In November 2022, the Joint Commission revised its practitioner reappointment/re-privileging timeline from a two-year to a three-year period, unless a shorter period is legally required.
The change aligns the reappointment process timeline with the standard practice of evaluating licensed practitioners every three years. It allows for more continuous monitoring and quality assessment, and the change helps reduce duplication in the credentialing/recredentialing processes.
The revised timeline applies to the following accreditation programs:
- Critical Access Hospital
- Ambulatory Health Care
- Behavioral Health Care and Human Services
- Nursing Care Centers
- Office-Based Surgery
It’s important to note that reappointment/re-privileging dates do not need to match the governing body approval dates. For example, July reappointments/re-privileging effective periods should be approved in June, and August reappointments/re-privileging effective periods should be approved in July. Governing bodies do not need the effective period to match board meeting dates.
Among the agencies applauding the change is the National Association Medical Staff Services (NAMSS), whose 2021 roundtable, Focused Revision: Moving to a Three-Year Practitioner Reappointment Cycle and Enhancing Continuous Monitoring, highlighted the inefficiencies and shortfalls of a two-year reappointment cycle.
In a statement pertaining to the Joint Commission’s decision, NAMSS staff indicated that it “applauds the Joint Commission for taking this initiative to help streamline credentialing and quality assessment and looks forward to future collaborative initiatives that streamline processes that reduce burden and protect patient safety.”