The Community Health Accreditation Program, Inc. (CHAP) is an independent, non-profit accrediting body. It was the first accrediting body for community-based health care organizations in the United States and was created in 1965 as a joint venture between the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the National League for Nursing (NLN). These organizations brought to fruition the futuristic view that accreditation was the needed mechanism for recognizing excellence in community health practice. In 1988, CHAP became a separately incorporated, non-profit subsidiary of the NLN under the CHAP name. In 2001, it was spun-off by the NLN and became an independent, non-profit corporation.
Because CHAP was granted "deeming authority" from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for home health in 1992 and hospice in 1999, CHAP now has the regulatory authorization to survey agencies providing these services to determine whether they meet the Medicare Conditions of Participation (COPs). This marks a change from the previously used state surveys. In 2006, CMS granted CHAP full deeming authority for Home Medical Equipment (HME).
CHAP's purpose is to define and advance the highest standards of community-based care by:
- Objectively validating the excellence of community health care practice through consistent measurement of the delivery of quality service
- Motivating providers to achieve continuous improvement by adhering to standards of excellence
- Assisting the public in the selection of community health services and providers with demonstrated excellence
- Leading by example through organizational excellence and quality performance
CHAP will be the preferred accreditation services partner for community-based organizations.
CHAP accredits the following programs and services:
- Home Health (deemed and non-deemed)
- Hospice (deemed and non-deemed)
- Home Medical Equipment
- Private Duty
- Infusion Therapy Nursing
- Public Health
- Community Nursing Centers
- Supplemental Staffing Services