describes his path to understanding how CARF is a differentiator for organizations seeking to survive, compete, and thrive in this increasingly complex service arena.

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9/1/2017

Message from CARF CEO regarding Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

We at CARF are deeply concerned about the many lives affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, natural disasters of significant scope and scale.

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8/23/2017

Where CARF surveyors come from

We spoke with three former CARF surveyors who are now CARF staff members. They shared some interesting context on themselves and why they first got into surveying

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4/12/2017

Dolphin Assisted Psychotherapy: An adjunct to evidence-based treatment for substance abuse disorders

Hawaii Island Recovery utilizes a resident pod of wild, free-swimming Spinner dolphins to create meaningful experiences for their clients receiving treatment for addiction. Program Director and Experiential Therapist, Eliza Wille, shares how she combined her master’s degree in psychology and years-long interest and research in cetaceans to develop this unique program.

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12/6/2016

Rescuing victims of human trafficking—education, awareness, and training

Health Management Systems of America (HMSA) is a leader in the State of Michigan in providing training on human trafficking. Two years ago, HMSA embarked on a mission to develop education, awareness, and training programming for this topic following a meeting with the Ambassador from Australia, who is also a member of the Global Freedom Network. Human trafficking trainings are now being presented in the community, and HMSA is in the process of putting together community groups to focus on the health of victims, housing, and education. Videos, booklets, and other actionable pieces of information are available online.

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9/16/2016

Quality Practice Notice on Suicide Prevention

Responsible, quality-based practitioners in the health and human services industry should educate and train themselves to act in a responsible and timely manner when presented with a person at risk for suicide. We know through research that applying evidence-based practice and delivering comprehensive and integrated prevention programs can reduce the rate of suicide. In regard to Suicide Prevention Month, please access CARF’s Quality Practice Notice on Suicide Prevention for first step resources to saving a life.

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6/21/2016

Technology continues to ingrain itself into health and human service fields

Telecommunications and data management technology has unavoidably made its way into healthcare industries because it can increase consumer access to services and providers’ ability to provide them. Many providers are successfully incorporating technological solutions, which is why CARF has made an effort to highlight practices related to this topic in the Promising Practices newsletter series. This blog post features some articles that highlight successful uses of technology to improve business practices or service delivery.

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5/31/2016

Increasing formation of healthcare networks calls attention to quality guidelines

A major story so far in 2016 has been the change in service delivery models toward larger systems and networks through affiliations, mergers, and various other types of integrations. Providers are forming relationships across multiple sectors to expand their reach and provide services more efficiently to a broader population. The changing environment poses challenges for providers as they find themselves operating within a new service infrastructure or environment. This trend is of particular interest to CARF because it poses quality questions for providers across a spectrum of industries.

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4/8/2016

The ins and outs of choosing and displaying the CARF seal of accreditation

After your programs or services have earned CARF accreditation, you will want to market and advertise your achievement to your community and stakeholders. CARF provides resources that can help you promote your accreditation, including guidelines for citing your accreditation, example news release and letter text, and several CARF seal options. This blog post explains how to properly use and display the CARF seals of accreditation in your online and printed materials.

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2/19/2016

TRICARE proposed revisions are great move forward toward equal access and parity for behavioral healthcare

TRICARE, the healthcare program offered by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), is in the process of modernizing its behavioral health benefits. Earlier this month, the DoD published a Proposed Rule entitled TRICARE: Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disorder Treatment. Providers, persons served, and the public can submit their comments on this rule change until April 1, 2016.

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2/16/2016

Parity and the modern boom time for mental healthcare in the United States

By Michael Johnson, Managing Director of Behavioral Health, CARF International

What we are seeing today, for the first time in my career, is a mainstream attitude in the United States that mental health treatment should be on par and equal with that of other illnesses. However, growth in service offerings has been slow. We must utilize this historic opportunity to move forward with greater capacity and efforts toward integrating mental and behavioral healthcare with primary healthcare. As part of CARF’s 50th year anniversary, we will be sharing snapshots of the industries in which we offer accreditation services. This is part 2 of that series: Behavioral Health.

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1/21/2016

Improving substance abuse awareness and residential treatment in Canada

Dawn Pickering of CARF Canada collaborated with the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Canadian Executive Council on Addictions to create a resource document for residential treatment facilities. 

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