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    COVID-19 Update: Extending Medical Staff appointment/privilege periods during the coronavirus outbreak

    COVID-19 Update: Extending Medical Staff appointment/privilege periods during the coronavirus outbreak

    The Joint Commission (TJC) issued a FAQ document on March 18, 2020, in response to a question regarding whether there are any circumstances under which TJC will permit an extension of the current Medical Staff appointment/privilege period.  

    TJC Medical Staff Standard MS.06.01.07 (EP 9) provides that “privileges are granted for a period not to exceed two (2) years.” Similarly, TJC Medical Staff Standard MS.07.01.01 (EP 3) states, in relevant part, that “appointment does not exceed a period of two (2) years.”

    A question was recently posed to TJC asking whether there are any circumstances under which TJC would permit an extension of medical staff reappointment time frames, such as during a disaster. TJC responded that it would allow an automatic extension of medical staff reappointment beyond the two-year period, provided all of the following conditions are met:

    • A national emergency has officially been declared.
    • The established provider’s privileges are scheduled to expire during the time of the declared national emergency.
    • The organization has activated its emergency management plan.
    • Extending the duration of providers’ privileges during an emergency is not otherwise prohibited by state law.

    According to TJC, the duration of the extension cannot exceed 60 days after the declared state of emergency has ended. It is up to the organization to determine how any such extensions will be documented.

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