The state and national organizations both hold rehab facilities to the strictest of standards. These requirements are designed to protect patients who are admitted for care. They also ensure patients receive services that are worth the money and will actually guide them toward sobriety. In order for a recovery center to open, it must first pass a series of inspections and obtain the requisite licensing and certification. These certifications are awarded by both the state and agencies or commissions and are subject to constant scrutiny and renewal.
Depending on in what state it plans to open and operate, a recovery center will need to pass numerous state inspections in order to obtain the required certifications. State inspections are typically similar to those conducted by federal investigators. However, they may be performed more frequently and closely scrutinize facilities within the actual building.
For example, state inspectors may closely examine facilities like the:
- Dining area
- Lobby or waiting area
- Medication storage room and pharmacy
These areas of the recovery center are typically expected to be clean, organized, and safe. They may be examined on a monthly basis, depending on the availability of state inspectors. If these areas fail to pass inspection, the facility may have its certification revoked. If it is a new facility waiting to open, it may be denied permission to admit patients until these areas are significantly improved.
Aside from inspecting service areas within the recovery center, state inspectors also will scrutinize its business practices. For example, the recovery center will be expected to employ a well-defined admittance process for all patients. Patients should clearly understand how to be admitted to the recovery center and also what will be expected of them during the time they are in care.
Further, the facility will also be expected to have an active liability insurance policy. This liability insurance protects the people admitted to the center for care. It also safeguards the people who work there in case of an accident.
Other requirements that rehab centers will need to satisfy include:
- Submission of a floor plan
- Certificate of occupancy
- Passing a fire marshal inspection
- Licensing for the dispensation of medications
It could take weeks or months for a facility to obtain these credentials. However, once they are in place, the facility may be able to earn the state certifications needed to open to the public.
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Like the state government, the treatment industry and insurance companies often require recovery centers to obtain credentials before opening to patients. Certifications typically focus on the people who will actually work at the facility. They also pay attention to the layout and design of the center so it can accommodate people with disabilities.
In particular, a rehab facility will be expected to be ADA-compliant and have walkways, doors, and other fixtures that meet these standards. People who are disabled and use mobility devices must be able to have access to the facility in the same manner as able-bodied patients.
Likewise, the federal government mandates that rehab facilities employ people who meet stringent federal hiring criteria. For example, doctors who want to work at the facility will need to be licensed by the state and also belong to the outlined medical organizations like the American Society of Addiction Medicine.
Nurses, pharmacists, and therapists who apply for work there also must be licensed by the state and be certified by the appropriate medical boards. They must keep their licenses current and also undergo training as required in order to maintain their employment in this area of medicine.
Stringent hiring criteria are also applied to people who are not medical professionals. People who apply to be housekeepers, cooks, and others must generally be at least 18 years of age and also have a GED or high school diploma. These credentials must be verified before these individuals can be hired to work at the rehab center.
Finally, people who want to volunteer at a recovery center are required to be supervised closely by doctors, nurses, therapists, and other medical professionals. The federal government also requires volunteers to pass background checks and pose no risk to the people who are admitted to the facility.
Recovery centers must obtain certifications from both the state and federal governments in order to operate. If they fail to secure these credentials, they may be forced to close or be denied the right to open to the public. The credentials are reviewed on a regular basis and subject to renewal.
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