In response to The Baltimore Sun's front page article regarding state inspections of health care facilities ("Watch dog cutting back," July 20), I agree with Nancy Pineles from the Maryland Disability Law Center that accreditation should not replace regular inspections. Additionally, this should be applied to mental health and addiction as well. For example, accreditation agencies will not be periodically checking to see if board members are who they say they are, nor do I think the action required by the state to investigate within two days cases of "immediate jeopardy" will be achieved. Accreditation has its place but should be used in unison with a strong quality initiative to compliment each other.
Baltimore Behavioral Health and Maryland General Hospital were both accredited by the Joint Commission but were found to have extensive violations. A final concern is the cost of accreditation. Many small providers may not be able to foot the bill and have to close. We can't afford to lose providers either.
Patricia Bayly Miedusiewski, Monkton
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