Tucson, AZ — November 26, 2001 — CARF… The Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission received approval by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to accredit opioid treatment programs in the United States.
More than 1,000 opioid treatment programs in the U.S. use methadone and similar pharmacotherapies for treatment and rehabilitation of people with dependence on narcotics. Under new SAMHSA guidelines, providers of opioid treatment programs must seek accreditation over the next two years. The approval of CARF as an accrediting body comes as the part of the federal government’s shift from regulatory oversight of opioid treatment programs by the FDA to a national accreditation model that is under SAMHSA oversight.
CARF establishes customer-focused standards to help providers measure and improve the quality of their programs. CARF first published a standards manual for opioid treatment programs in 1999, and will publish a revised standards manual in December 2001. A team of CARF surveyors observes a provider’s conformance and nonconformance to the standards during an on-site visit of an organization that is seeking accreditation. Based on the survey team’s findings, accreditation may be awarded to the organization for either a three- or one-year term or not at all.
CARF’s designation as one of four SAMHSA-approved accrediting bodies follows a 30-month contract with SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, in which CARF developed and implemented a national accreditation program for opioid treatment programs. CARF accredited 76 such programs across the country during the impact study of this project.
Opioid treatment providers interested in pursuing CARF accreditation may contact Bettye Harrison or Jennifer St. Clair to obtain survey application materials. Alternatively, organizations may call (520) 325-1044, ext. 128 or ext. 146.