The Tennessee Community Health Worker Association (TNCHWA) is proud to announce its strategic partnership with TennCare and the National Committee for Quality Assurance in the launch of a pioneering Community Health Worker (CHW) Program Accreditation initiative. This collaboration is a pivotal step towards ensuring that agencies adhere to standards rooted in Best Practices, which are essential for the development of quality CHW programs.
Over the next three years, TNCHWA will lead the implementation of this accreditation program, initially working with a diverse range of agencies. These agencies encompass both smaller organizations and larger hospital systems, each of which may potentially be interested in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement for the vital services provided by CHWs.
The establishment of the seven agency standards is based on a comprehensive foundation. These standards draw upon the experience and insights of successful American CHW programs, the robust body of academic research affirming the positive influence of CHWs on health outcomes, and input from a broad spectrum of stakeholders in Tennessee. This diverse group includes CHWs, their supervisors, academic contributors, the Tennessee Department of Health, as well as state and private agencies and healthcare providers. These entities have collectively convened through facilitation by the Tennessee Community Health Worker Association and TennCare.
These standards aim to provide the basic support needed for CHWs to realize their full potential in improving the health of their clients and patients. This potential is evidenced by well-documented health improvements demonstrated in numerous research studies.
The public comment process to review the agency standards was held in November 2023 and the comments were considered. The revised CHW program accreditation standards and competencies can be viewed here.