Accreditation is a process that evaluates an Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) against opioid treatment and accreditation standards set by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). As part of the licensing and certification process, a proposed OTP must obtain accreditation from a SAMHSA-approved accreditation body. These organizations work to ensure that OTPs meet specific, nationally accepted standards for providing medication for opioid use disorder.
There are four accrediting body options:
- The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) (PDF)
- The Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)
- The Joint Commission
- Council on Accreditation (COA)
DOH OTP Accreditation Process Overview
The Washington State Department of Health's accrediting standards will ensure that each OTP surveyed is qualified to meet each of the federal opioid treatment standards set forth in 42 CFR Part 8 and the Federal Guidelines for Opioid Treatment Programs.
- Apply for a Behavioral Health Agency (BHA) license
Apply for a BHA license (PDF), include the licensing fee, include a cover letter stating that the OTP would like to apply for DOH accreditation, and provide all required forms including policies and procedures that cover 42 CFR Part 8 and the Federal Guidelines for OTPs to DOH for review and approval.
- On-site compliance review for SAMHSA provisional certification
The Washington State Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission will coordinate with the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for an on-site compliance review for state licensure and SAMHSA provisional certification.
- DOH on-site surveys
- DOH will schedule an on-site survey about six months after state licensure and provisional SAMHSA certification to determine accreditation status. If accreditation status is granted, DOH will conduct routine on-site surveys no later than 60 days prior to the accreditation expiration date.
- DOH may provide a report with the results of the survey and require the OTP to submit a written plan of correction within ten business days after receiving the report, or may issue a notice of intent to deny accreditation. The plan of correction will be reviewed by DOH to ensure it adequately addresses non-compliance issues.
- If the plan of correction is approved, it will be accepted as an attestation of implementation. If it's not approved, DOH may monitor for implementation of the plan to include another on-site visit.
- After the on-site survey, DOH will notify the agency in writing of the accreditation decision.
- Accreditation decisions
Each OTP must demonstrate that it meets all established standards in accordance with 42 CFR Part 8 and Federal Guidelines for OTPs. DOH may make an accreditation decision from the following options:
- Three year accreditation. The OTP meets and demonstrates substantial compliance with all established standards.
- One year accreditation. The OTP meets and demonstrates substantial compliance with most of the established standards but has areas that need improvement.
- Provisional accreditation. The OTP demonstrates partial compliance with some of the established standards. This type of accreditation is issued for a period of time not to exceed one year and are subject to re-inspection.
- Non-accreditation. The OTP has significant areas of deficient practice in most areas of the established standards.